Adweek Launches New Executive Mentor Program to Empower the Next Generation of Diverse Leaders

Leaders from Adobe, Google, Walmart and more will offer their time

Women look at each other in a meeting. Text says Executive Mentor Program.
The program will feature over 100 mentors from some of the world's biggest companies. Adweek
Headshot of Nadine Dietz

The gift of mentoring not only helps the next generation of leaders but often also benefits the mentors, providing fresh perspectives from mentees and a sense of paying it forward. The challenge for both mentors and mentees is often time and a commitment to put in the work.  When properly orchestrated, the gains far outweigh the costs—and the outcomes can change careers and lives.

Last year, we saw this impact in the pilot mentor program from Marketer Moves, which Adweek acquired earlier this year, when we paired up CMOs from the CMO Podcast with their excited listeners. We saw a woman who was going to quit her job get promoted to CMO. We saw a young lady from Tanzania get expert advice from one of the top digital marketing leaders to expand her global reach. We saw a young man in the automotive industry meet his career idol to accelerate his trajectory. We saw another young man find the focus he needed from one of the ultimate masters of purpose.

Adweek wants to replicate that success on a grander scale with our new Executive Mentor Program. More than 100 leaders—CMOs, CEOs, CCOs, chief brand officers, chief diversity officers and presidents—from global giants like Google, Adobe, Walmart, GE, Target and so many more have volunteered to mentor the next generation of marketing leaders.

The value of mentorship has long been regarded as critical to help the next generation advance, and it’s a common success factor for those already in the C-Suite.

“I had the privilege to work with people that were not only at the top of their game and extremely talented but who were also extremely generous in terms of helping me grow,” said Diego Scotti, CMO of Verizon, on mentorship. “As leaders, we have a big responsibility to pay it forward.”

Part of the desire to guide the next era of marketing leaders is to ensure a room full of diverse, empowered individuals who can shape a more inclusive future.

“When I wake up in the morning, I’m thinking about what can I do to help transform the face of marketing as it relates to those that have been disenfranchised?” said Julian Duncan, CMO of the Jacksonville Jaguars, adding that there are clear business cases that show diverse people and diverse points of view lead to greater business results.

But make no mistake: Knowing how to effectively use a mentor takes a lot of work and preparation. During a lifetime of learning, it is essential to observe the superpowers of others that can uniquely help you at that moment in time. Those moments all add up to shape the future executive you will become. For instance, Chris Capossela, CMO of Microsoft, explained how he would tailor his mentee experience with various leaders at Microsoft. For Bill Gates, who has an “incredible capacity to learn and his incredible curiosity,” Capossela wanted to understand Gates’ decision-making philosophy on how he should spend his time. And for current CEO Satya Nadella, Capossela he wanted to learn how Nadella immediately understood departments below him like marketing, despite no experience in the field.

Adweek is looking for mentees excited to tap these leaders for their experiences and knowledge.

Here’s how it works:

  • A pitch competition will be held for eligible mentees (mid-senior career-level marketers) to win an hour of time with an executive mentor (CMOs/CBOs/CEOs/board members/industry leaders). The pitch must be relevant to that specific mentor’s expertise and the mentee’s specific career goal(s) at that time.
  • Apply to the program here. 
  • To help the mentees, Adweek has launched a dedicated mentor page that showcases all the mentors with links to their CMO Moves podcasts, articles and other resources to give a good idea of a potential mentor’s strengths and superpowers.
  • Adweek will qualitatively evaluate every pitch and assign the winning pitch for each mentor based on merit of submission. The mentee will receive two 30-minute phone calls with their mentor, and Adweek will help prepare both the mentee and the mentor for success.
  • Read the rules of engagement for mentors.
  • Read the rules of engagement for mentees. Nadine Dietz is chief community officer at Adweek and host of the CMO Moves podcast.