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Case Study

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Turnover Decreased 60% for Women and 54% for Men when Involved in Mentoring at Principal

At Principal Financial Group®, their purpose is to foster a world where financial security is accessible to everyone, every day. For Miriam Lewis, Chief Inclusion Officer at Principal®, her role allows her to design, lead, and implement global strategies across Principal that foster a more inclusive workplace, increase employee performance, drive better outcomes for customers, and ultimately improve business results.

One key way she accomplishes this is through mentoring. Using the MentorcliQ platform, Principal has been able to scale mentoring across 17 countries and accelerate the career trajectories for their nearly 20,000 global employees. 

“Mentors serve the critical role of providing a safe space, building lasting relationships, transferring institutional knowledge, upskilling employees, and even helping employees navigate life. I wouldn’t be here today without the help of my mentors,” said Miriam.

I wouldn’t be here today without the help of my mentors.

Miriam Lewis
Chief Inclusion Officer at Principal
Miriam Lewis
Chief Inclusion Officer at Principal

Global Mentoring Helps Create Community

As MentorcliQ’s 2022 Diversity Changemaker of the Year, Miriam helps build connections and community among employees at Principal. “When I think about our global inclusion strategy, we have three pillars. The first pillar is around infusing inclusion into everything that we do. The second pillar is building community. And then the last pillar is upskilling talent, upskilling our employees,” said Miriam. As for mentoring, she said: “It’s not only germane to what we’re doing in the inclusion space, but it’s also integral in the way that we will be able to accelerate our business growth.”

Diversity Changemaker of the year edited

Principal Mentoring

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Enterprise wide

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8 mentoring programs

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32,000+ mentoring hours

The organization offers mentoring to employees around the world through a number of mentoring programs. Their core program is the Global Mentoring Program, which drives professional development through the cultivation of effective mentoring relationships to achieve specific goals. “We were looking to build deeper relationships within the organization. We have a lot of tenured employees, so we wanted to maintain that institutional knowledge within the organization as well. And then lastly, and probably most important, we wanted our employees to be able to grow, to develop, and then also to be able to contribute to the organization in a higher or more meaningful way. We were able to achieve all of them through the Global Mentoring Program,” said Miriam.

The global nature of this mentoring program was the first time Principal had ever launched an enterprise-wide mentoring solution to all employees around the world. “Many times global companies like Principal create U.S.- centric programs,  but we were intentional about creating a global mentoring program we could offer to our employees around the world. And the deep level of appreciation that came from our employees outside of the United States was amazing. We showed up as an inclusive [and] global organization for our employees,” said Miriam.

Global Mentoring Program Details

  • 1:1 pairings
  • 8-month relationships
  • Open to all global employees
  • Focused on professional development
  • Uses SMART matching


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Started In

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Mentoring Hours


decrease in turnover rate for people who participate in mentoring compared to those who don’t


decrease in turnover for women when involved in mentoring


decrease in turnover for men when involved in mentoring

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The data shows that mentoring is worth the investment. Principal analyzed their mentoring ROI with MentorcliQ and found that they have a 44% decrease in the turnover rate for people who participate in mentoring compared to those who don’t. 

When looking at that data further and comparing retention rates based on gender, Principal saw that women had a 60% decrease in turnover when involved in mentoring, and men had a 54% decrease in turnover when involved in mentoring. 

Principal also uses a proprietary survey called the Global People Inclusion Index (GPII), which measures employee inclusion sentiment at the organization. The data from the GPII shows that participants in the mentoring program feel more included, as reflected in the GPII scores.

It’s not only germane to what we’re doing in the inclusion space, but it’s also integral in the way that we will be able to accelerate our business growth.

Outside of the hard numbers, positive results can be seen through participant stories and feedback. The mentoring relationships allow mentees and mentors to develop skills in such areas as working together, analytics, and the customer mindset. “What I really value about the program is that everyone really wants to share their knowledge and skills. So you give mentors an opportunity to add that value to the organization and pass that information along to others,” said Miriam. She uses that as a connection point that ties mentoring back to their global inclusion strategy.

Mentoring Stories 1
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As the mentoring program grows, Miriam continues to point back to all the people who helped her get where she is today. “Behind every successful person, there is a mentor. My mentors have helped me navigate both the highs and lows of working in four companies across two industries and progressing through more than 20 jobs. I’ve always said that I owe my mentors a return on their investment in me, and in one way or another, they’ve all humbly said, ‘You don’t owe me anything. Just pay it forward.’ For the very first time in my life, I can now say: Paid in full. Together we’ve made mentoring accessible to all. I can’t think of a better way to have paid it forward,” said Miriam.

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