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The significance of cross-mentoring: insights into re-certification by the DGM & introduction of the advisory board

The Women into Leadership (IWiL) initiative has reached an important milestone with re-certification by the German Society for Mentoring (DGM). This award validates the program's commitment to supporting women's leadership development.

In the re-certification letter, the DGM highlighted several key factors that contributed to the successful re-certification of IWiL. One of the notable aspects that the DGM highlighted was the program's commitment to cross-mentoring.


Outstanding recertification from IWiL


The DGM praised IWiL for its exemplary adherence to mentoring standards, comprehensive provision of information to mentees, mentors and mentees, and the program's commitment to maintaining successful one-on-one mentoring relationships. However, the focus here is on the effectiveness of the program in cross-mentoring, as highlighted in the DGM recommendations.


Cross-Mentoring: A Catalyst for Success


Cross-mentoring is an integral part of IWiL, and its impact on the overall success of the program cannot be overstated. People with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives are brought together in mentoring relationships. These relationships create a dynamic learning environment that benefits both mentors and mentees and contributes to personal and professional growth.


Enhanced learning opportunities : Through cross-mentoring, participants gain exposure to a broader range of experiences and expertise. At IWiL, this means female leaders receive insights from mentors with diverse backgrounds, including men and people from different industries. This diversity of perspectives enriches mentees’ learning experiences and equips them with a more holistic skillset.


Breaking down gender stereotypes: Cross-mentoring challenges traditional gender stereotypes by demonstrating that leadership is not defined by gender, but by skills, competencies and qualities. Mentoring men by women and vice versa promotes gender equality and encourages different leadership styles and approaches.


Increased Empathy and Inclusion: Through cross-mentoring, mentors and mentees gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by people from diverse backgrounds. This increased empathy promotes a more inclusive work environment where diverse voices are not only heard but valued.


Innovation and problem-solving ability: Diversity in mentoring relationships promotes creativity and innovation. When people with different perspectives work together, they are more likely to develop innovative solutions to complex problems, increasing the overall effectiveness of organizations.


Career Advancement : The IWiL success rate of 50% of participants being promoted after completing the program highlights the positive impact of cross-mentoring on career advancement. Cross-mentoring relationships often result in greater visibility, opportunities and career growth for participants.

Extended Board and Advisory Board:


Although IWiL has achieved notable success with its cross-mentoring approach, it is essential to continue to develop and improve the program. That's why we're excited to launch our new Advisory Board, which will help us pursue strategic growth and improve international reach.

The advisory board is made up of seven respected company representatives from IWiL member companies. This distinguished group will support us in attracting additional corporate members and strategically positioning our international membership.


The following people are part of our advisory board :


Daniel Kapffer , CFO of DekaBank, also a committed mentor since 2020. Matthias Schellenberg , Chairman of the Board of the German Pharmacists and Doctors Bank. Melanie Wiese , CFO of Deutsche Beteiligungs AG – a long-time mentor and supporter of our mission. Dr. Elke Frank , member of the Supervisory Board of the Scout24 Group . Jacquiline Harvey , Regional Director China and Hong Kong at Audi AG - as a former IWiL mentee, she is proof of the program's success. Dr. Christian Kohlpaintner , CEO of Brenntag SE, and Vito Volpe , CEO of Santander Consumer Bank AG.


Our extendedboard includes:


  • Sabine Hansen, chairwoman

  • Dr. Natalie Daghles, Vice Chair

  • Nicole Riggers, Relationship Management

  • Dr. Werner Grünewald, financial and operational management

  • Dr. Maike Albers-Malkus, program and communications management.


We want to join forces, share knowledge and pave the way for more women to advance into leadership positions across all sectors. With this new board, IWiL is poised to expand its influential presence both in Europe and beyond.

The re-certification of IWiL by the German Society for Mentoring is evidence of its commitment to promoting women in leadership positions. Through this program, cross-mentoring plays a central role in overcoming gender barriers, fostering innovation and career growth. As organizations around the world recognize the importance of diverse leadership, initiatives like IWiL continue to lead the way in demonstrating the importance of cross-mentoring for gender equality and professional excellence.


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