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Blog April 12, 2024

Unlocking Knowledge Through CapTech’s Reverse Mentorship Program

Breaking away from traditional mentorship programs, CapTech’s Reverse Mentorship Program (RMP) allows junior employees to guide senior leaders through thought-provoking discussions centered around the company’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) efforts. This Q&A article with Aftab Thobani, a product analyst and one of the leaders of the RPM, spotlights the safe spaces CapTech is building within its employee community, the commitment to DIB initiatives, and the individual development that comes from these important experiences.

Q: How is the RMP structure different from other programs?

A: CapTech's RMP flips the traditional mentorship dynamic and offers a fresh perspective and mutual growth opportunities. In contrast to conventional mentorship programs, in which more senior employees mentor those with less experience, the RMP empowers junior employees to take the lead as mentors while senior leaders embrace the role of mentees. This reversal of roles encourages a dynamic exchange of ideas and experiences.

Q: How is the program connected to CapTech’s DIB efforts?

A: The structure of the program is rooted in CapTech’s DIB initiatives and the importance of fostering an environment in which CapTechers are encouraged to bring their whole selves to work and celebrate each other’s differences. Crafted to facilitate meaningful interactions and discussions, the six-month program is a gathering of mentors, mentees, and facilitators delving into topics in a safe and open forum. The curriculum centered around unconscious competence/incompetence, conscious competence/incompetence, reframing, and moving from allyship to accomplice allows participants to examine knowledge versus understanding, implicit bias, microaggressions, and more in their journey through the program.

Q: Do CapTechers need prior DIB or mentorship training to participate?

A: The only prerequisite to joining the program is that CapTechers bring a willingness to learn, openness to diverse perspectives, and respect for their colleague’s vulnerability. Program members share stories and viewpoints in a trusting space, without fear of judgment, and active participation encourages personal and professional growth and mutual respect.

Q: Has the program been embraced by CapTechers?

A: The success and popularity of the program have prompted efforts to expand into multiple cohorts. Aftab Thobani, a Sr. Consultant in Management Consulting, and RMP leader, notes that the program's impact extends beyond individual development, fostering a sense of accountability and allyship within the organization. Aftab, along with program leads, Giovanni Knight, Ashley Smith, and Nikki Shah, have been fortunate to see how program participants emerge with a heightened awareness of biases, greater comfort in navigating DIB conversations, and a commitment to driving meaningful change within CapTech and beyond. “Participating as a Mentor in CapTech’s RMP expanded my growth as a young professional while empowering me to foster more inclusive and empathetic actions both in my professional and personal life, with a heightened awareness of the lived experiences and perspectives of others,” said Rachel Emmons, Sr. Specialist, Talent Acquisition.