Networking image - what is mentoring?

Hello everyone, I’m Louise from group 50. I’ve just finished my second secondment with Syngenta in Basel, which has been fantastic!

So let’s start; what is mentoring?

A mentor is someone who offers guidance and advice to someone who is in a less experienced position (the mentee). In the workplace, this is often utilised to support fresh talent to gain personal development while growing their networks. Mentorship programmes are a vital part of developing talent in a business or supporting diversity by offering those who are underrepresented in the workplace the opportunity to receive support.

Reverse Mentoring

In recent years, businesses are now starting to implement reverse mentoring opportunities, and I was recently fortunate to be a part of the IGD Reverse Mentorship programme.

IGD are an incredible company that champions inclusion and diversity within the workplace. Their reverse mentorship programme is a fantastic opportunity for top executives to be mentored by people from diverse backgrounds. This meant, despite being in the early stages of my career, I had the chance to mentor somebody with more experience and knowledge in this area.

It was a fantastic opportunity for both parties to explore their own beliefs, articulate challenges and issues they are facing and try and work out some positive way forward.

We explored issues that range from the tension between tokenism and positive discrimination to how to manage complaints and difficult conversations.

Our main takeaway, which we hope to implement going forward, is recognising that some people don’t have the tools or the confidence to put themselves forward for opportunities in the workplace. To level the playing field, mentorship programmes can be implemented.

Take a look at Louise’s video!