Feature Model Practice Women’s Network - EMPOWER Mentoring Program


CBRE, Inc.
Industry: Real Estate

Principle IV: Management & Governance

2014 Challenge Submission

The CBRE Women’s Network is an organization started in 2000 by women for everyone that promotes inclusiveness and individuality both internally and externally. It brings together a cross section of more than 2,000 individuals from throughout the company who are not only united in a common set of ideals—mentoring, professional development, personal enrichment and networking—but also in making CBRE the best place to work, not just for women, but for everyone.

“My experience with the organization has created and matured relationships with my colleagues and granted me invaluable experience to be a young leader within the company.”
Shannon McMenomy
Senior Associate Director, Institutional Properties

All employees, whether client facing or shared services, a seasoned veteran or someone new to the company, looking to learn or to lead, are encouraged to consider the many professional development and networking opportunities that come with being member of the Women’s Network.

The Women’s Network includes a plethora of programs to mentor, develop, enrich and provide networking opportunities. This year, the Gender Equality Challenge focused on Empower - a new mentoring and professional development program CBRE piloted in partnership with other employee diversity groups. The nine-month program includes professional development seminars, mentor/mentee meetings and exposure to company leaders who support professional development and ongoing mentoring relationships.

How does this model practice work?

Through this nine-month mentoring and professional development program, junior to mid-level professionals are strategically paired with a mentor based on their professional goals and objectives. Senior leadership members are asked to nominate candidates, and candidates can self-nominate as well. After going through an application process, the top 50 mentees are selected.

Below are a few examples of curriculum and topics from the program:

Manage Up - Business is, and always will be, a personal thing. In today’s global economy, it’s not always the smartest, hardest working or most technically savvy who succeed. Instead, it’s the people with dynamic and honed communication skills. This webinar equips participants with strategies to communicate effectively and manage up successfully.

Set Your Team Up for Success – Participants focus on leading a team and managing others, getting the best work from those who work with and for you, and developing leadership styles for the future.

Get the Feedback You Deserve – Participants understand the purpose of feedback. Employers need meaningful, constructive feedback to improve performance at work—The question is, how to make sure the feedback is real and meaningful, from the right people at the right time.

Success at CBRE | Live Mentor Panel Discussion - This webinar features a panel of highly accomplished EMPOWER mentors.

Handling Difficult Conversations - No one likes confrontation. Managing difficult conversations and situations is a critical leadership skill. In this webinar, participants learn strategies for handling some of the most common challenges that arise in the workplace.

Taking Risks in Your Career – Participants focus on reaching their fullest potential, from reaching ever higher levels of leadership personally and professionally. Is it enough to just "lean in," or are there other factors at play? How do participants gather the confidence to get to where they want to be? Do they have strategies and tools in place to make senior leaders know them, vouch for them, promote, advocate, mentor and sponsor them?

“It is critical that as a company and community of women, that we support each other and that CBRE support us in our efforts.”
Alicia Tolibas
Real Estate Manager, CBRE

Mentorship & Sponsorship on the Road Ahead - As the formal EMPOWER program nears its end, the focus is on how participants keep their career thriving beyond the program. Informal mentorship and sponsorship are critical to their future success.

Stay EMPOWERED! - This final EMPOWER webinar provides guidance as participants transition smoothly out of a formal mentor relationships and create post-EMPOWER plan to sustain the EMPOWER momentum.

How can I adopt this model practice in my workplace?

Mentees are those who are identified as high performers and rising stars who will use the resources provided in the program to move toward new responsibilities and accelerate their career trajectory. They are early in their career (generally 5-10 years of professional experience, including time spent at other companies) and seek high-impact professional development and leadership training. Ideal mentees have an eagerness to learn, ability and willingness to improve, trust in the relationship with their mentor, and take ownership for their career and professional development.

In order to learn specific preferences and requirements for pairing mentees with appropriate mentors, have each mentee fill out a complete profile survey, and then pair mentees based on the following criteria:

• Match any “critically important” selections first as noted in the mentor profile survey

• Goals: When there is personal knowledge of the “specialties” of the Mentor, pair Mentees who are hoping to achieve a goal for which that Mentor is known for (e.g. building remote teams).

• Geography: If a Mentee cannot be paired with a Mentor located within the same region, at a minimum try to keep them within the same time zone. In some cases, individuals were paired with a Mentor who may not be based in the same geography, but regularly travels to the Mentee’s location.

• Pairing complimentary lines of business: Marketing Mentor with Research Mentee, Facilities Management Mentor with Asset Services Mentee.

View Ann Lehman's profile on LinkedIn