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Mentoring is the Answer to Diversity Initiatives in your Organization


ever before in the history of mankind has the world been more mobile.

People are constantly moving, in search of better opportunities. International relo- cations, for improved employment oppor- tunities are also more common. As a re- sult, the workplace is becoming more diverse every day; and, it’s important to see these differences as an asset, not a li- ability. Thus, mentoring is the answer to diversity initiatives in your organization.

Mentoring Enhances Workplace Diversity

When asked to consider the topic of workplace diversity, most people first think of race and religious beliefs. But, it’s much more than the differences in skin color or an individual’s views regarding a higher power. People are different in so many ways, including:

n Culture n Gender n Personal Interests n Learning Styles n Communication Skills n Personal Values Teaching people to accept one another,

and utilize workplace diversity is what di- versity initiatives are all about; and men- toring is the answer to creating a solid workforce.

Consider the

following scenario: Jane has been working for company X

for 10 years. Because of her experience, she is chosen to mentor a new employee. Having 3 children of her own, she is the motherly sort, but she also knows how to get the job done. She attends church regu- larly and frequently volunteers for com- munity events. Jane’s coworkers describe her as very loyal and straight-laced. Jane has been assigned to mentor Su-

san who appears different in every con- ceivable way. She is more of a loner, with a slight chip on her shoulder. She is not very trusting of people, because no one in her life has earned that privilege. She has multi-colored hair, likes heavy metal mu- sic, and has never held a job for more than a year.

Amazingly, as Jane mentors Susan,

subtle changes begin to take place. Over time, Susan learns that some people are worthy or trust and respect. Jane always seems to be there, when she needs some- thing or has a question. On the other hand, Jane learns that Susan is a hard worker, a fast learner, and eager to find a place to belong. A sense of camaraderie and friendship has developed between two people that normal would have avoided one another in the past. Of course, Jane and Susan are totally

fictitious. But, the example is meant to describe how people so different can ben- efit from mentoring and managing diver- sity in the workplace.


The Upside to Managing Diversity in the Workplace

Managing diversity in the workplace

benefits both the employees and the man- agement. Without acceptance of differ- ences, within the office, it’s almost impos- sible to get things done and grow a business. Everyone is only concerned about his/her position, with little thought to how each job contributes to the success of any organization. However, when a mentoring program

is instituted, it brings about many positive changes: n Employees feel valued n Employees learn from one another n Strengths are discovered and better

utilized n Employees bond and work together for a common goal n Management saves on the cost of training new employees n Management prepares employees for advancement n The organization is more productive and profitable n Employee turnaround is slowed In short, mentoring creates a more pos-

itive environment in the workplace. Em- ployees learn from one another and may discover new ways to approach old prob- lems. Management gains a more loyal and cohesive group of workers, while sav- ing money on the cost of education and training. Workplace diversity becomes an asset to the productivity and growth of an organization.

Copyright, Cecile Peterkin. All Rights Reserved. Cecile Peterkin - About the Author:

Cecile Peterkin, Certified Career Coach, Corporate Mentor and Speaker, helps businesses leverage the mind-share of retiring Baby Boomers and senior managers, and transfer it to the next generation of leaders with her ProMentoring program.The program enables rising leaders to garner first hand business knowledge and expertise through the development of a rewarding one-on-one relationship.For more information visit Source:


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