Inside PwC's reverse mentoring program

‘We want the mentors to feel as though they can ask challenging questions to the partners and to be clear about their purpose’

Inside PwC's reverse mentoring program

PwC launched its reverse mentoring program in 2014 as part of its diversity and inclusion drive.

The consulting firm now have 122 millennials mentoring 200 partners and directors, with the mentors meeting with their mentees once a month. Additionally, the mentors meet quarterly to talk through any issues.

Kalee Talvitie-Brown, head of people at PwC Consulting, said diversity is something that’s highly valued at PwC, particularly by the younger generation.

“We wanted to empower them, to make them feel that their viewpoint was valid and look at different perspectives,” added Talvitie-Brown.

Indeed, PwC also runs a training program for the mentors every January which looks at the dynamics between different generations, what their role will entail and “hierarchical boundaries”.

The idea is that age or seniority does not dictate who leads this type of relationship.

Talvitie-Brown said the relationship between the mentee and the mentor should be led by the mentor, rather than the senior-level executive.

“We want the mentors to feel as though they can ask challenging questions to the partners and to be clear about their purpose.”

Moreover, PwC also believe in creating a safe environment to share experiences.

Indeed, Krystal Allen is a millennial mentor and manager at PwC.

 “What I have enjoyed most is the ability to share my experience as a woman within the firm to challenge the partners’ views and ways of working, in a safe environment,” said Allen.

“We want to help shape our partners to appreciate and recognise differences, and the reverse mentoring programme gives you the space and ability to do just that.”

According to Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand, in the last decade or so, the traditional image of the mentor has been radically turned on its head.

“In the corporate world, many organisations are encouraging reverse mentoring, where senior-level executives are coached by millennials and young recruits,” said Deligiannis.

“This helps foster diversity, skills development, the idea of lifelong learning and an inclusive culture.”


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