Webinar: Diversity and Inclusion Through Mentorship

This webinar will outline how mentorship can have a positive impact on your Diversity and Inclusion efforts. We will be discussing how you can develop a workplace that is inclusive to all ages, genders, races, religions and education level among others through the power of mentoring.
Download transcript

Transcript Text

Hi, everyone. Welcome to today's webinar on Diversity and Inclusion through Mentorship. Today, we'll just be discussing a little bit about how diversity and inclusion can play a major role in terms of the company culture at your current location and how it can really have a significant impact on profits, revenue as well as promoting employee engagement.

Thank you for everyone who's joined the previous webinars. Hopefully, you've been able to gain some valuable knowledge and hoping to share a little bit more with you here today.

I guess we'll start off with our agenda for the day. I'll allow you all to take a look at what we'll be discussing, but I just want to give you a little bit of background on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Diversity can come in all shapes and sizes. It includes age, gender, race, religion, education levels among many others. But these differences are really what make a company strong, particularly if they're representative of the target customer or your consumer base at large.

However, as we all know, they can also have or cause a major conflict among your employees as well.

Additionally to that, studies have shown that a lack of diversity within corporations and other organizations, specifically at the top level, can provide huge obstacles for not only your employees but the overall success of the company itself.

Research actually indicates that companies with higher levels of diversity and inclusion outperform those with lower levels. There was some research done by McKinsey that shows companies with the diverse workforce are actually 35% more likely to earn revenues above the industry average.

In addition to that research, the Boston Consulting Group BCG showed similar results. Their study found that organizations that had a more diverse workforce also saw innovation revenue that was 19% higher than companies with a less diverse workforce.

It's of course important for your company culture to help promote the positive elements of diversity at your workplace, and that means teaching, training employees to respect differences, communicate effectively with one another and so on.

A little bit of background on myself here. My name is Marcus Butters. I'm an Account Executive here at the Together platform. Most of you are familiar with me as we do have a lot of recurring attendees on these webinars, but for those of you that do not know me, welcome. Excited to hopefully meet you at some point or another.

A quick background on Together platform. We're founded by Matthew Reeves and Nathan Goldstein, two former consultants at the Boston Consulting Group. They found that there was a huge need for mentorship in corporate settings and large organizations and they sought out to provide the best solution possible. That's why we're here today, gathered around and, hopefully, gaining some insightful knowledge as to how to improve the workforce.

Moving forward, I'm going to get into some of the benefits of diversity and inclusion. As some of you might know, diversity and inclusion leads to increased creativity. People with different backgrounds tend to have different experiences, Thus, they'll have different perspectives. Exposure to a variety of different perspectives and views leads to higher creativity.

Then when you put people together of different races, genders, religions, whatever the case is, you're more likely to get a melting pot of fresh, new ideas, thus improving the creativity of your workforce.

Of course you are able to solve problems faster. Again, people with similar minds do not come up with different solutions. So having the ability to collect those diverse ideas, different views, different perspectives and allow those to have an input as to what's going to be solving the problem, how you're going to come up with different solutions, it does create for a quicker resolution rather than just having people of the same mind discussing the same ideas over and over. The best solution can be chosen sooner, leading to faster problem-solving.

Lastly, touch on the innovation. Companies with more workplace diversity achieve better innovation. They're able to come up with new ideas quicker. This goes hand in hand with the faster problem-solving. There's always going to be fresh new ideas maybe from different companies, maybe from different backgrounds. It just allows you to have those more meaningful discussions rather than sticking to the status quo.

But one other thing that I did want to talk about is achieving greater profits. Again, McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm, conducted research that included 180 companies in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, as well as the United States. They found that companies with more diverse top teams, so higher-level management executives, they were also top financial performers.

Companies with a diverse workforce make better decisions. They make them faster. It gives them a serious advantage over their competitors. As a result, companies with diversity achieve better business results, reap more profits and are able to be more successful as a whole company as well as when it comes to engagement and happiness within the office.

Like I said, those are just a few of the benefits of diversity and inclusion. I have outlined a few more here for you to take a look at.

Better company reputation. You're going to be recognized as a leader in D&I. There are a few of our customers that I've seen time and time again on LinkedIn being recognized for this, as well as just a number of other large companies that have been successful in doing so. They do get a lot of recognition.

People want to work there because they feel like their voice is going to be heard. They feel like they're going to be included in what's going on.

Of course, there are a variety of different perspectives, which leads to the better decision making, faster problem-solving, more innovation, increased creativity.

