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BAME mentoring scheme goes UAL-wide

Written by
Anna Castleton
Published date
04 February 2014

en>route, UAL’s programme aimed at improving the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic staff in senior management and academic roles, has launched the next phase of its mentoring scheme.

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Deputy Vice-Chancellor and UAL Race Champion Stephen Reid (centre) with Rajinda Mann from the Network for Black Professionals (right) and Matilda Andoh, UAL’s University Diversity Adviser

Following a successful pilot year, the scheme is now open to all BAME staff across the University who are currently working at grades 4 to 7 and places are still available. Contact Nina Rahel before 17 February to discuss whether this could be an option for you.

Mentoring offers confidential one to one support and career guidance from a senior member of staff to enhance the mentee’s professional skills and confidence, and make the route to career progression at UAL clearer.

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The launch event for the new phase brought together mentors and mentees to share their experience of the pilot programme. Former mentee Andrea Farrell, Organisational Development and Learning Manager, confessed that she initially joined the scheme out of curiosity, but quickly realised there were huge opportunities available after her first meeting with her mentor.

“I thought ‘this is serious, someone very senior is giving lots of time to me,’” she recalled. “I felt I could ask her anything, and topics ranged from how to structure your day to how to be more strategic in your role.

“Above all, I realised that the road to senior management can be long and hard, and that inspired me to stick with it.”

Andrea (left) at the launch

Andrea (left) at the launch

Her advice for new mentees starting this year includes: “Be clear about the sort of person you want to be matched with and what you want to get out of it, be honest and open to learning, listen to what people say and take on board as much as you can.”

Giving a mentor’s point of view, Director of HR Nick Rogers stressed that he gained as much from the experience as the mentee he worked with. “I was able to practise and improve my active listening, and I got an in-depth understanding of the issues and pressures experienced by someone else in the organisation and how that impacts on them – detailed insights I wouldn’t have had any other way,” he said.

His tips for the next batch of mentors were – be open, honest, objective and direct. He added: “Don’t assume you know what the mentee wants, and never miss an opportunity to give and receive feedback.”

Staff can find out more about opportunities aimed at progressing staff ethnic diversity at UAL here.