Woman's Job Starts A 'Reverse Mentorship Program' Where Lower-Level Workers Mentor Executives

"This is the kind of connectivity a workplace program should offer. Building trust, creating long-lasting relationships, and learning something new."

Employee and their boss looking at a tablet together. Vadym Pastukh / Shutterstock.com

Mentorship programs can provide an array of benefits for employees, whether you're just starting out or in a senior role. 

One company flipped the script and adopted a “reverse mentorship” program in which lower-level employees mentor executives and leaders. This program is not only being praised by employees but also creating a more productive and happy workplace environment.

A woman explained her job’s ‘reverse mentorship program,’ in which lower-level employees ‘mentor’ their executives.

Jodi-Ann Collins took to TikTok to explain how the program works.


“I’m a vice president and I’m mentoring someone who is two levels above me,” she started. “He is a managing director, so there’s VP, director, then managing director … I will be mentoring him.”

@itsjodixo Reverse Mentorship Program, I’m mentoring a Managing Director at an Investment Bank as a VP in tax! Mentorship at workJcrew dress @J.CrewZara sweater @ZARA#womenintheir30s #welcometomy30s #mentorshipprogram #mentorship #careertip #careeradvice ♬ original sound - Jodi-Ann | Career & Lifestyle

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While at first, it might seem like a strange approach, commenters agreed that the program is uniquely innovative. Not only does it help to remove the anxiety that often comes with interacting with a more senior employee, but it also initiates relationship-building and empathy. 

“I did this back when I was an analyst,” one commenter wrote. “I showed him how to use Pinterest, and he still uses it for his photography hobby today.”

The program offers a solution to the us versus them narrative in many corporate settings.

“We kind of have a guideline for how the process should be and how it will work,” Collins explained, but generally, “the idea behind it is bridging the gap between the more junior employee and the senior employee. I feel like with him being my mentee, he gets the opportunity to ask, ‘How can I improve or make the work environment better?’ and also just connect.”

Additionally, she explained that the program is meant to be an exchange, not just of traditional roles but of ideas and perspectives.


Leadership meeting between executives and workers. Fizkes / Shutterstock.com

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In addition to creating a better workplace culture, these programs can also establish a line of communication between executives that can be a window into how to prioritize employee satisfaction and retention.


Of course, it’s impossible to ignore the dynamic that this reverse mentorship challenges — it removes the sense of superiority an executive title holds, allowing more junior-level employees to take charge of conversations, share their skills, and feel empowered.

A program like this connects people and provides an open space for colleagues to discuss all aspects of work culture.

In spaces where traditional “mentorship” programs, especially at work, can be disempowering for marginalized employees, reverse mentoring or sponsorship can provide alternative success. Sponsorship allows more influential senior executives to advocate for employees.

Sponsorship, similar to the reverse mentorship program, does not operate on the inherent belief that one party is less important, less skilled, or less competent than another but rather grants them exposure and opportunity.

@thegardeningtheologian Replying to @Diepiriye Kuku, Ph.D great question! Lets talk about mentorship and sponsorhip programs at work! #fyp #diversityequityandinclusion #changemanagement #jobtok #worktok #welbeing ♬ original sound - Ciarra

“Many historically disenfranchised employees are actually over-skilled in their positions,” Cierra, known as @thegardeningtheologian on TikTok, explained, “because competency is a system of oppression that keeps certain people in a certain class status in corporate spaces."


Reverse mentorship and sponsorship programs can provide advocacy and opportunity and ultimately build a happier and healthier workplace for all employees regardless of title.

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.