But another important thing for your company, and this helps to save you money as well, is reduced employee turnover. People feeling welcome, they're not as inclined to leave the company. They want to stick with you and be able to enjoy their happy experiences, share their hardships with their fellow employees and just be able to benefit from the workplace diversity and inclusion and just have a happier company as a whole, generating more profit, more revenue and, overall, just being more successful.

Now, we're going to talk about how a structured mentoring program can actually help your company.

Mentorship comes in many shapes and sizes. There are many forms of mentorship, many styles in which you can run those mentorship programs but, most importantly, what it does is it provides a medium for employees to interact.

Employees have the opportunity to discuss any issues, any struggles, happy events, successful events with one another in a way that isn't monitored necessarily by your manager or someone who you're a direct report to. It's a safe, secure way. Everything is private. Everything is confidential. And you can have those really meaningful discussions, be able to explain your experiences and share what has been great, what has been difficult, and allow you to understand what each other have gone through in the past.

Another great opportunity that mentorship can help with is maintaining morale in difficult times. We're all aware of the current events right now within Canada, the United States and across the world. It can be difficult on a lot of people. Providing your employees the opportunity to speak with someone who is like them or maybe not so much like them that has maybe never had those experiences can help shed a light as to what is actually going on, what they may have experienced in their home life, in their professional life and just be able to kind of open each other's eyes and empathize with one another, building that stronger connection within the workforce, making each other understand one another a little bit better.

Lastly, we have the ability for employees to discuss common issues. Again, anything that might have happened within the workplace, it might have been implicit or explicit bias, a lot of people of diverse backgrounds have experienced these and they have had struggles with learning how to overcome those biases. Maybe different steps that they've taken that have not been so great that may have led to more bias or things that they've done that really helped them to stand out and have a positive impact and be able to be a thought leader and kind of mitigate that bias as much as possible and be able to really rise through the turmoil and be able to still be successful despite what they've been going through.

This could be especially helpful for some of the younger employees that maybe have never necessarily experienced this in the workplace before. Of course more tenured employees have experienced it more often and they could share those experiences, be able to pass down that knowledge, be able to explain how they overcame those hardships.

So here we have a couple different examples of D&I Programs. These are a few that we see most commonly. Of course Women in Leadership is a very powerful program to run.

It's no secret that women do have a tougher time moving up in a male-dominated industry. There are numerous statistics that support this, and it is unfortunate. However, there is a growing number of female leaders in the workforce now. And I've seen it time and time again, whether it's in the news, LinkedIn, more and more females are being promoted to executive positions: VP, CEOs, whatever the case is.

Encouraging this female leadership within your organization, to take less tenured or younger females under their wing, provide that mentorship to them, explain how they can move up through a bureaucratic company will be super helpful in promoting that diversity and inclusion within the workplace, allowing these young females to understand that they do have an opportunity to be extremely successful as or more successful than their male counterparts.

And, again, be able to provide that guidance. How do you overcome certain obstacles within meetings, whether it's on a phone call, a sales call? Just be able to provide that insight and knowledge and allow them to not make the same mistakes that you might have made or allow them to just completely avoid those mistakes overall and just be able to move full steam ahead and have that successful career that they deserve.

D&I Education is another great example of a program that you can run to help promote diversity and inclusion. You could get your employees up to speed on the culture across your company. Of course the strengths and benefits of diversity and inclusion stem from intermixing diverse backgrounds, opinions and beliefs.

Share those beliefs, share those experiences, share those backgrounds with people that might have not had those same experiences and allow one another to actually build that personal bond, that personal connection and you're going to make a more productive workplace. People are going to be more engaged. They're going to be working harder for the person beside them because they understand what they've gone through now and they really want those people to succeed as well.

And as a company, when you have everyone working for one another, having each other's backs all the time, that you're going to be more successful in the end.

Another great opportunity would be motivating high potential talent, especially with diverse backgrounds. Pair some of these diverse, less-tenured employees with successful people in your upper management, your executive management and show them the way. Guide them. What can you do to succeed? How are you going to move up quickly? What do you need to watch out for? How can you avoid costly mistakes?

Another great opportunity for people of diverse backgrounds to really thrive in a corporate setting that has not been necessarily the kindest or the nicest to them in previous years.

Today, I'm going to walk you through a couple different ways as to how to structure your D&I Mentorship Program. We'll start with marketing and go all the way through reporting and it'll all be specific towards diversity and inclusion.

This is a step-by-step guide as to what we take our customers through and how we provide them with mentorship, but you could of course implement this internally at your company. If you're running a manual program or if you're with another software, this is definitely something that you can use in order to benefit and reap the rewards of running a D&I program.

First, we'll start with promoting your D&I Program. Webinars, of course. We're all on one right now, but I'm sure you have a number of webinars company-wide. But this is a great opportunity for you to explain how the mentorship program works, what benefits you will receive from it, what kind of programs you might be running and how it might be able to help your employees.

