An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Companies with a strong diversity program attract the very best talent. Building a diverse workforce will ultimately make your business more appealing to job seekers and existing employees alike, making it easier to attract top talent.

As a part of our series about “How Diversity Can Increase a Company’s Bottom Line”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alison Martin.

Alison Martin is the Founder and Managing Director of Engage Mentoring, whose mission is to transform workplace cultures by leveraging software that provides access to meaningful relationships.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive into the main part of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit more. Can you share a bit of your “backstory” with us?

Sure! I currently run a technology company that created a mentoring software and training program, but my background was actually in nonprofit work and I have a heart for impact. In fact, I had started a nonprofit to provide mentorship opportunities for women and was looking for software to support it. When I didn’t find what we were looking for, I contracted a developer to create a mentoring software and that is how Engage Mentoring was born just over 10 years ago.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? Can you tell us the lesson or take away, you took out of that story?

I exited the traditional workplace more than 10 years ago to start my own company at the age of 34 at what was really the beginning of a promising career as a nonprofit Executive Director for a large voluntary health organization. I don’t know if that is funny or interesting, but for me it required so much courage and the encouragement of a trusted mentor. I am so glad I made the leap.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you tell us a story about how that was relevant in your own life?

Things don’t happen to you, they happen for you. I believe things happen for a reason and you can learn powerful lessons when things don’t go the way as planned. This has been the case many times in my life and my career as I reflect back on it. Growth and learning always happened as a result of things not going according to plan AND those situations were usually shuffling in even greater opportunities. I try to remind myself to look for the lesson in everything.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

So many people! I was so fortunate to have met so many incredible people along my journey who saw my leadership potential and poured into me from a mentoring perspective, but I think the first boss who really took me under her wing and gave me the feedback I needed to grow was a woman by the name of Pat. Pat was the type of woman who never pulled any punches and you knew exactly where you stood with her, which wasn’t always a good thing. I learned so much from her about executive presence, speaking confidently, and navigating workplace politics from her and I am so grateful to have had her as a mentor early in my career.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We stand out in our company values, which are we are smart, adaptable, fun, determined, and passionate about people. This has helped us create a culture of employees with whom those values resonate and I see them carried out every day.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

We are launching a new leadership mentoring program for HR and Diversity professionals. These individuals are so critical to the success of any company and we are thrilled to offer a unique program designed to grow their leadership capacity, meet new people, and build lasting relationships.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Mentoring programs, by nature, bring goodness to the world by allowing participants a safe space to learn while building a relationship between mentor and mentee, but I am proud to share we give back too. We have developed partnerships with universities and nonprofits which allow us to sponsor college students into our corporate mentoring programs at no cost to the student. It is our way of giving back by impacting the next generation of talent.

Ok. Thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main part of our interview. This may be obvious to you, but it is not intuitive to many people. Can you articulate to our readers five ways that increased diversity can help a company’s bottom line.

1 — Companies far outperform their competition when they are more diverse. In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, the most diverse companies outperform their less diverse peers by 36% in profitability.

2 — Diverse teams are more productive. One study by Gartner revealed that a highly diverse environment can improve team performance by up to 30%.

3 — Having a diverse workforce helps attract a diverse pool of customers. Building a more diverse business, including by improving hiring practices to be more inclusive, as well as by working with diverse suppliers, can help improve a company’s reputation among customers. If businesses want to appeal to a broader customer base, that likely means they will have diverse customers, and it can help to be known as a company that accurately reflects the diversity of those they serve.

4 — Companies with a strong diversity program attract the very best talent. Building a diverse workforce will ultimately make your business more appealing to job seekers and existing employees alike, making it easier to attract top talent.

5 — The more diverse a company is, the more likely they are to retain their talent too. A vital part of the diversity retention requires company leaders to mentor diverse talent. At Engage Mentoring, we believe access to relationships in the form of mentoring is not a “nice to have”, but a critical strategy when looked at through the lens of diversity.

What advice would you give to other business leaders to help their employees to thrive?

Pour into them as a mentor. Get to know them, make time for them, and be willing to share your perspective. Mentoring is a powerful way to shortcut learning and help employees achieve their greatest potential.

What advice would you give to other business leaders about how to manage a large team?

One critical strategy in managing a large team is leveraging peer mentorship. Peer mentorship is an often overlooked strategy, but by aligning members of your team with your top performers in a mentorship capacity, it alleviates the pressure for the leader and helps develop the leadership capacity of your top performers and ensures your team has a mentoring culture — that is, they know how to pour into one another and know how to access the resources they need in order to succeed.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂

Sara Blakely for sure! I am a huge fan of hers.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can connect with me on LinkedIn or visit our website at

Thank you for these excellent insights. We wish you continued success in your great work.

Alison Martin Of Engage Mentoring On How Diversity Can Increase a Company’s Bottom Line was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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