Knowledge Center

Creating Successful Mentoring Programs: A Catalyst Guide

This study is an updated edition of Catalyst’s Guide to Mentoring, and provides all the necessary information needed to create a formal mentoring program that works in your organization. Packed with more practical tips and up-to-date practices, this guide contains added evidence that mentoring is critical to career advancement.

Impetus: Catalyst knows from our Research and Advisory Services engagements that formal mentoring programs are important components of corporate efforts to advance women in business. The purpose of this publication is to outline the success factors and challenges in developing a formal mentoring program.


  • Draws on past Catalyst research in all of the best practice areas across industries. Past research conducted through surveys, focus groups, and interviews.

Findings: Mentors can be useful resources in finding out what performance expectations are. Also mentors are critical for women managers seeking to find a style with which male managers are comfortable. Exclusion from networks, lack of mentoring, and absence of women role models are the key barriers to women’s advancement in firms. Catalyst has found that different types of mentoring programs all share the following fundamental success factors: a link to business strategy, leadership commitment, devotion of adequate resources, supportive culture, and realistic participant expectations, among others.

Sponsor: Catalyst