How Our Reverse Mentorship Program Fuels Inclusion, Diversity and Career Growth

At Danaher, we believe diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of our commitment to continuous improvement, and our Reverse Mentorship Program is helping lead the way by building a workplace where growth and understanding are a priority for everyone.

In 2019, Danaher’s LGBTQ + Friends Associate Resource Group (ARG) was formed, with the mission to create and cultivate an environment where LGBTQ+ community members can belong as their authentic selves and realize their full potential. One of the initiatives the ARG spearheaded is the Reverse Mentorship Program, in which group members team with leaders across Danaher operating companies, mentoring them on LGBTQ+ issues and how to be allies in the workplace.

The Reverse Mentorship Program deepens leaders’ knowledge of and empathy toward experiences different than their own. They finish the program with a better understanding of their responsibility to create and protect a culture that respects differences and similarities, both visible and not visible.

At Danaher, belonging isn’t a privilege for a few; this initiative is evolving our culture through every level, making sure we’re cultivating a workplace that is open and respectful to all without judgment.

Some leaders have expressed hesitation about discussing LGBTQ+ issues for fear of saying the wrong thing, but the Reverse Mentorship program provides an opportunity for them to better understand the issues and challenges facing LGBTQ+ associates. By cultivating an appreciation for cultural awareness, Danaher becomes a better place to work for everyone.

The opportunities for learning and open discussion that mentoring provides are fluid and countless, and the connections formed by mentors and mentees have improved morale and resulted in collegial relationships that last beyond the formal timeline of the mentor-mentee pairing. Nothing says, “We value your skills and contribution to the company” quite like the exchange of knowledge, inspiration and coaching between associates and senior leaders.

This program also offers a unique opportunity to accelerate our associates’ professional and personal growth. By working closely with people who provide career development support, associates gain experiences that increase their engagement at Danaher. They’re able to improve specific skills, such as establishing goals, preparing for supervising and management roles, building confidence and comfort around senior leaders and cultivating executive presence.

By creating the Reverse Mentorship program, we’re investing in our people—and making sure all feel included. We understand how important it is for everyone to be heard, teaming with colleagues at all levels as they develop their careers, becoming allies with those who have different perspectives and joining on a path toward continuous improvement.

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