Group Mentoring for Emerging Culturally Diverse Leaders

Group Mentoring for Emerging Culturally Diverse Leaders

by Felicity Menzies
Compared with members of the culturally dominant group, culturally diverse talent face unique challenges in their journey to leadership.
Cultural diversity enhances the potential for language and other communication barriers and heightens the risk of ambiguity, value conflicts, and reasoning and decision-making differences. Also, cultural stereotypes and bias can threaten rapport, stifle the exchange of information and ideas, hamper career progression, and are linked to workplace bullying and harassment. Those challenges can impact employee well-being and engagement.
Mentoring is an established technique for empowering emerging culturally diverse leaders to manage those challenges.

Business Case for Cultural Diversity

The impact of cultural diversity on organisational outcomes may be magnified relative to other sources of diversity.

Learn more

Missing: Leaders of Asian Descent

It’s the Asian century but leadership in Australia suggests otherwise. Only 1.9 per cent of senior executives in ASX 200 listed companies have Asian cultural origins despite over 9 per cent of Australian workers having been born in Asia.

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The Value in Mentoring

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Understanding Mentoring

Mentoring involves the offering of advice, information, and guidance by a person with useful experience, skills or expertise (mentors) for another individual’s personal and professional development (mentees).

How Mentoring Differs From Other Professional Relationships

Mentors act as trusted advisers to the mentee who take responsibility for their own professional development. Executive coaching, in contrast, focuses on achieving specific development goals and the coach may direct the learning and instruction to achieve these. In a manager-subordinate relationship, the manager is a direct and critical stakeholder in the employee’s performance, development, appraisal, and promotion.
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Mentoring and Leadership Development

In a study by the Wharton School of Business, 25 percent of employees in a test group who took part in the company’s mentoring program had a salary grade change, compared with just five percent of non-participants. Mentees were promoted five times more often than those not in the program.

The Value of Group Mentoring For Emerging Culturally Diverse Leaders

Benefits that flow to emerging culturally diverse leaders from group mentoring include:
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Peer Support

Provides a supportive group environment to explore challenges and solutions for achieving personal and professional goals as an emerging culturally diverse leader.


Offers an opportunity to gain insight and understanding into one’s own and other’s perceptions of their value, abilities, and potential.

Personal & Professional Growth

Supports the acquisition of deeper and more varied perspectives from the group and from experienced mentors.

Collaborative Effectiveness

Strengthens improved management of various stakeholder interests.

Goal Clarity and Accountability

Develops greater clarity of career goals through the articulation of the participant’s ambitions and career aspirations, as well as encouraging personal accountability for career development.

Networking and Influencing Skills

Builds skills for more effective relationships across diverse groups and levels of authority in the organisation. Participants develop skills for nurturing and harnessing professional networks, identifying role-models and securing informal mentors.


Improves individual effectiveness, develops leadership competencies and delivers a positive return on investment for the organisation.

Organisational Benefits

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Studies have shown that members from culturally diverse backgrounds with formal mentors are more likely to achieve career success. Because members of cultural minority groups face diversity-related barriers in accessing informal networks and mentors, formal mentoring is a critical initiative for empowering emerging culturally diverse leaders.

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36346868 - close up portrait of a friendly young businessman smiling


Because the presence or absence of a supportive mentorship program is a critical driver of commitment for culturally diverse talent, a formal mentoring program for emerging culturally diverse leaders results in a significant increase in the retention of top talent by the organisation.

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Formal mentoring is one of the best methods of communicating to your emerging culturally diverse leaders that you value their contribution and will support them in their career aspirations. This can increase employee engagement over time.

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Program Outline


Each mentoring session addresses a predefined challenge facing emerging culturally diverse leaders in their progression to executive roles.

Customised Solutions

For clients seeking to address issues outside of our recommended modules, our experts will work with you to design and deliver customised modules.

The best outcomes are achieved when session content aligns with the most pressing concerns and needs of the participants. In this regard, engagement surveys may be useful for identifying critical issues for this cohort of employees.

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Managing Cultural Bias


  • The Nature & Origin of Bias
  • Types of Cultural Bias
  • Cultural Bias and Role & Leader Stereotypes
  • Techniques for Responding to Bias
  • Supporting Culturally Diverse Peers

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Network Intelligence


  • The Value of Networks
  • Corporate Politics
  • Building a Strong Professional Network
  • Nurturing Your Network
  • Harnessing Your Network

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Culture, Work Preferences & Leadership Styles


  • Understanding Your Own and Other’s Cultural Values
  • Cultural Values and Work Preferences (Decision-Making, Conflict Resolution, Problem-Solving, Feedback etc).
  • Cultural Differences in Leadership Styles

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Image & Impact


  • Building an Authentic Personal Brand
  • Executive Presence in Australian Work Settings
  • Finding Your Voice and Communicating with Confidence
  • Effective Presentation Skills
  • Social Media Influence

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Developing Resilience


  • Covering and Cultural Dissonance
  • Recognising Your Value and Owning Your Achievements
  • Leveraging Your Character Strengths
  • Mindset Theory and Developing a Growth Mindset
  • The Importance of Role Models

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Interpersonal Effectiveness


  • Introduction to the Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Model
  • Developing the Four CQ Competencies
  • Influencing Across Cultures

Learn more about CQ

Meet Your Mentor

Felicity Menzies

As a senior executive with over 15 years experience in global markets and demonstrable thought leadership in cultural intelligence and diversity and inclusion more broadly, it is with great enthusiasm that I take on the role of your trusted adviser.

My interest in the role of culture in business began during my tenure as Head of Private Bank, Westpac, in Singapore. There, I led a team of culturally diverse bankers serving a multinational client base and learned firsthand how cultural intelligence is a nececssary component of business success. My lived experiences of learning to navigate cultural differences and to lead effectively in a novel cultural setting as a cultural minority mean that I have walked in your shoes.

After a successful corporate career, most recently as CEO of executive coaching and mentoring firm, Stephenson Mansell Group (SMG), I now work with individuals, workgroups and organisations to develop the capabilities necessary to improve effectiveness in culturally diverse settings. I am particularly passionate about fostering cultural inclusion in Australian companies to drive greater cultural diversity at senior leadership.

I look forward to working with you,



Outcomes for emerging culturally diverse leaders from Include-Empower.Com’s group mentoring program include:
  • Articulation of ambition and career aspirations
  • Personal accountability for career development
  • Access to professional networks and role models
  • Improved leadership capability in diverse settings
  • Enhanced self-awareness
  • Improved ability to influence and negotiate

High potential emerging culturally diverse leaders with more than 5 years experience in a professional role.

Recommended group size is 6-10 participants.

We recommend a minimum of three x 2.5-hour sessions for each group of ten participants over 4-6 months. For clients seeking a more intensive program, we recommend a program of six x 2.5-hour sessions over 6-12 months.

Participants would complete the Cultural Values Profile as important input into the program.

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Please contact us for details of our fee structure.