We’ve been looking into where mentorship is headed in the coming years and have identified three trends: Intergenerational Mentorship (or ‘Reverse Mentoring’), Inclusive Mentorship, and Online Mentorship.
Trend 1: Intergenerational Mentorship (or ‘Reverse Mentoring’)
Intergenerational mentorship is when a younger person mentors an older person to offer a fresh perspective, help them enhance skills, and build new ideas. The older person benefits from being in the role of the student. These relationships are often reciprocal as the younger generation can access senior leadership and build communication and leadership skills.
Several large companies offer intergenerational mentorship programs. Older workers say it keeps them relevant and inspires them.
Technology, social media, and business approaches are areas where the younger generation can inspire the older generation.
Diversity and inclusion have also boosted the trend. The younger generation becomes racial justice educators to their older peers.
Some examples we found in our research:
A Nigerian woman in public relations held a Reverse Mentoring Workshop for senior public relations and communications professionals. This two-day workshop brought together 40 skilled female professionals from Indonesia, Namibia, Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda, England, the United States, and Nigeria. Mid-level yet high-ranking young people presented professional insights on brand building, trend identification, team management, and tech solutions in business communications. Click here to find out more.
In 2018, a University of Alberta Business student named Christina Luo reverse mentored an Alberta Treasury Bank executive named Lorne Rubis. Both benefited from the experience. Rubis said that Luo taught him to think outside the box and brought new ideas and approaches. You can read an article about their relationship here.
At interVivos, we believe the best mentorship relationships are when both parties gain something from it. Our programs provide space for reciprocal relationships between mentors and protégés. Check out a recent blog where a match talks about their reciprocal relationship.
In the coming months, interVivos will look closely at creating programs focused exclusively on creating stronger reciprocal relationships.
Trend 2: Inclusive Mentorship
Many mentorship programs recognize the need and importance of amplifying diverse voices and ensuring the success of all people regardless of their race, culture, ability, religion and sexual, or gender, orientation.
Diversity allows communities to be more creative, stronger, and unified. Diverse mentorship is important because BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+, and citizens with disabilities are generally underrepresented in leadership positions.
Studies have shown that diverse and inclusive workplaces are more creative, stronger, and more profitable. Diverse teams are less biased in decision-making and can solve problems more effectively than less diverse teams.
Being intentional about diversity, inclusion, and accessibility creates more opportunities for continued engagement and empowers a new generation of diverse leaders.
For example, Indigenous mentorship is vital in the professional development and retention of Indigenous people in health sciences and other major sectors. Gender-inclusive mentorship supports professional growth and interests and fosters success in different fields.
Some local mentorship programs include diversity and inclusion as a central aspect of their program planning:
In December 2020, the University of Alberta implemented the ‘Black youth mentorship and leadership program’ developed by an Edmonton nurse who attended a similar program in Toronto, which inspired her career path. “The BIPOC participants were engaged in building their networks and aiming high.”
The interVivos team is passionate about showcasing diverse mentors. Click here to read about why this is important to us.
Trend 3: Online Mentorship
interVivos, like many programs in Canada, has been embracing online or virtual mentorship programs and encouraging our matches to develop relationships this way. This move to virtual programs has brought challenges, successes, and new opportunities for mentoring. Check out this blog post about how interVivos launched a mentorship program during a pandemic.
Many mentorship programs in Edmonton, like us, have moved online. These are Ace Club (or Advertising Club) of Edmonton, Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC), MentorUp Alberta, and International Association of Business Communicators. Many plan to keep virtual components after the pandemic as this platform has many benefits.
Participants have said that using virtual platforms has allowed them to meet with their match more frequently and with greater ease.
Virtual mentorship also has the potential to reduce barriers. For instance, you don’t have to pay for parking or travel on transit to meet up. Instead, you can do it from the safety and comfort of your own home.
Given the nature of the pandemic, the next mentorship program we offer might be launched online. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) so you don’t miss out on your chance to register as a protégé. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please drop us an email: email@example.com.