Email marketing is of course a traditional form of this. Send out nicely templated emails. Have maybe a couple screenshots of what the program entails, maybe some of the session overviews.

Banner ads on your internal page. Most of you have some sort of internet or internal company page where you can post different events, different themes, different vendors that you might be using. A great way to draw attention to the program.

And some pro tips here on the right. Get a senior sponsor, maybe someone with a diverse background that can speak about the program. Highly encourage some of those younger, maybe more shy people to enroll in this program. That way they will still be able to understand what it takes to get to that top level. They can see someone with a diverse background speaking up about it. That holds a lot of weight, especially if you are younger and new to the workforce and really not sure how you can thrive in a corporate setting.

This will provide them with a lot of opportunity, a lot of excitement, and just be willing to be more committed to the company at the end of the day because they know that they do have the option to grow within the company. They have seen it firsthand from a diverse senior sponsor.

Of course, the remainder of these tips you can read for yourself. But maybe a video testimonial from that senior sponsor, some frequent reminders encouraging people that this is a great opportunity for them, letting them know that there is a lot to learn and that they can be successful through entering or enrolling in one of these programs.

Next, we'll move on to the registration questionnaire. There are a few different areas that you could think about.

You want to set up your D&I questionnaire differently than you would your traditional oneonone mentorship program. Some things that you might want to include are previous D&I issues in the workplace. Maybe ask them to share a story. What experiences have you had with diversity and inclusion in the workplace? What have some of your struggles been?

This could be a great opportunity to connect diverse groups or even connect diverse groups with not-so-diverse groups in order to, like I said earlier, shed that light as to what your experiences have been. Make everybody understand some of the struggles that come with diversity and inclusion.

And focus on the logistics. Registration questionnaires must be relevant and specific to each D&I program. So a Woman in Leadership Program’s questionnaire won't be the same as a Diversity and Education Program’s questionnaire. It really needs to be specific. It needs to be aligned with what your goals are for that program. What are you hoping that your employees are going to achieve? Then cater the registration questionnaire to that.

There are a number of different questions that you can use. I've outlined a couple here for you to take a look at.

Do you want diversity and inclusion to play a role in your mentorship? Do you want to add any affiliations there? That could be another option that's something that we always provide for our customers.

Then another example would be to ask how do you manage implicit or explicit bias in the workplace. Again, a great opportunity to share your stories. You can have this as a multiple choice question. You can have this as long text. Again, a number of different opportunities here to get a better understanding of what your employees are going through. Maybe match them up with someone who has similar experiences so that they can share those experiences and discuss how they can best overcome those obstacles or those issues within the workplace.

Get into development now and we'll talk about three ways that you can ensure your employee development, first being discussing current issues in society. I touched on this a little bit earlier, but discuss how to address current events that may be affecting D&I.

With the Black Lives Matter Movement going on right now, if you have a predominantly black workforce, this could be a great opportunity for them to share their experiences with people of other backgrounds or other races and really make people understand what they're going through at this time, why it's such a sensitive matter and why it is such a large issue in the United States, Canada and across the world.

This will help to provide a more connected, more engaged workforce because, again, people are working for one another. They want to help each other and they want to make sure that people are happy in the workforce.

Outside issues from your personal life can impact you in the workplace. And having the ability to discuss what might be happening or what's upsetting you will help people to be more empathetic, be able to discuss those issues and hopefully be able to overcome them and be stronger coming out of it, again, shedding as much light as you possibly can.

Another thing you could discuss within your development tools is previous D&I incidents. Share stories of anything that might have happened in the workplace, whether it's your current employer, maybe in university, whatever the case is. But it's always best to share those incidents especially if it is with someone that doesn't come from a diverse background. They might not even understand that they have been a part of these issues, but shedding some light, being able to explain why something was difficult, why it was upsetting and how it maybe impacted your productivity at work that day really helps people to empathize with what is going on.

Lastly, you could have a final assessment. Collect feedback from your employees. Understand how they've progressed. Was the program actually useful? What changes should we make? Should we make it more hands-on? Should there be more fierce discussion? What has been beneficial? What hasn't? And just to understand whether or not it made sense for your employees to enroll in this type of program.

When it comes to the pairing, there's of course two different ways that we run the pairing process here at Together. Most of you have seen this as a mentee led pairing as well as an admin led.

Pretty self-explanatory. Mentee led is essentially the mentee being able to select who they're being mentored by. And then there's the admin led pairing where the admin essentially pair everyone together and that is who is matched.

