New Directions for MentoringPosted On May 12, 2021
The Ann Krcik Professional Mentoring Program is a cross-industry DEI mentoring initiative advancing inclusive, equitable, and diverse workplaces by developing inclusive leaders, supporting professional advancement, and amplifying the organizational impact of workplace DEI.
Our program is named to honor the life and legacy of Camber Outdoors’ co-founder, Ann Krcik. Ann believed the broad inclusion of individuals and industry leaders drove smart and effective business decisions. Through her own participation in mentoring, she enabled deeper engagement and stronger professional development of diverse leaders across the Outdoor Recreation Economy.
The program was founded in order to create professional development support systems for women. In the midst of our national reckoning with systemic racism and other forms of inequality and injustice, we have evolved our program to have a deeper emphasis on all facets of workplace diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). As a result of this shift, we received an unprecedented number of applications for 2021 class, a 400% increase from our historical average.. After a long judging process, the 2021 class stands now stands 104 mentoring pairs strong (208 participants). We can only imagine Ann’s pride!
In these incredibly challenging COVID times, mentoring is a crucial support as our participants navigate a variety of workplace changes. For our 2020 class, mentoring served as a professional anchor in the midst of particularly challenging times. Input from this class has informed the ways we have restructured the mentoring journey for this year.
New goals include:
- Placing deeper emphasis on workplace DEI in order to empower our program participants with the best tools and resources to support their professional growth and become a DEI champion equipped to foster inclusive, equitable, and diverse workplaces.
- Addressing member needs that are uniquely tailored to navigate the pressing challenges of this point in time. Examples include tools to support:
- The impact of the pandemic on professional development, including resources focused on “Creating an Inclusive and Productive Virtual Workplace.”
- The need for education on systemic racism and values-led workplaces, including resources focused on “Allyship Literacy.”
- Building a strong mentor-mentee relationship more quickly through the Insights Discovery Survey tool and workshops that will kick-start the mentoring relationship and trust with a shared language and valuable insights.
- Nurturing the social cohesive fabric among mentees and across all mentees and all mentors.