This month we had the pleasure of supporting the 30% Club in the launch of the second phase of their visionary cross-company mentoring scheme.
We are big fans of both the 30% Club and their founder, Helena Morrissey. They are focused on practical action and results, rather than merely banging the drum about the need for change - we have seen a lot of talk in the space of women’s development and it’s refreshing to seen an organization committed to bringing about genuine, tangible change.
The 30% Club is a group of business leaders committed to achieving better gender balance at all levels of organisations, united by the belief that parity will make businesses and boards more effective. They are taking voluntary steps towards the goal of 30% women on boards by 2015 and believe strongly that business-led change (rather than an enforceable quota system) is the best way forward.
A cross-company FTSE-100 mentoring pilot was launched in 2013 as one of a series of inititiaves aimed at supporting this agenda. The scheme was a great success with mentees reporting the liberating nature of a mentoring relationship outside their own company, feeling able to discuss issues without restrictions and appreciating the access to impartial advice. Mentors reported that the experience taught them more about the issues being faced by high-potential women – including those in their own organisation.
This successful feedback led to the rollout of a full scheme for 2014-15 and Nomura, on their spectacular terrace overlooking the Thames, hosted the launch event. The great turnout was testament to the 30% Club’s continued focus on reaching out to an ever greater number of organisations and women. A total of 22 organisations signed up, including all eight companies that took part in the pilot. The 2014-15 programme comprises 342 mentors and mentees from companies that span law, finance, retail, media and the public sector.
We supported the launch by sharing our experience on the power of mentoring and how mentors and mentees can get the most from their mentoring relationships. We led a session for attendees on what good mentoring is, what do great mentors and mentees actually do, and shared some top tips on what makes a successful relationship.
It was a hugely rewarding evening with an engaged and enthusiastic audience who clearly wanted to know more about mentoring, and who were all motivated to be great mentors and mentees. The evening closed with Anna Watkins sharing her journey and insights into how mentoring has supported her career.
We were delighted to collaborate and to be part of such an innovative programme, and are really looking forward to continuing to support the scheme and its participants to ensure they maximize the opportunity and gain all they can from it.