Although our company has long-standing mentoring programs for engineers and accountants, we were missing an organized program for employees in all other disciplines.
Our Employee Diversity & Inclusion Council developed the “M-Power” mentoring program in 2011. It is a mentorship program open to full-time employees, which matches mentors and mentees internally across disciplines and business units. The participants follow a robust guidebook, which contains six agendas on a variety of topics, including diversity and inclusion, our diverse community, goal-setting, networking, and knowledge sharing. Group events bring all participants together throughout the eight-month term of the program and include a graduation at the end. Some of the special events include a “speed mentoring” activity featuring the opportunity to ask rapid-fire questions to our senior leaders and a Junior Achievement day spent teaching financial basics to students from Title 1 high schools.
The M-Power program has grown every year – from our pilot program, which included 25 employees, to our fourth and most recent class, which had 145 employees. We now have almost 500 graduates. The latest survey showed a program satisfaction rate of 96% and we are beginning to track career outcomes for participants.
When it comes to increasing diversity and inclusion, I don’t think there is a single path to success. A common thread, however, is a commitment that never ends – one that becomes embedded in an organization’s unique culture.