Reverse mentoring is part of a business continuity plan.
That's how Avery M. Blank, J.D., principal and owner of Avery Blank Consulting in Philadelphia, looks at it.
"It's about survival," she said during a panel discussion, "Reverse Mentoring: New Voices, New Visions," on Oct. 19.
The panel was part of the 12th annual National Diversity Women's Business Leadership Conference at the Gaylord Resort at the National Harbor in Maryland.
One way to get buy-in for a reverse mentoring program is to sell the idea as a problem-solving strategy for your organization, Blank advised.
Reverse mentoring can take several forms—a tech-savvy younger employee mentoring a senior leader, for example, or a black woman mentoring a white man about diversity issues.
Katherine Haight, director of learning and development, design, and operations at Target Corp. in Minneapolis, said diversity is the goal of her company's reverse mentoring program.
"We're asking diversity champions at lower levels [of the company] to mentor [people at the] upper levels," said Haight, who attended the conference session.
Because the company's mentors initially lacked support about how to perform their roles, Haight started a group where mentors could share strategies on how to connect with leaders.
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