CIPR-run BME reverse mentoring scheme opens for applications

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Taylor Bennett Foundation have opened applications for the PR industry’s first BME Reverse Mentoring Scheme.

Designed to help senior leaders understand the challenges faced by practitioners from diverse communities in the PR industry, support the creation of inclusive cultures, and drive lasting change in the PR industry, the scheme will run for just over 10 months.

Applications open following a successful pilot scheme, which paired senior leaders with Black, Asian and ethnic minority PR professional mentors to share insights into what it is like to be a person of colour in the industry, to understand the challenges that are experienced, and to showcase the vital role of informed allyship and inclusive cultures. The scheme also supports and encourages new ways of thinking in how organisations approach all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Participants in the pilot scheme included mentors from Netflix, Imperial College London and agencies such as Four Communications, with mentees from Google, ARUP, Cardiff University Centre for Journalism and Public Communication and a wide range of agencies including Cicero, Launch and Brands2Life.

Due to the success of the pilot programme, CIPR’s Diversity and Inclusion Network and the Taylor Bennett Foundation are inviting those interested in becoming either a mentor or mentee to apply to the scheme before applications close on 9 December 2022. Full details of the scheme, applicant criteria and how to apply can be found online.

Avril Lee MCIPR, Chair of the CIPR Diversity and Inclusion Forum

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.

Critically, 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 want to thank all those who took part in this year’s scheme, and I’m now excited to welcome mentor and mentee applications from those who are fully committed to making real DE&I change happen in the comms industry.

Avril Lee MCIPR, Chair of the CIPR Diversity and Inclusion Forum
Melissa Lawrence, CEO of Taylor Bennett Foundation

Our reverse mentoring 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.

Melissa Lawrence, CEO of Taylor Bennett Foundation

Full details of the Scheme, the applicant criteria and how to apply can be found on the Taylor Bennett Foundation website


About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners with over 10,000 members.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).