The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Taylor Bennett Foundation have launched the PR industry’s first BME Reverse Mentoring Scheme. The scheme has been designed to educate senior PR industry leaders on the challenges practitioners from diverse communities face – it will run for over ten months and applications are now open.
Those interested in taking part as either a mentor or mentee can find information on the scheme, criteria for application and how to sign up at the Taylor Bennett Foundation website. Applications close on 9 December 2022.
A successful pilot scheme paired senior leaders with Black, Asian and ethnic minority PR professional mentors to highlight the important role of inclusive cultures and allyship. Participants came from organisations including Netflix, Imperial College London, Google and Cardiff University Centre as well as agencies Four Communications, Cicero, Brands2Life and more.
The CIPR’s D&I Network chair and head of Healthcare Europe for 3 Monkeys Zeno said: ‘The BME Reverse Mentoring Scheme was created as we strongly believed that senior leaders needed to take responsibility for creating fairer, more diverse workplaces, but to do this they needed to appreciate the realities of being a person of colour in the UK PR industry.
‘Our pilot programme has shown that mentoring partnerships can result in valuable, honest conversations about the challenges, both personal and cultural, faced by those from minority backgrounds.
‘The scheme is not only building understanding but also shaping positive action. Mentees have already used their learnings to inform the D&I initiatives in their organisations to improve inclusiveness and representation. I’m excited to welcome mentor and mentee applications from those who are fully committed to making real DE&I change happen in the comms industry.’
Taylor Bennett Foundation CEO Melissa Lawrence said: ‘This programme has highlighted many positive things and we know the mentees can take what they have learnt to create a real lasting impact within their business. If you are a senior leader looking for thought-provoking conversations on the issues related to diversity in PR, then I encourage you to take part in this programme, to make a difference not just to your organisation but the industry.’
Apply to take part in the CIPR and Taylor Bennett Foundation BME Reverse Mentoring scheme here and find out more about the work of the foundation in this interview with CEO Melissa Lawrence as well as this accessmatters session.
For more on how much more the PR and comms industry needs to do on equity and inclusion, read our previous post on fair recruitment.