Does your company have a mentoring program?
Did you know?
Mentoring (73.5% vs 58.1%) and networking opportunities (72.6% vs 60.2%), two elements that have been shown by prior research to be critical to advancement, are more likely to be perceived as important by underrepresented minority employees. (Corneille, et. al, 2019)
That's right! Research has shown that Black, Latine/o/a, and women are more invested in finding opportunities in mentoring and networking than their white male counterparts. Explore below 5 reasons to provide a mentoring program at your org.
Imagine walking into a space and not seeing any visible signs of your community. Many professionals from underrepresented identities know that feeling. Whether you're the only queer woman in the board room, the only Latino on the project for a client, or the only person with a disability in a leadership role. All too often folks can feel tokenized at work.
Tokenism is a practice in which an organization or institution makes a minimal effort to be inclusive or representative of a certain group or minority. This often takes the form of hiring, promoting or recognizing one or a few members of a group without making any meaningful effort to create systemic change. Tokenism can also be used in legislation or policymaking, where a law or policy is introduced that only superficially addresses the problem of inequality.
Creating connections for community, discussion, and networking can allow underrepresented employees to connect with others from their communities. A mentoring program allows for these relationships to be facilitated. Allowing your employees to make connections through shared experiences and combat the feelings of tokenism in the workplace.
Professional development has been found to be especially important to Black, Latine/o/a, and women communities. A mentoring program allows for your employees to easily make connections to facilitate growing in their careers.
Mentorship programs can provide employees with the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals in the company. This can be especially beneficial if the program is structured to allow employees to work with multiple mentors.
Mentoring also encourages self-driven learning – Self-driven learning can be a great way to empower employees to take more ownership over their professional development. Consider providing access to online courses, books, or other resources that employees can use to continue to develop their skills and knowledge.
Providing time and space for folks to connect is important. This is especially so for your employees from traditionally underrepresented identities. A designated mentoring program provides the internal structure for community creation and networking. This also can demonstrate your organization's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and employee satisfaction.
Research has shown that underrepresented talent are more likely to try and skill-up on their own. Giving them less visibility to leadership and career growth opportunities. (Simard, 2008)
Providing a mentoring program allows the pathway to easily access improving and expanding skills. This can be especially helpful in promotions and retaining talent.
As discussed, diverse talent is looking for organizations that are offering investment in them as an individual. Research has shown that across multiple marginalized identities, the choice of an employer can come down to the demonstrated investment in professional development, mentorship opportunities, and ability to grow with the organization. Utilizing this offering can help expand your attraction of diverse talent and lead to more authentic connections in a variety of communities. You can also expand the identities you focus on in mentoring. Allowing folks across race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, religion, language, nationality, and more can allow you to really create diverse thought and teams!
Are you ready to get your mentoring program off the ground? Awesomely Authentic is here to help you in setting up goals, creating your trainings for mentors, creating a full action plan with timeline, and how to best integrate the program across talent, L&D, and leadership. Contact us for a free consult.