Last month, President Barack Obama proclaimed January National Mentoring Month. President Obama noted that:
By setting a positive example and sharing their time, knowledge, and experience, mentors play an essential role in preparing our Nation’s youth for a bright future… at school and at home, in the library and on the field, mentors lift our youth toward their goals and ambitions.
Mentors not only make a big impact in the lives of young students, they also play an important role in the professional world. Among youth, a famous study (PDF) of the Big Brother, Big Sister program showed that youth with mentors are:
• 46% less likely to begin using drugs
• 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
• 52% less likely to skip school
• 32% less likely to hit someone
• 37% less likely to lie to a parent
A study by Triple Creek, a mentoring software company, (PDF) of mentoring in the corporate world highlights specific advantages in four categories of business:
- 77% of companies report that mentoring programs were effective in increasing retention
- Turnover reductions of 20% with mentoring
- 35% of employees who do not receive regular mentoring look for another job within 12 months
- 75% of executives point to mentoring as playing a key role in their careers
- 70% of women of color who had a mentor received a promotion
- The more mentors a woman had, the faster she moved up the corporate ladder
- Managerial productivity increased by 88% when mentoring was involved, vs. only a 24% increase with training alone
- 95% of mentoring participants said the experience motivated them to do their very best
- “The big advantage is mentoring helps employees contribute faster. They understand how to get things done in the system” says Director of Diversity and Staffing Services for Texas Instruments, Tegwin Pulley
4. Personal and Professional Development
- More than 60% of college and graduate students listed mentoring as a criterion for selecting and employer after graduation
- 35% of CFOs said the single greatest benefit of working with a mentor was having a confidant and advisor
- Professionals who have had mentors earn between $5,610 and $22,450 more annually than those who have not
Whether for youth or business, mentors’ insight, advice, support and direction can be a comfort and a compass for both the inexperienced and the ambitious.
If you don’t have a mentor but would like one, or if you are looking for ways to serve in your community as a mentor, please check out www.Serve.gov/Mentor.