Challenging the Stereotypical Roles of Mentorship : How reverse mentorship could be used as a tool to foster diversity within male-dominated organisations
Abstract: The purpose of this study has been to examine how reverse mentorship could be used as a tool to foster diversity within male-dominated organisations. This has been done by analysing male- dominated organisations’ perceptions and attitudes towards implementing reverse mentorship. Additionally, the authors investigated potential challenges and success factors with the reverse mentoring model along with the outcomes that the programme could generate. With the forthcoming generational shift, traditional mentorship has started to lose its relevance which has resulted in an increased demand for alternative mentoring models that could be used to utilise the diversity that the shift could contribute with. A qualitative research approach was applied, where the primary data collection process was initiated with ten semi-structured interviews with the male-dominated organisations: Volvo Cars, Volkswagen Group Sverige, and Spot On. Volkswagen Group Sverige represented the perspective of practical experience from their reverse mentoring programme. Volvo Cars and Spot On, on the other hand, contributed with their theoretical perceptions and understanding of the phenomena since they had not implemented the concept yet. The research recognised six themes where the authors could distinguish significant insights that enabled them to draw conclusions and extend the conceptual framework. In particular, the findings generated new perspectives of the challenges with reverse mentorship and how they could be translated into success factors if utilising them in an efficient manner. Consequently, a reverse mentoring programme could derive positive outcomes for the individual as well as for the organisation as a whole. The findings and analysis further indicated that the concept could be used as a tool to foster diversity, not only within male-dominated organisations but also within other organisations, as diversity is an everlasting topic.
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