Why Mentoring Matters: The Transformative Power of Mentoring
In the modern workplace, continued professional development is vital to ensuring career success. At its core, the purpose of a mentoring relationship is to facilitate this professional and personal growth for the mentee. However, high quality mentoring programs offer a range of other benefits for mentors, mentees, and their organisations.
Mentoring – a high impact development tool
For mentees, they provide an opportunity to be exposed to valuable insights, develop new skills, receive unbiased career guidance, and open doors to new connections and networks. Mentors too can grow their professional networks and gain a fresh perspective; staying connected to emerging industry trends and new developments. The reverse mentoring process also allows mentors to refine their communication, leadership style, and empathy. This reciprocal relationship is particularly effective in closing understanding and experience gaps and fostering the sort of adaptable leadership necessary to guide, motivate, and inspire a changing workforce.
Unlike internal (intra-company) mentoring, programs like Pride Professionals, which connect individuals across their own and other industries, can facilitate cross-industry learning and have a significant impact on participants and their organisations. Through networking and event attendance mentors, mentees, and sponsors gain a deeper understanding of the breadth of experiences and challenges of LGBTQ+ employees, and learn about different strategies, initiatives, and approaches for creating welcoming, safe, and inclusive workplace environments. This creates an opportunity to bring best-practice and I&D innovation back to their own organisations and adapt these new ideas to positively impact company culture and the everyday lived experience of their LGBTQ+ employees.
While mentoring is an incredibly powerful development tool, establishing and maintaining effective mentoring relationships is not always a straightforward process. Both from a program development and participant perspective; ensuring mentor-mentee compatibility, establishing trust and rapport, sustaining engagement over the course of the relationship, navigating differences arising from diverse backgrounds or generational gaps, adapting to the evolving needs and circumstances of parings, and assessing the impact and effectiveness of the program can all pose significant challenges.
What makes the Pride Professionals program different?
The Pride Professionals programs offer custom, best-practice mentoring, developed by the organisational psychologists from ORGsight. They have been specifically designed with the needs of LGBTQ+ professionals in mind, ensuring that mentees can access high-quality support from an identifying or ally leader who does not have an agenda linked to their workplace and become part of a safe and inclusive community.
The comprehensive application process and rigorous participant matching lead to increased mentor-mentee compatibility, making it easier to create rapport and build relationships which extend beyond the formal program. Participants receive comprehensive onboarding and ongoing support, with mentees also being offered one-on-one coaching to further support their professional development. These frequent check-ins, coupled with the regular program events keep motivation and momentum high, while also allowing the facilitators to monitor the success of the pairing; providing assistance if required, and continually evaluate overall impact of the program.