Subscribe to the monthly ODEP Business Sense Newsletter

Business Sense Banner

Strengthening Inclusion Through Workplace Mentoring

Often, the key to success is a willingness to learn from others. When asked to describe their career journeys, most leaders credit someone who helped them get their start, learn the ropes, and develop and advance in their profession.

This month, we celebrate the power of such mentors during National Mentoring Month. Held each January annually, this nationwide campaign educates about the importance of mentoring to America’s youth and future leaders.

While mentoring relationships can occur in various contexts, career mentoring in particular can promote success for young people new to the workforce. But young workers aren’t the only ones who benefit from mentoring. It can also benefit employers by attracting talent, boosting retention and fostering an inclusive workplace culture.

Mentoring is increasingly viewed as a strategy for expanding the workforce inclusion of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. A growing body of research indicates that it is especially useful in facilitating workplace success for young people with disabilities during their early years with an organization.

In this spirit, the ODEP-funded Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) offers various “how to” resources to help employers of all sizes reap the benefits of inclusive workplace mentoring. Among these is a fact sheet on Mentoring as a Disability Inclusion Strategy and a comprehensive Workplace Mentoring Playbook. Small business owners can also learn about mentoring opportunities in their communities—all year round—on