Today, recent graduates and professionals seeking to change their careers are entering the tech industry. As tech evolves with lightning speed, tech professionals need to continuously learn and build both their technical and leadership skills.
Mentorship from seasoned leaders can be the difference between their success and failure, and that translates to the success or failure of your company. We spoke with 3 panelists in a recent webinar to better understand the importance of mentorship and how to start a program at your tech company.
About the On-Demand Webinar
Professionals from GitLab, Collective - A DEI Lab, and Relativity joined Built In to discuss the ways mentorship can boost a team’s connection, help young talent develop their skills and let employees learn from people they may have never connected with outside of a mentor relationship.
Below is a recap of some of the major takeaways from the discussion, but if you’d like to hear even more from our incredible panelists, we suggest you check out the full recording here.
Mentoring Underrepresented Talent
During the webinar, Kellie Wagner from Collective - A DEI Lab shared a story about a friend who had a mentor of a different gender and ethnicity than her - and it ended up helping her in major ways. While having people to look up to that look like you is extremely important in having confidence in your career, sometimes learning from people who are unlike you can help you see your career growth in new and unique ways.
Mentorship Programs and Employer Brand
Sean Neilsen from Relativity shared that the mentees in his company’s program believe their mentor relationships are extremely valuable. He suggests taking that success and expanding it to the rest of the company, growing the confidence of employees and belief in the company.
Pilar Mejia from GitLab mentioned that everything comes down to culture: mentorship is where people trust each other, and if a company can listen to their employees in these one on one sessions and make changes for the better, everyone in the company benefits.
Setting Up a Mentorship Program
All three panelists gave suggestions on starting a mentorship program within your organization and what to look out for when beginning that process. Pilar Mejia mentioned that at GitLab, mentors reach out to be a part of the program and share what skillsets they have to share with young and new talent. But in order to become a mentor you also have to understand the time and emotional commitment it takes to mentor others. Kellie Wagner added that the mentor and mentee should come into the relationship with “mutual benefit,” both looking to help each other grow in a balanced way.
With all of the fantastic advice from these panelists, anybody who is not sold on starting a mentorship program of their own will be convinced after hearing what they have to share. These programs can help not only your individual team members expand their knowledge, but also feel closer to their coworkers and your company as a whole.