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Mentorship Creates Inclusion

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Mentor relationships are designed to support a less experienced professional through connections with more seasoned professionals in a respective industry. Conceptually, mentoring is a relationship between two or more people where an exchange of information is provided from one individual to another who has a willingness to learn. A genuine and effective mentor relationship produces great value for those involved because both are learning from one another through a difference of perspective on how to do something or navigate a space. There it is….I said the word difference…and difference means diversity.

Challenges for Marginalized Identities

Marginalized identities are considered to be subordinate in relation to dominant identities (woman/man, white/black, immigrant/American, able-bodied/disabled, etc.). So for people in the workplace who carry intersecting identities, privileges are present for some and not all.

  • Disparities exist between white and persons of color in the rates of advancement in the workplace.

  • Employee turnover, or loss of talent, is higher for people of color (specifically Black women) and new professionals.

  • The Great Resignation, or the shift of working professionals who have left their job or retired in the years immediately following the Covid pandemic, has employers rethinking how to maintain good, diverse, talent.


Benefits of Mentorship

Intentional mentorship has the potential to achieve several goals: building a networking base, establishing confidence, and developing as a leader through professional development opportunities.

  • Mentor opportunities positions persons of color and marginalized populations to receive leadership development experience and increased access to skill development and advancement opportunities.

  • Relationships cultivated between two or more individuals also builds trust across reporting lines and a sense of community.

  • Oftentimes, creating mentor programs are little to no cost to the organization. Depending on the model and desired outcomes, getting started with formulating a model that is appropriate for the organization is relatively simple.


Mentoring models can take many forms. Models may include senior level leadership mentoring middle-level managers, peer mentoring for new hires, group mentoring through affinity or employee resource groups, through professional organizations, and/or mentoring through co-op programs involving college students. Whatever is most appropriate should be designed to support the goals and mission of the organization. This is realistic and doable with a little bit of brainstorming and setting the right parameters in place. A leader has to be identified along with the metrics for assessment and measured for effectiveness at the end of the experience. Not every mentor match up is magical but there is enough research and literature to support more benefits than not on the value of mentoring relationships in the workplace.


A workplace of inclusion can be reached through engaging with colleagues and leaders in the organization, it’s about building relationships and creating pathways for marginalized populations who want to advance in their career. Inclusion in the workplace also increases retention of people who are vested in growing and leading in the organization.


Let’s explore these topics together in more detail in a series of upcoming online events. Until then, we invite you to share who your mentor is and what you most appreciate about them. Leave a post in the comments.


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Are you ready to expand your knowledge on diversity, equity, and inclusion? Well, look no further! Enroll in one (or more) of our upcoming LIVE DEI Workshops and embrace a world of understanding. Our courses are designed to provide you with the tools and insights to navigate the complexities of today's diverse world.

Whether you're a student, professional, or simply curious, our friendly instructors are here to guide you on this journey. From exploring the importance of diversity in the workplace to understanding the historical context of inequalities, our courses cover a wide range of topics. Don't miss out on this opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Let's embark on this transformative path together!

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