Many talented AU staff members, and especially staff members of color in front-line roles, were feeling disconnected from the university and unsupported in their professional development.
Inspired by existing grassroots efforts in several campus departments, Mentoring Matters is a voluntary, unpaid pilot program that matches AU staff with mentors from across the university. This year-long program engages mentor-protégé teams in ongoing programming, targeted professional development, and job shadowing to build strong and lasting relationships that connect staff to each other and to the university.
We believe Mentoring Matters reflects AU’s strategic commitment to inclusive excellence by reinforcing the message that we will only thrive when every member of our community feels a sense of belonging and satisfaction supported through respectful, authentic and engaged relationships.
In its second pilot year, Mentoring Matters has 93 active participants and 40 alumni. Alumni indicate the program helped them gain concrete job skills that, for some, directly supported their successful professional advancement at AU. Equally importantly, mentors and protegees alike describe how the program has helped them feel more connected to AU and to each other.
The CEO Action for Inclusion pledge is an opportunity for American University to join with other university and corporate leaders in affirming our commitment to inclusive excellence. We are all on a shared journey of learning how to create the diverse, equitable, and truly inclusive organizations that are so vital in our changing world. I am excited about building the teamwork, support, and accountability necessary to lead for change.