There's pros and cons to both pairing processes. First, with the mentee, it allows mentees to select a mentor with similar obstacles, similar challenges that they may have faced, whether that was in the workplace, whether it's personal life. And then it is less work for the admin.

However, when it comes to the cons, the mentees don't always necessarily know what's best for their development. It can introduce bias selection. They might want to be matched with, let's say, the most senior diverse leader that might not always be the best match for them. But they will have the opportunity to select that person if they search for their name.

So ensuring that the pairing process and the matching algorithm are strong enough to ensure that people are sharing similar experiences or different experiences depending on what type of program you're looking for.

When it comes to the admin led pairing process, it can allow for admin to introduce more diverse matching. So you know based on the registration questionnaire what backgrounds people might be coming from, what their experiences might have been depending on what questions you asked. This would be helpful for you pairing strategically, making sure that people might be of the same tenure or completely different tenure.

It all depends on what your needs are, but you do have full say and you can come up with what you think is best for your employees and their progress and development within the workplace.

Of course there's better allocation of mentors. You won't have people getting double-chosen, triple-chosen, whatever the case is.

But some of the cons that go with that are the workload when it comes to doing an admin led pairing process. Of course the admin can't know everything about a mentee and mentor so you might get people asking for a new match, a new pairing. But those are always struggles that come with a mentorship program.

Another thing I want to share with you when it comes to the pairing types, there are a number of different ways that you can run mentorship. Here, what you're looking at are the traditional, peer, reverse and group mentoring aspects. I'm going to touch on each one and how that can have an impact on your D&I programs.

So traditional one-on-one mentorship, you have the ability to share personal challenges oneonone, get to know each other, have someone guide you in certain areas, specific examples. Different things like that. You can shadow people. It's great for relationship building, expanding your network.

But with D&I, what we'd expect to happen is that with the traditional one-on-one mentorship is, again, I've touched on this a couple times, but more tenured employees will pave the road, as you could say, for a less tenured employee, show them what obstacles they might incur when they're going up for a promotion or when they might be looking for a transition in jobs. What might happen? How do you overcome these certain obstacles that diverse backgrounds tend to face more than non-diverse backgrounds?

When it comes to peer mentorship, you could have people of similar tenure. They can enhance each other's growth, share best practices, navigate through tough circumstances. They're kind of on the same page. They might be experiencing similar issues at the same time. So it would be helpful for them to discuss this together, figure out why these things might be happening, what the best solution might be, how to overcome it and be able to thrive from that point on.

Reverse mentorship can be helpful in addressing age discrimination. That's been a huge issue. There are common stereotypes from both ends. The older generations, the more tenured employees at your company might depict millennials or some of the younger employees, less tenured employees as lazy. Then the millennials or the younger employees might depict some of the older generations as not so tech savvy, maybe not really know how to use their computers, whatever the case is.

This could help focus on technological issues, anything that might be useful for some of the more tenured employees to learn from, but could also form new relationships, kind of break down that barrier of those stereotypes because, at the end of the day, you're all working for the same company, you all have the same common goal. Being able to break down those barriers would have a huge impact in enhancing that employee engagement, enhancing productivity and steering away from some of the misconceptions that come with age discrimination.

Lastly, you could have group mentoring, or you could have it act as a resource group. People can collaborate on existing projects, discuss current societal issues, diversity of challenges, and have it as more of a group form so you have more input.

As we discussed earlier, the best way to enhance creativity or spark creativity is by having a group of diverse people in the same room. This could work as a problem-solving group or it could work as a group to just share your experiences, understand what one another have gone through and be able to help each other in any way possible. Of course sometimes more voices are better than fewer, so having that ability goes a long way.

Last thing I'm touching on here is the reporting. So, with the software, you will be able to collect more accurate reporting and analytics. But this is something you could collect through feedback forms as well if you're doing it internally.

Within our software, we provide a number of different reporting pages when it comes to diversity. You could see here, this is just one screenshot of what we have to offer.

But, again, if you want to collect different feedback maybe along the lines of the progress of your mentee, the advice of your mentor, those are some forms that you could send out on your own. Those could also include any discussions that have been helpful in combating diversity and inclusion issues within the workplace.

There are a number of different things that you can ask when it comes to reporting and analytics to ensure that you're getting data that you're hoping to see, maybe things that you could present to different stakeholders. What we typically suggest is three stages of checking in in order to collect honest feedback and so that you're not being too overbearing.

That concludes the webinar. I appreciate everyone taking a listen today, watching and hearing what I have to say. Hopefully, you were able to find some useful knowledge here that you could definitely implement into your mentorship program, whether it's internally with another vendor or with the Together platform.

Again, thank you all so much for your time and looking forward to hearing from you with any other questions or to continue the conversation. Bye.

All Webinars