Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
The Cultural Diversity Network (CDN) launched this year's Senior Mentoring Scheme at the BBC Academy this week. The scheme pairs Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and disabled applicants working in television with senior figures from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, SKY and across the industry.
Over the course of a year, the scheme will see 32 people from these groups, who are under-represented at senior levels in the industry, work closely with a mentor to provide guidance and support to help them progress in their careers.
The mentoring partners will meet every month to look at the ways mentees can enhance their skills and take their career forward.
In addition, as Chair of the CDN, the BBC will be providing ongoing training to mentees for a period of 12 months through the BBC Academy.
At the launch on Monday 16 May, BBC Academy hosted a morning of masterclasses with invited speakers, with the afternoon dedicated to a series of exercises that created individual reports for each mentee to be used to inform the mentoring process
The mentors, from positions across the broadcasting industry, have been trained in mentoring and development techniques by Skillset, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Creative Media.
A specialist training programme has been devised by Dr Iona Jones who is also delivering the training to the mentors, which will train senior executives in key mentoring practices, with a focus on diversity issues.
Amanda Rice, BBC's Head of Diversity, said: "Providing the diverse communities of BME and disabled staff with support, encouragement and guidance is essential to ensure we have talented people in a range of positions right to the very top of the broadcasting industry.
"The CDN's Senior Mentoring Scheme has received great feedback in the past, and with the support from BBC Academy and tailored mentor training funded by Skillset, we hope to produce another great result this year, inspiring confidence, knowledge and expertise in candidates."
The Senior Mentoring Scheme aims to provide BME and disabled communities with the support, encouragement and guidance that all talented people need to reach the most senior roles in the industry. Specifically, the programme has been designed to focus on four areas:
Skillset is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Creative Media, with responsibility for 60 per cent of the UK Creative Industries. This comprises TV, film, radio, interactive media, animation, computer games, facilities, photo imaging, publishing, advertising and fashion and textiles. SSCs are licensed by the UK Government and by Ministers in the devolved administrations to tackle the skills and productivity challenges by sector. They are independent, UK-wide organisations, are employer-led, and actively involve trade unions, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the industry.
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