Diversified mentoring relationships in the South African context: an exploratory framework
The role that mentor and protégé play in transforming South African society in general and the business environment in particular, is important and lends new meaning to “leveling of the playing fields”. Fundamental to the success of any mentorship programme is the relationship between the mentor and the protégé. Since mentors play a key role in shaping the protégé they have to employ strategies that offer practical and emotional support to the protégé while understanding the implications of mentoring in a particular social and political context. The mentor is also an intermediary between the protégé and the organization. Diversified mentoring relationships, involving experienced ‘white’ mentors and protégés from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, pose particular challenges in the South African context. Despite the importance of mentoring there is a dearth of local literature on diversified mentoring relationships in the South African context. Drawing on the international literature, this research report develops an exploratory analytical framework to understand mentoring relationships, with particular reference to the South African regulatory context and the internal organizational factors that impact mentoring relationships, and the effect on affirmative action in South African organizations.