Inside OVO’s Reverse Mentoring Programme
10 of our Belonging Network members are taking part in our ‘Reverse Mentoring’ Programme. Reverse mentoring does what it says on the tin! A member of our senior leadership team is the mentee and the mentor is a member of the networks who can share their lived experiences and challenges and help the mentee broaden their understanding of what it’s like to be part of a minority group at OVO.
To create a place where everyone belongs, we need our senior leaders to really understand, on an individual level, our people, their needs and what we need to do to ensure that their challenges are overcome.We need them to be part of creating the culture, policies and behaviours for a truly inclusive workplace.
Here some of our Pride in Ourselves mentors tell us why it’s important to them:
The programme breaks down the hierarchies between colleagues, and removes some of the invisible barriers that may prevent people from reaching out to understand experiences they have no knowledge of. I’ve been able to share my experiences as a queer person in an open and honest environment, where both individuals can learn and understand new perspectives. It’s been a brilliant experience and I’d love to see more of this happening!
Its a great progamme that has allowed me to give my unique and personal experience as a queer person to someone who holds a lot of influence to make a change for good. We both benefit from perspectives outside our normal work and social bubble. We’ve created a really safe and nurturing space where we can discuss anything positive and negative. I’m gaining a lot of personal development and an opportunity to reach an audience I wouldn’t normally get to speak to on a personal level about things that really matter to me.
It gives us a chance to remove the boundaries of a normal working environment and have some real human conversations, where the focus is on a subject that is very emotive for the mentor and normally relatively unknown to the mentee. It creates the ability to understand the subject matter from different perspectives and discuss the view points from where you stand in the world.
If the environment is open, honest and safe then you can make a real impact, gain new perspective, create more allies and the ability to impact change at a number of levels; personal, professional and social.