Employers should engage in mentoring and sponsorship
BAME workers in the UK show more ambition than those from a white background – 64% of BAME employees agree it is important that they progress compared to 41% of white employees.
BAME people value mentors more than other ethnic groups. They are more likely to want a mentor and more likely to value the impact of having one. They also had a greater desire to expand their personal networks.
We need leaders to act as active sponsors, using their influence to mention the names of the BAME people when development or progression opportunities are being discussed – especially when there are no people from BAME backgrounds in the room during these conversations.
Call to action for employers
There is a high demand for mentors from the BAME workforce and job seekers. Employers should engage in reciprocal mentoring – creating their own programmes or joining existing ones.
The Business in the Community Cross Organisational Mentoring Circles programme is for employers keen to progress BAME people in the workplace and who recognise the value of mentoring. This programme involves mentees from different organisations coming together to learn, coach, network, challenge and support each other.
Our mentoring initiatives
Mentoring Circles for Young BAME Job Seekers
These mentoring circles are for organisations who are keen to attract new BAME talent into their organisations and to understand the barriers experienced by young job seekers (age 16 -24) throughout the recruitment process.
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Cross Organisational Mentoring Circles
Each circle is led by a senior level mentor who is committed to the advancement of BAME employees. Whilst the majority of the circles are London based, a few operate regionally in Manchester and Birmingham.
Our alumni include:
BT / EDF Energy / Environment Agency / FSCC / HMRC / HSBC / Ministry of Defence / Ministry of Justice / National Grid / Nationwide / Northern Trust / Pertemps / Public Health England / PwC / Sainsburys / TFL
Mentoring for the Individual
‘’From Ministers to Chairmen, Chief Executives to Line Managers – the majority of those that I have met are willing to confess that someone mentored them along the way. Someone giving advice, challenging them to do more, and even opening doors to new experiences, responsibilities or opportunities. Everyone, including you has the right to greater earning power, and being mentored is one of the best ways of helping you to unlock your greater potential.
Recruitment focussed mentoring circles
A Prince’s Seeing is Believing visit back in 2012 took senior business leaders to meet young unemployed people from BAME backgrounds. The visit highlighted the need for employers to improve their connectivity and engagement with young BAME unemployed people to give them a broader understanding of different industries, the range of recruitment processes they might encounter, and how employers’ sift criteria for applications through to interview.
As a result, we set up Mentoring Circles for young BAME job seekers. 70 of the 90 young people who participated in the original pilot are now in full time work.
This strand of mentoring is open to all member organisations of the race campaign and is delivered in partnership with Elevation Networks and Brixton Jobcentre Plus, organisations joining the formal roll out in 2015 include:
British Army / EDF Energy / Pertemps / Sainsburys / JP Morgan / Northern Trust / Transport for London
93% of mentees stated they learnt new skills which they are now using while applying for jobs. They also felt that they had greatly improved their CVs and felt much better prepared for interview.
1All references: Race at Work