Frequently Asked Questions

ACCELERATE Mentorship FAQ: About the Program


Can I sign-up for more than one Cohort?

As an executive leader, you are more than welcome to participate in more than one cohort. Please make sure to indicate this in the Expression of Interest Form.

What if a cohort is full?

If a cohort is full, we will try our best to match you with another cohort that takes place after your requested spot.

Will resources on the program platform be available when the program is over?

Resources will remain available for access to learning once the ACCELERATE Mentorship program is over. You are invited to share these tools and insights with your organization.

Am I able to publicly announce my participation in the program?

Please share your participation at the discretion of your partner and organization. CILAR will provide a marketing toolkit upon your request.

What would I learn from my partner as an executive participant?

As an executive leader, you'll learn about the challenges faced by Black and Indigenous leaders, who would like to advance in their careers, but have little opportunity to do so. This will give you a chance to better understand and recognize leadership changes that must be made

Who can I contact for accommodations and/or accessibility requests?

Please contact for any accommodations and/or accessibility requests.

Program Overview

What is the overall objective and structure of the corporate mentorship program?

ACCELERATE Mentorship emphasizes career advancement by promoting self-advocacy, networking, and addressing barriers. It calls for accelerating diversity and inclusion in leadership, particularly focusing on Black, Indigenous, and Leaders of Color.

Can you provide details on how the program is designed to benefit both the mentees and the volunteer executive coaches?

The ACCELERATE Mentorship program is a reciprocal mentorship initiative aimed at addressing the lack of diversity at leadership levels. As the innovation economy grows at a rapid pace, there is a significant opportunity to foster diversity in executive and senior leadership, drive economic prosperity, and enhance the country's competitiveness through increased innovation capacity. While the focus is on personal and professional growth which can foster greater understanding, behaviour change, and cultural transformation, ACCELERATE Mentorship provides a platform to learn from each other’s expertise, experiences and networks with the aim of supporting advancement of one another’s leadership and EDI journeys.

Time Commitment

What is the expected time commitment for volunteer executive coaches in terms of mentoring sessions, meetings, and overall program duration?

ACCELERATE Mentorship pairings will have a minimum of three mentoring sessions - at a minimum of 30 minutes a piece. CILAR will give options to both parties allowing for flexibility, as we know executive schedules can be very busy.

Matching Process

How are mentor-mentee pairs typically matched in the program?

The ACCELERATE Mentorship pairing process meticulously combines subjective and quantitative analyses, evaluating aspirations, social compatibility, and management skills. It employs three types of analyses, including qualitative questions, to form pairs based on comprehensive understanding, fostering effective coach-coachee relationships.

Is there an opportunity for coaches to express preferences or indicate specific expertise areas they are comfortable mentoring in?

The ACCELERATE Mentorship program’s engagement form allows coaches to express what they have experienced during their career journeys, what they would most like to learn/takeaway, and what best practices they would like to share throughout the ACCELERATE Mentorship program.

Training & Resources

Are there training sessions or resources provided for volunteer executive coaches to enhance their mentoring skills?

ACCELERATE Mentorship resources include:
Onboarding Sessions
Non-Disclosure Agreements
Mentorship Agreements
Conversation guides for both Senior Leaders and Executives

Learning Tools:
ACCELERATE Comfort in Uncomfortable Conversations
ACCELERATE Equitable and Inclusive Questioning
ACCELERATE Leadership Development
ACCELERATE C-Suite Practices
ACCELERATE Management Barriers

What support systems are in place for coaches who may encounter challenges during the mentoring relationship?

Program participants can contact for any concerns or questions they may have.

Program Expectations

What are the expectations for communication between coaches and mentees outside of formal mentoring sessions?

CILAR does suggest that pairings keep in contact outside of the mentoring program. We encourage sponsorship over mentorship as part of our program - A sponsor is someone who actively promotes growth, provides access to opportunities at work, and/or advocates for career advancement.

Are there specific goals or outcomes that the program aims to achieve, and how are these measured?

We measure participants' expectations, experiences, and self-perceived skills in the ACCELERATE Mentorship program, covering topics such as confidence, allyship, leadership barriers, understanding of diversity issues, and demographic information for program improvement and inclusivity. Through an extensive pre and post program survey.

Feedback and Evaluations

How is feedback collected from both coaches and mentees throughout the program?

To assess the effectiveness and impact of the ACCELERATE Mentorship program; Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) include measuring participation rates, diversity in mentoring pairs, participant satisfaction, skill enhancement, and organizational impact. The survey includes pre-test and post-test questions for senior leaders and executive members, covering expectations, experiences, confidence levels, connections made, program impact, and self-reflection on management skills. Demographic questions are also included to gather information on participants' ethnicity, gender, category identification, salary, current role, and employer details before and after the program.

These indicators and survey answers will be kept anonymous and used strictly for the data analytics

Are there opportunities for coaches to receive feedback on their mentoring style and effectiveness?

