London-based charity launches largest ever independent virtual mentoring programme with 600 participants across 14 countries.
Global Mentoring Programme
UK-based non-profit Like Minded Females Network (the LMF Network) has launched a global mentoring programme, thought to be the largest from a single charity. The six-month virtual programme aims to empower mentees to progress confidently with their careers, with the overall goal of bridging the skills gap.
One of the programme’s highlights is its inclusivity. 97% of the applicants identify as female, non-binary or gender fluid; 8% of mentors are male or gender fluid; 70% of mentees are non-white.
Sonya Barlow, founder of the LMF Network, comments: “As a Diversity and Inclusion trainer, I’ve found that organisations struggle to find a steady stream of diverse talent. Meanwhile, professionals lack the role models and access to career progression, so I wanted to bring the two together. The LMF team and I have benefited from the two-way relationship you gain from mentoring: it’s an authentic, equitable way to build lasting support. As the pandemic results in job loss, unemployment, and a lack of certainty about the future, mentoring becomes a vital lifeline for mentors and mentees. I’m excited to see people given the support to achieve their full potential.”
The Importance of Mentoring
According to research by The Huffington Post, 79% of millennials view mentoring as critical to their career success, but it’s become harder to find a mentor and build a relationship due to the increase in remote working. COVID-10 has created an increasing pressure to reskill, upskill, and change careers.
The six-month mentoring programme includes one-to-one coaching, workshops, mentoring circles, and access to exclusive networking events. The mentors will focus on goal-setting, personal branding, CV-building, interview skills, and public speaking.
Aarthi Paul at Stripe comments: “There is a strong body of evidence that mentoring can be an effective way to move the needle on improving diversity in professional settings, so we’re excited to partner with LMF. We’ve had dozens of mentors from Stripe sign up to be a mentor already, and we’re eager to get going.”
Key sponsors include Stripe, Perlego, Capitol Placement, KTN, and the Charity Learning Consortium.
Siwan Smith, diversity and inclusion lead at KTN comments: “We know that diversity drives innovation and helps businesses succeed, and we are excited to partner with the LMF Network to ensure more people have access to mentorship and personal development.”
Capital Placement comments: “We are incredibly excited to be partnering with the LMF Network and together continuing to disrupt the job market with young and diverse talent.”