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Zendesk: Building Female Leaders Through Mentorship

by Kellie A. McElhaney, Ana Claire Mancia, and Ishita Rustagi

Zendesk: Building Female Leaders Through Mentorship
A new mentorship program launched with early success at Zendesk in the United States and is now expanding to all employees across 15 countries. Women at Zendesk supports junior-level women in achieving their personal and professional goals by providing them with role models, as well as opportunities to share knowledge and acknowledge their success. The company recognizes that female mentorship is necessary to cultivate the next generation of female leaders at Zendesk and to attain equity across all levels of the company. The program pairs female leaders with women in more junior roles to help mentees feel supported and inspired as they progress through the ranks of Zendesk. Zendesk is re-designing its program for rollout to its employees worldwide in locations with diverse cultures such as India, Sydney and Manila. This case explores how to design a mentorship program which is sustainable, successful across cultural differences, and which contributes to a company’s gender equity and leadership goals.

Learning Objectives

1. Understand strategies for leaders to support, retain and advance talent. 2. Build knowledge for designing effective mentorship programs that can be scaled across and adapted for diverse cultures and geographies. 3. Understand the business case for advancing females in leadership through mentorship. 4. Enhance skills for building an intentionally equitable culture.


Pub Date: Jul 31, 2019

Discipline: General Management

Subjects: Global corporate cultures, Leadership, Leadership development, Teams, Employees, Organizational structure, Diversity, Minority & ethnic groups, Women in business, Job satisfaction, Recruitment

Product #: B5942-PDF-ENG

Industry: Software publishing

Geography: United States, California, Silicon Valley

Length: 15 page(s)

Berkeley Haas Case Series
Berkeley Haas Case Series The Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.


Berkeley Haas Case Series

A new collection of business case studies from Berkeley Haas

The aim of the Berkeley Haas Case Series is to incite business innovation by clarifying disruptive trends and questioning the status quo.

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