Mentoring can be a valuable tool for young and emerging executives, but just as important and often overlooked are reverse mentoring schemes – engaging existing leaders with issues and practices related to diversity and inclusion from those colleagues who are directly affected by such policies. BNY Mellon, one of OUTstanding’s membership firms, takes us through their internal reverse mentoring programme, demonstrating the value such initiatives can have across a business.
Reverse mentoring at BNY Mellon
BNY Mellon is an investments company providing investment management; investment services and wealth management that help institutions and individuals succeed in markets all over the world.
Diversity alone is not enough. Harnessing the power of diversity and creating a culture of inclusion and innovation takes a sophisticated, nuanced kind of leadership. We’re proud to have that type of leadership at BNY Mellon. We firmly believe that a great idea can come from anyone. Our reverse mentoring program is sponsored by the six BNY Mellon Employee Resource Groups (ERG) as part of their mission to build a more diverse and welcoming workplace. Recently, Prism, our LGBTQA Employee Resource Group (ERG) successfully piloted one such reverse mentoring program.
What is reverse mentoring?
Reverse mentoring is a program in which senior leaders are mentored by emerging leaders in order to advance their technical and leadership skills. Reverse mentoring provides both mentor and mentee with a more diverse perspective, crossing cultural and generational lines.
How does it work?
In partnership with an external facilitator, a cross-ERG working group conducted a briefing session with the sixteen members of the EMEA Chairman’s Forum. Throughout the matching process, all communications and guides were managed by the ERGs with support from human resources.
The informal reverse mentoring relationship ran for nine months. At the completion of the session, a facilitated feedback session was held.
What are the benefits?
For mentors, the programme provides an opportunity to share their diverse perspective with senior leaders, offering innovative ideas that can make a real difference. It also helps them to develop soft skills across areas such as communication and executive presence, while expanding their senior management network, confidence and job satisfaction.
For mentees, the programme provides access to completely fresh perspectives which can help to inspire innovation. Mentees can also use the relationship to keep up to date on employee attitudes and views, while it can also help retain talented young team members.
Our next steps
The response to the scheme has been overwhelmingly positive. Each mentee felt they had personally benefited and that the programme has already acted as a catalyst for change.
The ERG working group is looking to expand the offering to the top 100 senior managers within the region. Coupled with this, the ERGs and Human Resources are scoping out the feasibility of enhancing their talent management system to accommodate a mentoring application so that the administrative matching process can be automated, allowing ERGs to work on their next great idea!
Hear from a Mentor
“Even if you think that your knowledge or insights may not be valuable to the mentee, one thing that I have learnt from the programme is that every person is different and if they work in a different site, a different business line or are at a different level in there career, there are things that you see in a daily basis that can aid a senior leader” Mentor, Poole
The deadline for members to nominate mentors and mentees is the 22nd of September, and be sure to RSVP to our 17th of October mentoring event, The Development Journey in a Mentoring Partnership here: http://bit.ly/2wEASF4