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AFMC program to emphasize cross-cultural mentoring in 2022

  • Published
  • By Marisa Alia-Novobilski
  • Air Force Materiel Command

Sometimes a little bit of sage advice can make huge impacts on the course one chooses in their career and life.

January is National Mentoring Month, and the Air Force Materiel Command continues to emphasize the importance of mentorship for military and civilian Airmen across the enterprise.

“You cannot underestimate the power of a mentoring relationship in helping one achieve success,” said Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., AFMC Commander. “I have had the opportunity to be mentored by many uniformed and civilian Airmen throughout my career. Their insights, guidance and occasional nudge to look at problems differently opened my eyes to new experiences and opportunities at all stages of my career.  I would not be where I am today without them.”

Workforce studies consistently show that mentoring relationships have a positive impact on an individual’s workplace satisfaction, promotion potential, career longevity and more. The goal of the AFMC Mentoring Program is to provide all members of the command with the tools and resources to seek and build beneficial mentoring relationships at every stage of their career.

“We’ve had a structured, dedicated mentoring program since 2018, offering both formal and informal mentorship programs across the enterprise,” said Amanda Smith-Nethercott, AFMC Mentoring Lead. “Program participation has steadily increased over the years as have the tools and resources for implementing and maintaining mentoring relationships at all levels. We continue to focus on expanding mentorship awareness and opportunities for all across the command.”

For 2022, AFMC Mentoring is partnering with the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility team to drive a greater focus on mentorship for diverse populations within the command, focusing on ensuring all Airmen have the ability to be mentored regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion and more.

“Feedback from town halls, sensing sessions, the AFMC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey and the Air Force Disparity Report indicates that many in minority demographic groups feel their work climate is not conducive to mentoring and that mentoring is a privilege reserved only for a select few,” said Smith-Nethercott. “Our goal with this year’s Diverse Cross-Cultural Mentoring Campaign is to provide all-inclusive mentoring opportunities to enable all Airmen to feel that they can take part in a mentoring relationship, regardless of their demographic background, job series, career step and more.”

The 2022 campaign will consist of monthly virtual panels led by Major Command Barrier Analysis Working Group champions and team members, along with representatives from AFMC’s DEIA and Force Development teams. The panels will be open to everyone in the command and will focus on mentorship from both the military and civilian perspectives. 

The monthly focus of each panel will follow the Air Force Special Observance Month schedule, providing an additional opportunity to emphasize the contributions of diverse groups on the success of the Air Force throughout its existence.

"Special Observances provide us a unique opportunity to celebrate and recognize people of specific demographics as well as educate others on the needs of and barriers faced by members of these demographics. We hope that our Diverse Cross-Cultural Mentoring Campaign can help everyone learn more about those unlike themselves so that our differences can make us stronger as a command," said Keith Tickle, AFMC Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Program Lead.

To learn more about the AFMC Mentoring Program and ongoing efforts, individuals can visit https://www.afmc.af.mil/careers/AFMC-Mentoring/. The site includes an overview of mentoring, tools and resources, a calendar of panel events and more.

The 2022 AFMC Diverse Cross-Cultural Mentoring Campaign panels will begin in February 2022 in conjunction with Black History Month. The February panel will be hosted by the Black/African American Employment Strategy Team MAJBAWG, chaired by Alphonso Thomas, Director of Engineering, Air Force Sustainment Center. Additional panel members will include Col. Jenise M. Carroll, Commander, Hill Air Force Base; Master Sgt. Aaron Trammell, Superintendent, AFSC Contracting; and Jacqueline Coles, Special Emphasis Program Manager, Hanscom Air Force Base. The exact date and time of the panel will be confirmed soon and listed on the AFMC Mentoring website.

For more information on the AFMC Mentoring Program, email the AFMC Force Development Team at AFMC.A1DC.TrainingNeedsAssessments@us.af.mil.