Academic journal article Organization Development Journal

Mentoring Driving Diversity

Academic journal article Organization Development Journal

Mentoring Driving Diversity

Article excerpt

Janssen Pharmaceutica has a strong belief in the power of mentoring. The Board Mentoring Program is a unique program, where all board members committed to be the mentor of a senior woman. This program resulted in key learning outcomes for the mentees, and is a building stone in a broad approach to create a diversity culture.

The Business Case for Creating a Mentoring Culture

Our Credo is our guiding principle. It helps us focus on growth for the long term. It's a constant reminder of our ethical principles and our responsibility to invest in people. Johnson and Johnson's (J&J) growth objectives are very ambitious - in spite of tough competition - we want to stay one of the top health care companies in the world. One of the major consequences of our growth plan for the next 5 years is that we will need new senior leaders - no less than 500 if we want to meet our growth goals. This is more than a doubling of the existing numbers.

In the meantime the environment and marketplace are changing rapidly, and this is probably the main driver to install mentoring. Our company is more and more becoming a global organization, competing in the global marketplace. "Time to market" is essential, a broad understanding and collaboration across business units are crucial. We have several examples of successful breakthrough medicines which are the result of combining the expertise of people across business segments. This gives us a unique position among major pharmaceutical companies. It's one of the burning issues.

We are used to an ad-hoc, event driven talent management approach. The need for a more structured approach is greater than ever. We need to share talent in order to develop it, aiming at creating a robust and diverse pipeline of future leaders. The J&J top leadership launched its 'leadership and growth' agenda, talent management being one of the major pillars with 4 building blocks: acquiring, assessing, developing and rewarding/compensating talent.

Another important concern of Johnson & Johnson is to achieve diversity. At Janssen Pharmaceutica the first focus is on gender diversity. It's part of Our Credo to "create equal opportunity for those qualified", and its part of our business case since our customers are very diversified and mostly women! J&J's Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI) is the driving force to support gender diversity. Its mission is to strengthen the leadership of J&J by creating the right environment for women to achieve their highest potential. A lot of people are actively involved: WLI taskforces focusing on different topics (e.g. internal & external networking, development & mentoring, gender-friendly HR) and WLI-champions (man/woman pairs who translate the WLI-mission and activities in their own business unit, and also communicate issues bottom-up).

For women having a mentor can be a great opportunity for growth and visibility. Mentoring can also create a greater understanding between men and women. Both can gain valuable insights from the other gender when it comes to topics like: career strategies, company politics, building networks, team management, handling conflicts, or balancing work and personal life. Mentoring can help women in breaking the "glass ceiling"...

The Power of Mentoring

Mentoring has an important place in developing talent. There's a broad spectrum of possible development actions: performance management and coaching, on-the-job experience (stretch assignments, job rotations...), education & training. To us mentoring is special in the sense that it happens in a non-hierarchical relationship, focusing on longer-term development goals. A mentor preferably is a leader from another division, site or J&J company. We have mentoring in different forms: company- or self-driven, mentor groups and programs with aspects of reverse mentoring.

For us this difference between a coach and a mentor is crucial. …

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