Diversity Mentoring & Networking
We explore the importance of diversity in the workplace, diversity mentoring and professional networking, as well as looking at the impacts on individuals and organisations.
Mentoring is a key part to both individual professional growth and also company and organisational growth too. When conducted the right way, mentoring can be an empowering experience for both the mentor and the mentee. Furthermore, it can have a profound effect on professional productivity and boost general employee satisfaction within a company or organisation. And, as we are becoming increasingly aware, diversity has a big part to play in furthering employee satisfaction and productivity. Companies should all be fully aware, by now, of just how vital diversity is in the workplace. Whether it's LGBT+ diversity, gender, race, age or cultural equality - it's all important! At PushFar, we are developing the ultimate mentoring and networking tool for students and professionals to help with career progression, mentor matching and business networking. A big part of what we are developing relates to diversity and equality. We believe that all individuals at every stage in their professional career, should have easy access to mentoring and be able to share their knowledge, experience and insight with others too. At present, only those individuals fortunate enough to work for a larger organisation are likely to have access to mentoring. At the same time, those who were privileged enough to go to university where alumni mentoring programmes exist, have the additional benefit to accessibility of mentoring there. PushFar aims to open mentoring to anyone and everyone who feels they would benefit from it.
But diversity in mentoring goes further than simply having access to a mentor or being able to mentor others. For individuals who feel they are in a minority group, there are often questions that they have, where they would benefit from speaking to someone who has experienced similar challenges in their own career. Take LGBT+ professionals, for example. A question that a number of students, graduates and job seekers have is 'Should I disclose my sexuality in the application process?'. There's not necessarily a right or wrong answer here but what can be a huge help is speaking about this with an LGBT professional mentor either within the firm that an individual is applying to join or someone else within the industry who can advise accordingly. Needless to say, we would always encourage individuals to be as open as they feel comfortable being about themselves, their background, their cultures, sexuality and diversity. The process to finding a mentor you can relate to and who understands the diversity and minority challenges you might face is not always easy. Fortunately, there are now a lot of minority professional networks and groups individuals can join. Within existing companies there are also diversity groups and often diversity officers too. At colleges and universities there are diversity groups too. These are a great place to start looking for mentoring and offer your mentoring services to others! When PushFar launches early in 2019, we'll be putting diversity and equality at the forefront of what we do, and we are beginning to form partnerships with some fantastic diversity groups already.