Yesterday (Thursday 8 December 2016), we celebrated the launch of our fourth cohort of the Race Champion Cross-Organisational Mentoring Circles programme. Kindly hosted by HSBC, this introductory session of the 2017 programme brought together 229 mentees and 32 lead mentors from 15 organisations. At the launch event, mentees and lead mentors meet for the first time and each group discusses group agreements and forward plans for subsequent meetings.
Organisations participating in the 2016/17 cohort include the Department for Work and Pensions, the Financial Conduct Authority, Army, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Mail and Santander.
“Mentoring is a vital part of an organisation’s approach to ensuring talent retention and succession planning is diverse. Following the success of our initial pilot in 2013, the initiative has become an annual programme for our Race Champions. We have seen over 400 mentees across 55 circles successfully graduate from the programme so far and I’m proud to welcome our latest cohort of participants.” – Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community.
The race campaign encourages its members to become involved in reverse/mutual mentoring and other initiatives. These help to employers to widen their understanding of the perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds and experiences, and to promote inclusive leadership and a culture of active sponsorship of diverse talent within their workplaces.
Our Cross-Organisational Mentoring Circles offer reciprocal and peer mentoring for mentees from different organisations to come together for action learning, peer problem solving, networking and access to a wide range of perspectives and experiences from across a variety of roles and sectors. Mentees particularly benefit from group discussions with peers in different roles and industries on how to navigate the complexities of organisational cultures and how to be leaders who positively influence change within their organisations. Each Circle is led by senior level mentors from all ethnicities and backgrounds who is committed to the advancement of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees.
The Mentoring Circles were developed in order to provide our Race Champion members with an effective programme that complements their commitment to retaining and progressing BAME employees. Following a successful pilot with ten employers in 2013, the Circles have become an annual programme. Evaluation shows that mentees gain in confidence, become more aware of their own skills and the progression routes available to them and are more committed to their employer. Participating organisations have benefitted from enhanced retention of diverse talent.
Alumni of the Cross-Organisational Mentoring Circles include: BT, EDF Energy, the Environment Agency, the FSCC, HM Revenue & Customs, HSBC, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice, National Grid, Nationwide, Northern Trust, Pertemps, Public Health England, PwC, Sainsbury’s and Transport for London.