Diversity group Taylor Bennett Foundation appeals for mentors for BAME candidates

The industry's diversity charity is appealing for 70 PR mentors to join a scheme launched at the end of last year, helping people from BAME backgrounds to break into PR and comms.

2015 graduates of the scheme
2015 graduates of the scheme

Agencies and companies who wish to offer mentors to join the scheme make a donation of £500 per mentee to TBF, after which it will select an appropriate BAME graduate or final-year student as the mentee.

The organisation will then be asked to select a mentor, typically a junior or mid-level member of staff, for whom this will be a personal professional development opportunity.

The charity provides guidelines for both mentor and mentee. Mentoring lasts for between three and six months and the charity helps evaluate the mentorships at regular intervals.

If mentees are asked to do practical work, Taylor Bennett Foundation requires that they are paid at least the minimum wage, but the organisation is not required to make any other financial commitment.

Companies already signed up to the scheme include Hotwire, Citypress, UK Power Reserve, Edelman, The Red Consultancy, Talk PR, Powerscourt and Pagefield.

Andy Jones, senior consultant at Powerscourt, said: "It's been great seeing the progress my mentee has made over the past 12 months. He has been on an amazing journey – when we first met, he was shy and reserved and is now working for one of the largest communications firms in the industry. However, it became apparent to me that this process was not just about getting a job, it was also about helping him develop as a person."

Taylor Bennett Foundation’s mentoring manager Jessica Ellis said: "Our ambition is to have matched 100 mentors with black and minority ethnic students and graduates by the end of 2017. We have had a positive response so far, but need PR firms and in-house comms teams to sign up another 70 mentors to reach that target and help more young people reach their full potential."

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