We will be sending out two different reflection surveys. The first survey will be in the form of program evaluation as a whole. The second will be in the form of a individuals reflection survey, trying to understand different understandings of what a mentor is and there possible effectiveness

Confidentiality and Boundaries:

How is confidentiality maintained within the mentoring relationships?

We are not an anonymous program, due to the nature of our matching systems being administrative. However, our feedback surveys do not require names to be filled out and the feedback remains anonymous.

Are there guidelines or best practices provided to coaches regarding setting boundaries with mentees?

Everyone within the ACCELERATE Mentorship program is an adult and we strive for the conversations to surpass the surface level. We do understand that uncomfortable topics may arise, however, our goal is to make sure these conversations are taking place.

Diversity and Inclusion:

How does the program ensure diversity and inclusion in mentor-mentee pairings?

ACCELERATE Mentorship is a program with a BIPOC focus, specifically designed for senior leader participants who are BIPOC. The program aims to guide these leaders in navigating the leadership journey, providing insights and opportunities to advance in their careers. Executive participants, comprising both BIPOC and non-racialized individuals, are included to gain a better understanding of the senior leader BIPOC experience and implement changes for a more inclusive environment.

Is there a commitment to providing equal opportunities for all participants in the program?

Yes, all participants are provided with the same processes, and opportunities within the ACCELERATE Mentorship program.

Networking Opportunities

Are there networking events or opportunities for volunteer executive coaches to connect with other professionals in the program?

Throughout the cycles of ACCELERATE Mentorship, CILAR has a minimum of one networking event. In order for the participants within the program to be able to meet with individuals outside of their pairings. 

How does the program foster a sense of community among coaches?

ACCELERATE Mentorship participants will be given access to our community platform. The platform’s goal is to connect current and future participants, guide progress and impact, provide resources and support

Long-Term Impact

What are the expected long-term impacts of the program on both the mentors and mentees?

The ACCELERATE Mentorship program yields long-term benefits for mentors and mentees alike. Executives serving as mentors gain enhanced leadership skills and a more inclusive perspective by understanding the challenges faced by Black and Indigenous aspiring leaders. This reciprocal learning process fosters accelerated professional development for mentees. Additionally, both mentors and mentees gain expanded networks and access to opportunities, paving the way for career growth and progression, especially for mentees aiming to transition from mid-level management to top executive roles in the C Suite.

Can you share any success stories or testimonials from previous participants?

"The ACCELERATE Mentorship program allows diversity in leadership and shows how we can embrace that together. And so the first thing is really, I imagine if I can be surrounded by people from different backgrounds, from different industries, I will be able to improve my cultural competence.” Tam Nguyen - Co-Founder, In-Heart Sight (IHS) Community

Program Logistics

Is there a designated point of contact for questions or concerns that may arise during the program?

Program participants can contact for any concerns or questions they may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

ACCELERATE Leadership FAQ: About the Program


What is the time Commitment?

This is a three-month program running from July to September 2023. During that period, there will be 7 online Inclusive Leadership Labs (i.e., workshops), each of which will require:
1. Reading prep materials (15-30 minutes)
2. Attending the Inclusive Leadership Lab (1.5-2 hours)
3. Post-Lab discussions in the online Community of Progress (15-30 minutes)In addition, participants will be asked to complete a 15-minute feedback survey each month and will be invited to attend 3 optional in-person social events - Start of Program, End of Program and CILAR Annual Power of One, Power of Us Event.

I am new to my executive role, am I still eligible to participate?

Absolutely! If you are in the early stages of your executive role, we encourage you to participate in the ACCELERATE Leadership program. Your involvement will be valuable to your organization as you apply your inclusive leadership knowledge to champion the progress of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in pursuit of your organization's current and future objectives.

What if I cannot attend all the Inclusive Leadership Labs?

Please try your best to make all Leadership Labs, however if you can't please bring it up with one of our program facilitators.

Can my Executive Assistant (EA) participate if I am unavailable to attend an Inclusive Leadership Lab?

Our Community of Progress offers participants a virtual space to speak freely, knowing that what is shared within the Community remains private and confidential.If you are unavailable to attend an Inclusive Leadership Lab, your EA cannot participate in your place in order to maintain transparent dialogue among participants. Please notify one of the program facilitators if you cannot attend, and we will gladly make accommodations for you.

Can I participate in this program anonymously?

To create an open and safe space for learning and meaningful connections, we do not allow participants to participate anonymously. However, only other participants in the program, the program facilitators, the experts and CILAR staff will know who you are. As part of the program, we ask that everyone who has visibility to these programs, sign NDAs.Beyond that, your participation will remain anonymous (i.e., CILAR will not be sharing a list of participants publicly). You are, of course, free to inform anyone you choose that you are participating in the program with our Social Media Toolkit.Your confidentiality is of utmost importance, if you have any concerns, please reach out to and we can set up time to discuss your questions.

Can I nominate an executive to participate?

Yes! Please spread the word about this opportunity to any executives you think may benefit. Feel free to forward any of our Call to Action emails that include a program overview and the Expression of Interest form.

How can I confirm my attendance at every event?

