Reverse mentoring, accompanied by a robust D&I Strategy, is a key tool towards developing a more inclusive environment. Real Estate Balance is offering members a unique opportunity to be part of our first reverse speed mentoring event.
Reverse mentoring differs from traditional mentoring in that, rather than the mentor providing support and guidance for an individual’s career aspirations, reverse mentoring strives to promote intergenerational collaboration and understanding and to provide underrepresented groups with the opportunity for face-to-face time with senior leaders, sharing their lived experience and feedback to assist the seniors in becoming more inclusive leaders.
In a role reversal, reverse mentoring has evolved to comprise senior (usually older) leaders being mentored by a more junior (usually younger and often from an underrepresented group) professional at an earlier stage in their career who, from a diversity and inclusion perspective, is different from them in some way, and therefore experiences their career differently.
Benefits for senior mentees:
- Enables mentees, through the open and honest feedback shared by their mentor, to become agents for effective change within their organisation, challenging outdated practices;
- Provides a practical opportunity for leadership to lead by example to direct culture change;
- Improves confidence in understanding and discussing the issues by building awareness of the experiences of, and barriers faced by, underrepresented groups;
- Develops the ability to lead diverse teams and builds inclusive leadership competencies.
Benefits for junior mentors:
- Increases visibility as role models to other underrepresented groups in the industry;
- Broadens their network by building mutually beneficial relationships with senior leaders;
- Provides mentors with a unique insight into leadership roles.
Whilst an organisational reverse mentoring programme should be a long-term initiative with relationships between the mentor and mentee built over time, the intended outcome of the Real Estate Balance reverse speed mentoring event is to provide mentees with a variety of perspectives in a short amount of time and for them to be part of a knowledge sharing experience without the time commitment of formal mentoring. In this way, we hope that all participants will get a flavour of the value of reverse mentoring as an important tool in creating a more inclusive environment and will return with the intention of instigating a reverse mentoring programme in their own organisation.
Who should participate?
Mentees should have a deep curiosity about others, be keen to understand the experiences of their mentors and be in a position to enact change within their organisation. The mentee is typically someone who is thinking about strategy and resourcing and moving to a more inclusive environment and/or wishes to build and retain a more diverse team and strengthen their inclusive leadership competencies. The mentee will want to interrogate their company D&I policy or strategy to ensure it is effective in achieving its aims. Mentees will be required to provide a ‘state of D&I in the business’ statement and what organisational ‘gap’ in understanding, representation or awareness they are hoping to gain insights on from their mentors.
Mentors should typically be at a more junior level in their career and be willing to share their experiences freely with their mentors. They should feel confident in being open, honest and frank in their feedback to the mentee on their D&I policies or strategies and want to put forward their unique perspective. Mentors should be keen to be a visible role model, have a desire to build mutually beneficial relationships with senior leaders and be curious to gain insight into, and a greater understanding of, leadership roles.