The 2nd Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Diwaniyah: Mentorship & Capacity Building for Mid- Level Female Executives


Dr. Arezou Harraf opened the event by emphasizing the importance of developing impactful initiatives through the series of Diwaniyas. The discussion explored how to synergize mentor-mentee relationships and identify skill gaps to ensure effective mentorship. Dr. Harraf highlighted the need for mentors who complement the mentee's skill set and strategic positioning within organizations.

Key Discussions and Insights:

  • Effective Mentorship Matching: Key speakers highlighted the importance of scientifically and objectively matching mentors and mentees based on career stages, goals, and skill needs. They discussed the use of assessments and psychometrics to ensure compatibility and success.
  • Structured Programs and Training: Participants emphasized the need for structured mentorship programs with defined timelines, regular meetings, and clear agendas. Training for both mentors and mentees was identified as crucial to clarify expectations and enhance the relationship.
  • Awareness and Accessibility: Increasing awareness of mentorship resources within organizations and forming partnerships with NGOs, embassies, and professional networks to expand access, especially for underrepresented groups, was strongly advocated.
  • Evaluation and Sustainability: The necessity of establishing metrics to measure the success of mentorship programs, continuous review, and iteration based on feedback was discussed to ensure long-term effectiveness.
  • Distinction Between Mentorship and Coaching: Clarifying the differences between mentorship and coaching, and providing guidance on when each is appropriate, was considered essential for effective career development.

Participants from the UNDP discussed the organization's mentorship programs with the private sector and the importance of value-added relationships. The U.S. Embassy’s representatives also shared the State Department’s approach to mentorship amidst the unique challenges of a hybrid work structure. Finally, private sector entities highlighted their flash mentorship program aimed at providing access to higher-level executives.

The discussion concluded with action items to enhance mentorship programs. Clear criteria for mentor-mentee matching based on career stage, goals, and skill needs should be established, with the potential implementation of assessments to ensure compatibility. Training sessions for both mentors and mentees are essential to clarify expectations and best practices. Structured programs with defined timelines and agendas will maintain focus and progress, supported by digital platforms for analytics and data collection. Increasing awareness of mentorship resources within organizations and through partnerships with NGOs, embassies, or professional networks will expand access, especially for underrepresented groups. Regular evaluation and iteration of mentorship programs based on feedback will ensure sustainability and effectiveness. Distinguishing between mentorship and coaching, and adapting programs to fit cultural and organizational contexts, are also crucial for success.

Dr. Harraf concluded the Diwaniya by reiterating the need for measurable initiatives and continuous improvement to ensure mentorship programs lead to tangible outcomes. The event underscored the importance of mentorship in career development and organizational growth, setting the stage for future impactful discussions.

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