First, click on the events tab located on the left sidebar. Then, at the top of the page you will see an “Attend All” button. Pressing this button will confirm your attendance for all existing events and you will receive a calendar hold for each event as well.

How do I know how much of my module is completed?

On the right hand side of your module, there is a circle. The green portion represents the percentage of the module that is completed, where a full green circle represents a 100% completed module. If you hover over the circle, you will see exactly how much of the tasks, action items and lessons you completed within the module.

Who can I contact for accommodations and/or accessibility requests?

Please email for accommodations and/or accessibility requests, and we will support your learning as best we can.

Program Components

What is the difference between Inclusive Leadership Labs and workshops?

There is no difference. The Inclusive Leadership Labs are collaborative, participatory workshops. We’ve chosen to call these workshops “Inclusive Leadership Labs” to emphasize that the program's focus is on exploring the depth of inclusivity in a learning setting while underscoring the pivotal role of leaders in fostering growth in the innovation economy.

How will this program be delivered?

This is a virtual program with optional in-person social events.

What departments in my organization will benefit from this program?

To enhance your organization's EDI competencies, you will be encouraged to get all departments involved and integrated into the process. Only you will be directly involved in the Leadership Labs and Community of Progress, though, and you will take what you learn and plan and spread it throughout your organization.

What is psychological safety?

Psychological safety is a social condition in which human beings feel:
-included within society and an organizational culture with dignity and respect
-safe to learn
-safe to contribute
-safe to challenge the status quo
All without fear of being embarrassed, marginalized or punished in some way.Okay

Do I have to remain on-camera during the virtual Inclusive Leadership Labs?

We encourage all participants to remain on-camera during the Inclusive Leadership Labs to maintain transparent, honest, and comfortable conversation. If technology poses a problem, please let facilitators know, and we will make accommodations as necessary.

How do I access the Inclusive Leadership Labs?

Upon approval of your application, you will be guided to our DISCO platform where you will be able to click the “events” page to hold time in your calendar for these virtual labs.

What if my organization does not yet have the budget to implement change?

During this program, you will develop strategies for affecting change within your organization, which may require time and/or financial investment. If your organization does not currently have the budget to invest financially, our experts will help you prepare a strategy to convince others in your organization to allocate funds in future budgets. Further, our experts help you strategize about what can be done with an investment of time only while you wait for future financial investment. Remember, very few individuals begin work on EDI initiatives with a fully-funded budget; the first step is making a compelling case for investment in this important work.

Privacy & Confidentiality

Do I have to disclose my product or process development strategy during this program?

No, you are not required to disclose specific programs, policies, or products you plan to develop, as such information might be confidential and/or proprietary.

Why is the ACCELERATE Leadership Program being evaluated?

The ACCELERATE Leadership delivery partners are committed to ongoing learning and open and honest feedback and accountability to all those involved in the program. Evaluation is core to this commitment. By contributing to the evaluation, you will be helping to make the program more impactful for you and for future leaders who take part in the program. You’ll also be helping to build evidence about the importance of organizations investing in EDI.

How will my data be used?

The information that you share through registration, focus groups/interviews, in the Community of Progress, and/or throughout the program will be combined with your peers’ in order to determine what worked well in the ACCELERATE Leadership program, what could be improved going forward, and how the program affected those involved. These results will be fundamental in defining what the ACCELERATE Leadership program will look like for future participants who engage in the program. Please note, the findings will be shared at a group level with no personal identifiable information (PII) or organization information shared in our analysis or reporting.
These indicators and survey answers will be kept anonymous and used strictly for the data analytics

Who will have access to my personal data?

Personal data will be stored in the strictest confidence and only shared with the specific project team at CILAR, Blueprint and KDPM. All of these organizations will store any personal data in encrypted files, which will be deleted one year after you have completed the program.

Why is it important for me to share my personal information?

The ACCELERATE Leadership program is designed to foster the conditions for all employees in Canada to succeed. Therefore, it is important that we understand who is participating in the program and what life experiences they may bring. This will help us to better understand who this program is best suited for and whether we have reached our intended audience. That being said, we encourage you to share only what you feel comfortable sharing with the project team. Your participation in the evaluation will not impact your experience in the program. You can ask us at any time to remove any information from our data collected.

How will the findings from the evaluation be used going forward?

The evaluation activities will help us make real-time modifications and improvements to the ACCELERATE Leadership program to ensure it is relevant to those engaged in the program. It will also help us to understand whether the program was effective in achieving its intended outcomes and what changes are needed to improve the program for future participants. Finally, the overall learnings will be shared with the funder, Future Skills Centre, to help advance the work underway in the Canadian skills ecosystem.

What evaluation activities will I be asked to participate in?

Recognizing the value of your time, we have done our best to integrate the evaluation activities into the main components of the program. As a result, we have limited the direct evaluation activities to short post-lab check-ins (5 questions) and a post-program interview or focus group. Blueprint will also analyze the information shared through the Community of Progress.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the evaluation?

Please contact Molly Doan, Director of Inclusive Practice at Blueprint - She would be happy to answer any questions you have about the evaluation.