EDI General Practices in Mentorship

EDI in the Workplace

Framework curated by Nicolle Jaramillo, Research Analyst at MindFrame Connect

According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company on workplace inclusion, nearly 84 percent of participants have experienced microaggressions, highlighting the significance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) as a vital framework for organizations working with individuals of diverse characteristics, backgrounds, preferences, and perspectives [1]. EDI encompasses three fundamental pillars:  

• Equity: Ensuring fair and just treatment for all individuals

• Diversity: Representing people with a wide range of characteristics, including race, age, ethnicity, ability, gender, and sexualorientation as well as its intersectionality.

• Inclusion: Creating a welcoming environment where individuals feel valued, respected, and supported, empowering them to make meaningful contributions.

Recent studies have expanded on these pillars, introducing the concept of “belonging” to foster acceptance and identity within a group [2] and the concept of“accessibility,” highlighting the commitment to ensure that everyone can participate fully in all spheres, programs, and activities. [4]

The relationship between EDI and mentorship is profound, as these practices play a crucial role in the success of any mentor-mentee relationship. They are essential tools to address challenges such as biases, lack of confidence, isolation, imposter syndrome, and more [3]. Additionally, mentorship plays a dual role in fostering EDI; it inspires others to promote these practices and enhances the confidence of underrepresented groups, facilitating their career development [4].

Engaging in EDI practices yields several benefits, including increased mentor and mentee satisfaction [2]. However, there are also barriers that organizations may encounter:

• Lack of shared identity factors between mentor and mentee [2]: Differences in cultural background, experiences, or personal characteristics may lead to misunderstandings, difficulties in communication, or a lack of relatability.Nonetheless, research has shown that even without shared identity factors,demonstrating humility and a willingness to acquire cultural knowledge from thementor can effectively address these challenges [2].  

• Lack of competence [2]: The ability of mentors and mentees to effectively navigate the complexities of EDI.It may lead to well-intentioned but ineffective guidance or a reluctance to address EDI-related challenges.

• Lack of time [2]: Time constraints to create and foster open discussions about sensitive topics regarding EDI.

• Culture-blindness occurs when cultural differences are not acknowledged nor discussed, potentially leading to microaggressions [2].

To promote EDI effectively, organizations and individuals can adopt the following practices:

• Create a “Brave Space”

Where cultural and power differences are acknowledged and discussed, even if it’s initially uncomfortable. It requires honesty and accountability [2].

• Cultural Awareness

Engaging in self-reflection to explore personal biases, stereotypes, values, and beliefs and how they influence relationships with others [2].

• Cultural Knowledge

Understanding the values and beliefs of others through research and meaningful connections with different people [2]. It requires an open-minded approach to hearing from others without prejudice and judgment [5].

• Cultural Sensitivity

Integrating knowledge gained from others to facilitate effective trust and communication between individuals from diverse backgrounds [2].

• Cultural Competence

Synthesizing and applying awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity in day-to-day interactions [2].

• Provide support and encouragement

It would help mentees overcome barriers. Additionally, enhance the sense of belonging within your organization [5].

Do you want to explore more?

Take a look at MindFrame Connect's EDI Resources

Explore trends in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Listen to one (or more) of these TedTalks:

Bridging Cultural Differences

Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds

How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace


[1] McKinsey & Company. (2022). What is diversity, equity, and inclusion? https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-is-diversity-equity-and-inclusion

[2] Chao, D., Badwan, M., & Briceño, E. M.(2022). ADDRESSING diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in mentorship relationships. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 44(5-6), 420-440.

[3] Lewis, V., Martina, C. A., McDermott, M.P., Trief, P. M., Goodman, S. R., Morse, G. D., LaGuardia, J. G., Sharp, D.,& Ryan, R. M. (2016). A randomized controlled trial of mentoring interventions for underrepresented minorities. Academic Medicine, 91(7),994–1001. https://doi.org/10.1097/acm.0000000000001056

[4] Mullin, A. E., Coe, I. R., Gooden, E. A.,Tunde-Byass, M., & Wiley, R. E. (2021). Inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility: From organizational responsibility to leadership competency. Healthcare Management Forum, 34(6), 311–315.https://doi.org/10.1177/08404704211038232

[5] Carruthers, R. (2021, November 24). Starta diversity and inclusion mentorship program: A guide: Together mentoring software. Together Platform.https://www.togetherplatform.com/blog/diversity-mentoring-programs

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