Are Mentors Modeling Toxic ‘Ideal Worker’ Norms?

Mentoring is a missed opportunity if it merely socializes mentees into inequitable cultures. Instead, mentors can empower ambitious workers to challenge the status quo.

Mentoring programs are a popular and important tool to support employees in developing skills and advancing at work. At their best, they provide a way for senior managers to nurture promising employees, sometimes by advocating for them at key moments, and other times by helping them navigate the challenges of their roles.

But mentoring can also miss the mark. Senior managers can end up perpetuating noninclusive and harmful norms of an “ideal worker” instead of ...

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