HR leaders invited to showcase of largest mentoring scheme for women in UK

Find out how mentoring reduces ‘groupthink’, increases innovation, supports diversity, and improves retention and employee engagement

The largest cross-company mentoring scheme in the UK is inviting HR leaders to a special launch event next week.

This is the launch of the fifth year of the hugely successful 30% Club cross-company mentoring scheme, managed by Women Ahead, which matches male and female senior leaders with high potential female mentees from different organisations.

The scheme aims to support women and ensure that talent is not lost from organisations in the traditionally challenging mid-career period. It helps firms create more inclusive, diverse and innovative teams, improves employee engagement and increases retention. By engaging with male mentors, the scheme also creates better awareness and engagement from male leaders.

At the event to be held on Tuesday 23rd May from 4pm-6.30pm, attendees will learn about the scheme, hear the programme of events for the forthcoming year, and celebrate the successes and stories from the 2016-17 phase of mentors and mentees.

Last year, 1,250 mentors and mentees from more than 60 organisations enjoyed a year-long mentoring programme supported with learning events and guidance from Women Ahead, a specialist diversity mentoring organisation. The pairs met in person every four to six weeks and attended monthly learning sessions and networking events. Multinationals including Ricoh UK, Santander, Belron, the London Stock Exchange Group, PwC and many others all took part in the scheme last year.

Liz Dimmock, founder and CEO of Women Ahead said: “Women Ahead believes that whatever your career, you will always benefit greatly from meeting people who have different perspectives and new ways of tackling challenges.

“Companies that use mentoring to develop their female talent see improved engagement levels, higher retention, and increased diversity and inclusion. Having diverse senior leadership teams is consistently proven to improve company innovation and profitability. It’s not a gender issue – it’s a business issue.”

The 30% Club is a group of chairs and CEOs committed to better gender balance through voluntary action.

30% Club Chair, Brenda Trenowden said: “Each participating organisation defines the pivot point at which it sees a divergence between the career paths of its men and women, and invites key women in this ‘danger zone’ into the mentoring scheme. We have had significant pick-up on the initiative – growing from eight organisations taking part when we first launched, to the 60+ organisations we see participating this year. It shows that companies are increasingly recognising the benefits of retaining their female talent through the mid-level career point, and it supports women in pushing through this ‘danger zone’ of mid-career level so that they can reach senior executive and board positions.

“There is an obvious business argument for having a diverse board and executive team, with complementary skills and less danger of ‘groupthink’. The mentoring scheme works with participating organisations to realise this potential and I really look forward to meeting this year’s participants.”

The showcase event is being held on Tuesday 23 May from 4-6.30pm at the Pension Insurance Corporation. Organisations wanting to find out more or book a place can contact liz@women-ahead.org or call Women Ahead on 01491 579726.

Journalists wanting to attend are welcome to contact timma@moving-ahead.org or call 07901 682219.

Notes to Editors

  1. The 30% Club scheme is designed and delivered by Women Ahead, a social enterprise that supports the development of women in sport and business. Women Ahead designs and manages mentoring schemes, workshops and learning materials, offers leading female speakers for events, and carries out research and consultancy. www.women-ahead.org
  2. See  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msKKOO3nWbE for a two-minute video about Women Ahead.
  3. The 30% Club was founded in the UK in 2010 and is a global effort with chapters in eleven countries around the world. Led by Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair, we collaborate with businesses, governments and other campaigns to improve gender diversity and accelerate the pace of change from schoolroom to boardroom. Our campaign targets include a minimum 30% women at senior management level of FTSE-100 companies by 2020.
  4. The 30% Club supports research on why women are good for business and what works to ensure more women progress through the executive pipeline. We are actively calling for companies to take more radical action, including publicly reporting the gender balance in their organisation.  This includes organisations working with the Hampton-Alexander Review to agree and adopt standardised methodology to help monitor female participation in the executive pipeline.

Press enquiries to:-

  1. Women Ahead: Timma Marett at timma@moving-ahead.org or on 01491 579726.