Who are Empower Work Peer Counselors?
Empower Work peer counselors are working professionals who volunteer their time to support people through tough work issues. They work across a range of fields and industries and cover a spectrum of geographies.
Peer counselors are executive coaches, business analysts, nonprofit professionals, product managers, social workers, engineers, restaurant owners, college career counselors, retail managers—and everything in between. They are compassionate, supportive advocates for people facing tough issues at work.
How are they chosen?
Volunteers often find us through employee engagement opportunities at their companies, through friends, or simply searching for ways to give back. After a quick application, they apply to become peer counselors and undergo a thoughtful vetting process. While a majority of counselors are based in the U.S, international volunteers are welcome to apply if they work remotely for U.S.-based companies.
Once selected, volunteers receive over 20 hours of training to help them provide the highest quality of support to Empower Work texters, and sharpen their professional skills. Volunteers learn how to ask supportive, succinct questions—in 140 characters or less—that help texters think through their challenge and build forward momentum. Volunteers receive regular feedback and continuing education opportunities that strengthen their skills as peer counselors and professionals.
Volunteers paying it forward
A number of volunteers say they’ve experienced a difficult work situation at some point in their own career. Many have benefited from mentorship and support during those challenging moments. Others didn’t have someone to turn to, and want to change that reality for other people. Despite their experiences, the motivation is the same: to be there for people when they need support at work.
“I’ve had my share of difficult workplace experiences and many times, I had no idea who to talk to or what my options were to move forward,” explains Sarah, an Empower Work peer counselor and college career counselor. “It was important to me to help other navigate their own workplace challenges and potentially avoid similar situations.”
Peer counselors by the numbers
Over 40 percent of peer counselors identify as a person of color.
70 percent identify as a woman; 20 percent identify as a man; and 2 percent identify as non-binary, third gender or other.
Over 90 percent of peer counselors are managers.
Peer counselors are located across every time zone in the U.S.--from Chicago, IL and New York, NY to Beaverton, OR and Bozeman, MT. We even have volunteers in Vietnam and Canada who work for U.S.-based companies.
Peer counselors work across a range of industries. The top three are tech; health care and social services; and law.