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Developing Meaningful Careers Through Mentorship

Stacie Ruen Article Image

Across GM’s global operations, a culture of mentorship thrives, shaping the future of both individuals and the company. At the helm of this transformative program is Stacie Ruen, the Head of Global People Development and the architect of GM’s mentorship initiative. With a vision that transcends traditional career development, Stacie has crafted a platform where wisdom is exchanged and paths are forged. In this exclusive interview, we explore the intricacies of GM’s mentorship program through Stacie’s eyes, revealing the profound impact it has had on her career journey and the invaluable lessons it imparts to those who participate.

1. What's GM's mentorship program all about?

GM has amazing employees with various experiences, perspectives, skills, passions, and career journeys. Any employee, regardless of level, function, or location has the potential to be a mentor and have a mentor. The Mentoring platform is open for all. Being part of the mentorship program at GM – whether that’s as a mentor or a mentee – is a fantastic way to not only build relationships, but to further your career development. Mentoring at GM provides support to employees seeking to develop skills and other professional competencies to grow their career while creating lasting networking relationships. GM has a mentoring platform through our internal Workday site to support this aspect of career development.

The GM Mentorship Platform:
• Allows employees to decide if they want to be a mentor and opt-in.
• Empowers employees to filter & search for a mentor that fits their needs.
• Supports initial communication between mentors and mentees with the submitted request and acceptance/decline of the request.
• Provides space for mentees and mentors to keep notes on their mentorship.
• Allows employees to reflect on and evaluate the mentorship and platform.

There are six mentor types that are at the core of the mentoring platform: career mentor, leadership development mentor, new hire mentor, peer mentor, technical skills focused mentor and Reverse Mentorship.



2. How has the mentorship program assisted you during your time at GM?

GM’s mentorship program has played a crucial role in my personal and professional growth and development. When I began my career at GM in 2015 my mentor provided me with guidance, shared their expertise and provided me with practical insights about the organization that were not covered in our formal training programs. At such a large organization you could feel lost at times, but as my GM career has progressed, I have leveraged the mentorship program to expand my network which had led to new opportunities, collaboration, and exposure to different parts of the business.

This has made a big organization feel much more manageable. My mentors have not only supported me from the career side but have also been pivotal in my building confidence, navigating the dynamics of our ever-evolving workplace and helping to manage stress. Knowing that someone always had my back positively impacted my job satisfaction. My mentors have also played a role in developing my own personal and unique leadership style. Today, I’m involved in the reverse mentorship program giving me the opportunity to learn from leaders that will fill our bench in the future.

My personal purpose is to create leaders I would want to work for someday. So, I now give back to those that I mentor by helping my mentees identify their career aspirations and offer advice on career path, skill development and potential growth opportunities. As society and organizations are changing at a rapid pace and GM will be evolving more in the next 5 years than ever before, it’s important that as we grow our future leaders, we share our experiences for faster growth.


3. What’s your favorite part about working for GM?

General Motors is changing more – and changing faster – than it has in decades. And our culture and our employees are pivotal as we prepare to lead in a new world of transportation that will be very different than it is today. The external impacts that each employee can make on many lives around the world have a major influence on everything we do. From the products we develop and the technology we apply to our products, to how we interact with our customers and ultimately engage with our employees. Every day at GM we are making a difference and building a better tomorrow.


4. What does a typical day look like for you as the Head of Global People Development?

My days are a dynamic blend of strategy, collaboration, and impact. Let me paint you a picture of what a typical day might entail:

Reflect: I start my day with reflection. I review key priorities, check emails, and set intentions for the day. Soda in hand, I dive into data analytics, assessing trends, learning needs, and organizational gaps.
Strategic Planning: Collaborating with cross-functional teams, I contribute to long-term people development strategies. We discuss workforce planning, leadership pipelines, and upskilling initiatives.
Design and Deliver: I work closely with instructional designers and trainers. Together, we create engaging learning experiences. Whether it’s virtual workshops, e-learning modules, or leadership retreats, we aim for impact.
Coach and Mentor: I meet with individual team members, offering guidance and support. Coaching sessions focus on career growth, skill development, and personal effectiveness.
Stakeholder Engagement: I connect with HR business partners, business leaders, and external vendors. We discuss program rollouts, feedback loops, and alignment with business goals.
Measure and Assess: Metrics matter! I analyze program effectiveness, track KPIs, and adjust strategies accordingly. Did that leadership development program move the needle? Let’s find out.
Innovate and identify trends: I stay curious. What’s new in learning tech? How can we leverage Generative AI, gamification, or microlearning? I explore industry best practices and adapt them to our context.
Culture: People development isn’t just about skills; it’s about fostering an inclusive culture. I champion diversity, equity, and belonging initiatives.
Brainstorm: Over lunch, I brainstorm with colleagues. How can we enhance employee experiences? Maybe a mentorship program or a knowledge-sharing platform?
Workshops: Facilitating workshops energizes me. Today, it’s a session on trust and curiosity.
Project Management: I juggle multiple projects: onboarding revamp, learning overhaul, and more. Gantt charts, deadlines, and teamwork keep me on track.
Reflect: Did we move the needle today? What challenges did we encounter? I jot down ideas for continuous improvement. I express gratitude to my team, celebrate wins, and recharge for tomorrow. A good book or Netflix series helps me unwind.

Every day is unique. But this glimpse captures the essence of my role—a blend of strategy, people, and growth.


5. What’s your favorite memory from your time as either a mentor or a mentee?

My favorite moment of being a mentor is watching my mentees grow into new roles and continue to lead by example. My mentees continue to use the tools, connections and resources shared and have “led forward” by giving back to their mentees.


6. Are you a night owl or early bird?

Early bird.


7. What’s one piece of advice that you have for those thinking about joining the mentorship program at GM?

Lead by example. The definition of greatness is to inspire the people around you. That’s what greatness is or should be. Greatness doesn’t live and die with any one person. It’s how you can inspire a person to inspire another person. That’s how you create something that lasts forever. Our challenge is to figure out how our story can motivate others in a way to create their own greatness, whether through being a mentor or a mentee. How will YOU give back?

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