Mentorship: DEI(B) and Mentoring Programs 

January is National Mentoring Month, and the Express Blog has launched a new series called The Value of Mentorship for leaders and job seekers. This is part five of the 12-part series, so check back for new weekly installments! 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging [DEI(B)] initiatives and mentorship programs offer incredible benefits from improved employee engagement to learning opportunities, increased job satisfaction, and positive interpersonal relationships. When DEI(B) and mentorship meet, the possibilities are endless. As you advance in your mentorship journey, make elevating DEI(B) a priority.  

Diverse Leaders Propel Companies Forward 

Mentorship at work supports DEI(B) by inviting individuals with different voices and perspectives to the table and creating equitable opportunities. When compared to corporate strategies like required diversity training and job tests, mentorship increased minority representation at a managerial level by up to 24%, according to a 2016 study by the American Sociological Review.  

An emphasis on DEI(B) in leadership leads companies to success. In 2019, Gartner predicted that 75% of companies with diverse leaders would exceed their financial targets through 2022. McKinsey’s 2023 Diversity Matters report found that companies with more than 30% of women executives are significantly more likely to outperform companies with 30% or fewer women leaders. Companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity average a 27% financial advantage, and those with gender and ethnic diversity in leadership are 9% more likely on average to outperform their peers, per the same report.  

Mentorship Programs at Work 

As companies continue to prioritize DEI(B), advancing mentorship opportunities at work is following suit. A Gallup survey shows 84% of Chief Human Resource Officers report an increasing investment in DEI(B) at their organization, and 57% report having mentorship and sponsorship programs to address DEI(B). While these resources may be available, there is opportunity for growth as only 40% of employees have a mentor at work. 

From traditional one-on-one mentoring to peer groups, buddy programs, and reverse mentoring, the Association for Talent Development recommends implementing a mentorship type that aligns with your company’s DEI(B) initiatives.  

To help define mentorship program objectives, software company Together outlines three specific goals for programs focused on DEI: counteracting unconscious bias, building cross-cultural skills, and empowering the workforce. Becoming a mentor who values DEI(B) starts by personally sharing these values. As you engage in mentorship at work, continually look for opportunities to embrace your company’s DEI(B) initiatives. 

Check out previous posts from the Express Blog’s Value of Mentorship Series:  

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