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Mentoring through Job-Shadowing

New Danes in Denmark Program, ISS

ISS, Denmark’s largest a facilities management service provider, (world-wide the company has 450,000 staff.) is using mentoring to bring ‘New Danes’– i.e. new immigrants—from countries such as Turkey, Poland, Sri Lanka and Pakistan into management.  Less than 1 in 10 are in management; 55% are women. ISS’ goal is to have 300 New Danes in management by 2011.

ISS’ management apprenticeship program includes a job-shadow mentoring component where a New Dane management trainee is matched with a more experienced manager half of each week for six weeks. The remainder of the time is spent in classroom and on-the-job training. According to Maria Boge, ISS’s diversity manager, the program has been extremely successful, increasing the number of New Dane managers from 93 in 2007 to 188 in 2009. Some managers, she says, are initially reluctant to release staff for such a long period off the job for the job shadowing, but mentors are so enthusiastic about the program they are serving as champions to their peers. New Dane managers also serve as role models.

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