To join the world in celebrating the International Mentoring Day – held in the honour of Muhammad Ali, American professional boxer and activist – Ruebik is digging into some of the “whys” and “hows” behind the power of this form of council.
Mentorship is described in New York’s Business News Daily as a mutually beneficial professional relationship in which an experienced individual, the Mentor, imparts knowledge, expertise and wisdom to a less experienced person, the Mentee, while simultaneously honing their mentoring skills. It is regarded as an effective tool in the self progression journey.
In this post we’re highlighting a few of the specific benefits that are bound to come from a well-oiled Mentor-Mentee relationship. To start off with the fruits of labour for the Mentees who are engaged and invested in their one-to-one relationship with their Mentor, the council usually comes with educated encouragement, which is an invaluable catalyst for growth. As Ruebik’s Kamal King-McDowall put it, “A mentor can provide reassurance that one’s ambitions and goals are attainable with the right level of dedication and application, and sometimes a boost of confidence in the possibilities open to you is all one needs to make the right next step”. Alongside increased self-belief, having a Mentor – especially one who’s successful in the same work field or has faced the same type of barriers – tends to help the Mentee set and achieve very specific goals within their role and organisation.
There is quantifiable value in connecting Mentors and Mentees who have been presented with the same type or pattern of obstacles in their career progression journey, and Ruebik is proud to continue to support the BT Group with the running of their Mentorship program, designed to champion ethnically diverse leaders. The company is committed to increasing the representation at all levels, and the 2021 launch of initiatives aimed at providing sponsorship and mentoring to high potential under-represented colleagues is at the core of the action plan. Talent Director for BT, Steve Cunningham explains the “why” behind such efforts, “We know how important it is to have role models within the company and to have access to mentors who have shown what is possible and can share their learning and advice to shape the aspirations, beliefs and tools to develop their careers”.
We also gathered insights from some of the inspiring leaders who are taking part in the BT Group’s Mentorship program, with regards to their views on the value of such projects. Director, Production Learning and Development at WarnerMedia, Kimberly Baxter shared her personal thoughts regarding mentorship in general as well as her motivation to join this particular initiative, “As an African American woman in England, I belong to the minority not just in the office but also professional external gatherings and industry events. Not seeing your ethnic background represented within the sector you’re in can feel isolating. I believe Mentoring programmes such as this can make a real difference to ethnic minority leaders’ professional success, empowering them to overcome any blockages in their way – be it the lack of exposure or certain biases.”
While it’s easy to fixate on the benefits that Mentees get to reap, one of the beautiful things about the nature of Mentorship is that it is very much a two-way street. The advantage recognised most frequently by the brilliant Mentors dedicating their time in the BT Group’s Mentorship programme is self-satisfaction. Most often, the individuals choosing to become Mentors have benefitted from council themselves and are keen to give back. Increased advancement potential comes as the close second, with many professionals noting that becoming a Mentor can help enrich one’s skillset as a leader and facilitate demonstration of the capabilities and commitment to developing other people.
Another BT Group Mentor who we had the pleasure of working with – Director, Global Talent Acquisition & Candidate Experience at GE Healthcare, Shilpa Shah, notes “I am fortunate to be able to say that my current company – GE Healthcare – lives and breathes inclusion and diversity through its values and culture. I wish to utilise my lived experiences – witnessing positive I&D culture from my own organisation, as well as finding ways to overcome ethnic background related obstacles – to help uplift and shape the future generation of diverse leaders”. As the American author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar put it, “people build business”, and “treating your team right will reap its own reward”. Since most, if not every, business has employees who could benefit from Mentorship – as either party – it is crucial for even more companies to run such initiatives.
If you’d like a chat about how we can help run a Mentoring program for your organisation or if you’re interested in becoming a Mentor, get in touch at email@example.com
Written by Hannah James, Delivery Consultant at Ruebik