Senior male PRs urged to join male/female 'cross mentoring' scheme

Senior male PR figures can volunteer to mentor women in the sector - and be mentored by them in return - under a new scheme to help breakdown the gender divide.

The pilot "cross-mentoring" scheme, called The Exchange, is from Bloom UK, the membership network for women in the media and marketing industry.

Twenty "industry-leading" men will be matched with 20 women. The opportunity is open to men who work in PR.

Bloom UK pointed to a 2018 survey by Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In Foundation and SurveyMonkey that found one in six male managers are uncomfortable mentoring a female colleague.

"The scheme aims to open up an honest dialogue between the genders, breaking down the outdated stereotypes that hold people back in the workplace," the organisation said.

"It wants to forge a new way to look at gender in the workplace, making it more equal for all. Senior Bloom women will mentor senior men on how best to retain female talent within their company and ensure a more fair, equal workplace. The men will mentor Bloom women on how to overcome the barriers to leadership in their own career."

Bloom UK said the ideal men for the scheme would be "senior and influential within their company", with a "history of supporting women in the workplace, who are up for being open-minded, ready to listen and be listened to".

They must commit to meeting in person or via phone or Skype over a six-month period.

The female professionals they will be matched with will have at least 10 years’ experience at multiple employers.

Male mentor applications can be made apply via this link – the deadline is 20 May.

Separately, PRWeek and Women in PR will shortly unveil the latest list of mentees for the 2019 Mentoring Scheme.

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