Jump to content
  • Jonathan Max
    Jonathan Max

    Sign in to follow this  

    Reverse Mentoring: Turning tradition on its head

      Time to read: 4min

    In 1995 the analogue world was set to change radically. At this point in time, a mere 16 million people were using the internet globally. Fast forward to today and the figures are somewhere around the 4 billion mark. Jack Welch, the former GE CEO, was able to envisage how the internet would transform business. He applied his visionary thinking and put GE’s youngest employees to work by getting them to teach 500 of their top executives how to use the internet.  As a result, he upskilled a generation of business people and he also popularised ‘reverse mentoring’.  

     

    Reverse mentoring is when the younger generation takes the lead role with the senior person as the mentee. It is an extremely valuable business method – especially during the times of disruption.  The internet, social media and emerging technologies such as AI and Fintech, and of course, the ever changing fabric of society as a whole have been in a constant state of flux for decades and it can often be hard to keep pace with change. 

     

    Benefits for Diversity & Inclusion

    As noted by Forbes; reverse mentoring can facilitate organisational goals such as increasing millennial retention, fostering inclusivity, and maintaining competitive advantage. According to a recent article by MarketWatch, reverse mentorships can help build a more inclusive workforce. 20% of millennials (ages 18 to 34) identify as LGBTQ, compared to 7% of Baby Boomers, and almost of half say that a diverse and inclusive workplace is an important factor in their job search, as well as work-life balance.

     

    Brenda Trenowden, CFA, global chair of the influential diversity group, the 30% Club, believes it helps organisations embrace inclusion. “The CEO has to really commit to drive change. If the CEO doesn’t commit to this as a business imperative, then it is hard to see anything changing. When senior leaders become involved in reverse mentoring, and really hear first-hand about some of the challenges that the more junior people face, that will really help.” So the writing is really on the wall here.

     

    Benefits for Client Relationships

    It’s imperative for senior management to be aware of and involved in new technologies and reverse mentoring provides the opportunity to do this. While there are benefits for both the older and younger generations within the company; what is just as interesting is the potential benefit to the customer or client as they are equally technically savvy.

     

    Reverse mentoring, which has still yet to be widely adopted, is today one of the single biggest opportunities for organisations to leverage knowledge and differentiate themselves – making themselves more attractive to customers.

     

    There are two main reasons for this:

    1. An inversion of the corporate age pyramid; we are entering a new era where the majority of the workforce will be made up of technically savvy, agile individuals who are typically hierarchy-adverse.
    2. The speed of business transformation and impact of technology on the fundamentals of the corporate landscape is disrupting old models at an unprecedented pace. 

     

    Turning Senior Management Into Early Adopters
    When it comes to technology, there is often a great fear of it among senior management. They will often shy away from group training where they might expose their lack of knowledge and experience to their tech savvy junior team members. This is damaging all round.

     

    More positively, the new generation of talent is made up of digital natives and they will want to influence the direction of the business they are working in, but they are also happy to share their knowledge and insight. Reverse mentoring is a great way of doing this and by putting people together into face to face meetings, it’s highly effective and creates a level of understanding between generations without anyone feeling vulnerable or at a disadvantage.  

     

    In an excellent article from Microsoft, “Reverse mentoring; How millennials are becoming the new mentors”, it is great to see how reverse mentoring can benefit both individuals involved across a range of topics (“learning to better collaborate and leverage each other’s strength”). If we want to avoid the ‘male, pale and stale’ stereotype, surely the investment management industry needs to take a leaf from this book?

     

    In conclusion, aside from technical skills and knowledge that can be passed from younger to older workers, there are significant cultural benefits that may be realised through reverse mentoring; be it in breaking down stereotypes between generations or just learning how best to communicate and engage with people who might know more than you!

     

    Please do visit our new Mentoring section where you can create a profile and find a mentor within the AlgoMe Community.
     

    • Like 4


    Sign in to follow this  

    • Share this    
    Share this  

    Member Feedback



    Recommended Comments

    Be the first to comment.

    Become a member to read more and join the discussion

    Members can read and contribute to discussions

    Apply

    Register now for free access.

    Create your account

    Sign in

    Already a member? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Related Content

    • Andy Milner
      By Andy Milner
      Much has been written about the benefits of a diverse and inclusive working environment, in terms of improving productivity, increasing staff retention and harnessing the advantages that come with cognitive diversity.
       
      However, the Investment Management Industry still suffers from a perception as one of the more old fashioned and less inclusive parts of the City - despite recent advances such as an increasing involvement in Pride.
       
      As with any minority group, it’s important to listen to the real-world experiences of LGBT+ professionals to gain a better understanding of the issues they face, and the establishment of InterInvest, a LGBT+ network for Investment Management, has been a significant step is bringing this community together.
       
      The risk of any such network is that it becomes an echo chamber where good ideas are generated but fail to penetrate outside of.
       
      Earlier in October InterInvest took a step towards moving the conversation into the wider industry, by holding the first of their “Employee Lifecycle Forum” events, aimed at bringing recruiters, HR managers and others into the room.
       
      By not only discussing the state of LGBT+ diversity in the industry (thanks to a presentation by Matt Cameron from LGBT Great), but by using the time to bring mixed groups together to brainstorm ideas, the event felt like it had a real possibility of kick starting changes in the industry.
       
      Here’s to bringing more people in on the discussion.
    • Andy Milner
      By Andy Milner
      An interesting takeaway from a recent report suggests that instead of a "glass ceiling" it could be a "broken rung" at the first step of the management ladder that is more responsible for holding back gender diversity.
       
