Mentoring and Diversity: An International Perspective

Mentoring up at Procter & Gamble USA

Reproduced by permission of Procter & Gamble

Introduction

Procter & Gamble s (P & G s) mentoring scheme within its marketing division aims to retain and advance female managers within the company. The scheme was initiated as part of the Advancement of Women Taskforce (AWTF) in response to a disproportionate lack of retention and advancement of female managers in the early 1990s.

Background

The stimulus for the project was a regretted loss survey that P & G carried out in the early 1990s. The survey results showed that promising young female managers were not leaving for typical reasons, such as promotion and better pay, but because they were not feeling valued in their job.

While a prime assignment, promotion or pay increase translates to men as a sign that the organization values their work, the same rewards don t always convey the same message to female managers. They want to be explicitly told of their value, to hear their contributions verbally acknowledged, to have their career options openly discussed

says Kristen Nostrand, a marketing director within P & G, who has had the responsibility of overseeing the mentoring up programme (Zielinski, 2000).

Mentoring up was developed as a tool to help educate upper management to these gender differences, thereby better meeting the needs of women. It gave them another opportunity to mix with the management and increase the amount of cross-gender communication taking place. This, in turn raised the ability of top mangers, both male...

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