DP World is a leading provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain & logistics, enabling the flow of trade across the globe with a workforce of over 53k and an interconnected global network of 128 business units. They intentionally foster a culture of collaboration, innovation and respect with diverse employees bringing their experience and expertise together. As a company which operates out of 60 countries with 131 nationalities employed, they focus on initiatives and programmes which create cultural diversity and inclusion. It is strongly acknowledged that the creation of gender equality will enhance company performance and achieve better business outcomes. As a global trade enabler which has grown from a port operations business however, DP World is not considered an attractive industry for women to work in and currently only 8.7% of its employees are female. A key challenge is the difficulty of attracting senior level female employees to the industry and there is a particular talent shortage in this respect. The majority of female employees are currently working in lower level, administrative roles.
On International Women’s Day in 2018, DP World announced the DP World MentorHer Programme to help overcome these challenges and empower and support female employees. The programme, which focuses on providing female employees with mentoring to support their career growth, targeted all 9 regions where DP World operates. Interested employees had to apply and outline their professional background. Requirements for mentees were simply that they were female and looking for career growth both in their current and future roles. The programme incorporated 6 months’ mentorship provided by a member of senior management and was designed to be flexible in terms of encouraging mentees to take ownership of how they intended to gain maximum benefit from the programme. The role of mentor was to share ways to achieve professional and personal development; including strengthening and building the mentee’s network and developing the skills and confidence necessary to excel. Mentors also needed to inspire, encourage, and support mentees.
With collaboration between the company’s sustainability and people departments, the participants’ applications were verified, including whether the mentee’s objectives matched the mentor’s skills. The people director for the relevant region also checked the matches. Following matching, participants attend an orientation session and 15 to 18 of these were delivered globally over the course of a month. At this point, mentees approach their mentors to schedule a first meeting and are able to consult the programme toolkit for guidance.
To measure success, participants are asked to complete a survey after the first 3 months of the programme, as well as a post-programme survey after completing the full 6 months.
In 2018 (Group 1), there were 87 participants, including 45 mentees and 42 mentors. In 2019, Group 2 was launched with 202 participants: 112 mentees and 90 mentors. For the Group 1 interim survey, 86% of mentees agreed they were progressing to meet programme goals and 96% said their mentors were supporting them to do so. 46% were also satisfied so far with the programme. 86% of the mentors agreed that their mentee was progressing towards meeting their programme goals and 91% said their mentee had been engaged and proactive. 100% of the mentors reported being satisfied with the programme at this point.
In the 6-month, post-programme survey for Group 1, 97% of the mentees reported being satisfied with overall programme outcomes. 94% said it had enhanced their knowledge and skills, which they would be able apply to current and future roles. 100% of the mentees said they would recommend it to colleagues. 100% of the mentors said that they were satisfied with overall programme outcomes and 90% that it helped them enhance their own professional, technical and interpersonal skills. 100% reported their willingness to recommend the programme to colleagues.
For the Group 2 three-month survey, 89% of mentees said they were progressing well to meet programme goals and 96% that their mentors were supporting them in this. 96% reported being satisfied with programme progress; a significant uplift from Group 1. 86% of mentors said their mentees were progressing to meet programme goals and 91% agreed that their mentee had been engaged and proactive. Again, 100% of mentors were satisfied with the programme.
In the final survey for Group 2, 96% of mentees were satisfied with the overall outcomes of the programme and 98% said it enhanced their knowledge and skills for their current and future roles. Once more, 100% of mentees would recommend the programme to colleagues. At this point, 89% of mentors said that they were satisfied with the overall outcomes of the programme and 90% that it would help them to enhance their own skills. 99% of mentors said they would recommend the programme to colleagues.
Further success measurement is ongoing and focused on the development of DP World female employees within their roles and business units.