       

       
      Well worth a read:
       
      Women in the Workplace 2019: The State of Women in Corporate America
      LEANIN.ORG More women are rising to senior leadership. But to get to gender, companies need to focus their efforts at the first step up to manager—the "broken rung."  
    • Rob Carter
      By Rob Carter
      The topic of diversity in Investment Management is hard to avoid and the spectrum is expanding. We’ve chosen to highlight some of the recent developments which are highlighting these various facets. Gender Pay Gap, LGBT, recruitment and Class Pay Gap
       
       
      New report on Diversity shows stasis on Gender Pay Gap
       
      The PwC and Diversity Project report released this week ‘Time to get serious: If diversity is a business imperative, treat it like one’ makes for depressing reading. According to its findings; of the five sectors reporting the biggest gender pay gaps in 2018, only investment management failed to record an overall improvement. In addition, the Gender Pay Gap in the Investment Management sector has deteriorated, leading to the second worst performance across 22 business sectors analysed. While Gender pay reporting has brought the lack of diversity within the investment management industry into sharp focus and added weight to the voices calling for faster change there is little movement.
       
      The report lists four key action points for the industry to tackle the issue head on:
      Align strategy for promoting diversity and inclusion with business priorities Executive teams must set the tone for the organisation and ensure diversity and inclusion are recognised as business priorities Tackle scepticism Be honest - tell it like it is  
       
      LGBT Great gathers momentum with ambassador role
       
      LGBT History Month this February was marked by the government pledge of £2.6million towards 12 organisations working to improve the lives of LGBT in the UK as part of the LGBT Action Plan. In tandem, LGBT Great, the global investment industry organisation working to develop all aspects of LGBT+ equality and inclusion within the workplace launched its #50for50 campaign which brings together 50 industry champions.
       
      It has just announced Colette Comerford’s appointment as Lead Role Model Ambassador. She will be working with LGBT Great’s Leadership Team to engage and inspire Role Models in the investment and savings industry across the globe. Anyone interested in joining the Role Model team should contact: info@lgbtgreat.com
       
       
      St James’s Place under fire for sexism in recruitment
       
      Incentives and freebies are often frowned up in the industry especially as there are rules and regulations around inducements. However when it comes to recruitment they can be very controversial. 

      According to a report by Investment Week, St James's Place (SJP) ‘has been accused of using dated stereotypes in its efforts to try and attract women to its academy’.

      SJP set up a 'Fashioning a New Career' recruitment event for women which included 45 minutes of browsing at Harvey Nichols, a 30-minute fashion and beauty presentation and complimentary mini beauty treatments.
       
      The article goes on to quote Catherine Morgan, Money Panel founder and qualified financial planner, who said to Investment week ‘if SJP truly wanted to attract more women into the sector, it should be talking about things such as flexible working and supporting women in their careers when they have a family. She described the evening as "dated" and "very stereotypical"’. 

       ISJ Independent Financial Planning Chartered financial planner Lena Patel was also quoted: "It's not all high heels and shoes, is it? [SJP advisers] are normal people that are doing their job. They are parents or mums that are working. It'll turn off so many women."
       
       
      The Investment Association Social Mobility Report

      In a newly released report, Tackling the Class Ceiling - Recognising potential over polish, the Investment Association throws down the gauntlet in a bid to highlight lack of social mobility in the industry and ways to tackle it.
       
      It starts by laying out the issues facing the industry and people within it today with some stark findings such as:
      Business as usual: Social and cultural capital are still in play in the industry. Access to social networks and family connections increase the chances of successfully landing a good job while employers may have a desire to recruit for familiarity or similarity Privilege pays more: A ‘class pay gap’ exists with people from privileged backgrounds working in finance reckoned to earn £17,500 a year more than people in the same industry from working class backgrounds Gender and race inequality: Black British women from working-class backgrounds are liable to earn an average of £20,000 less than white men from more privileged backgrounds  
      Read the full report here
       
    • Andy Milner
      By Andy Milner
      Are these two sides of the same coin? Is there importance in considering them separately?
       
      @Jonathan Max - was interested to reread your blog post. Any thoughts on this?
       
       
    • Jonathan Max
      By Jonathan Max
      When it comes to measuring diversity, organisations typically begin with data that illustrates progress with inherent diversity (i.e. traits people are both with)– recruiting slates comprised of minority candidates, ratios of females-to-males in leadership roles, Gender Pay Gap etc. 
       
      We also know that Diversity and innovation move together; this is more than just increasing numbers but by harnessing cognitive diversity; that is how people from different background and life experiences may look at a problem or situation.
       
      As business challenges become ever more complex; leveraging cognitive diversity can be a key differentiator for an organisation. With the key focus on ‘moving the dial’ (on whatever diversity metric) how much attention is being spent on creating the culture and mentality of openness to challenge and change; the very essence of what is needed to innovate?
       
      @Paul Aldrich @Andrew Pullman - any thoughts from your forthcoming book?
       
       
Debug
Debug info:
You may be asked to provide the below information to an AlgoMe administrator if you are facing any problems with the app:
appcms
modulepages
controllerpage
topics/forum ID66
page ID
PHP user agentCCBot/2.0 (https://commoncrawl.org/faq/)
ThemeAlgoMe v2.1.5
Mobile appNO
Member ID
×

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. If you continue, we’ll assume you are happy with this. For further information, see our Privacy Policy.