South West Leadership Academy

Reverse and Reciprocal Mentoring Programme

Posted by: noralatapidean - Posted on:

A white woman being mentored by a black man in front of a laptop computer.

** IMPORTANT NOTE: There is now another info session available on 12th July, please see below for further details. Expressions of interest have now closed (on Friday, 17th June 2022). However, you can still email [email protected] to express interest for the next cohort of the programme**.

Are you part of an underrepresented group and looking to develop your career and mentoring skills?

Or perhaps you’ve been wishing to learn and understand the perspectives of our underrepresented colleagues and have considered looking for mentorship in this area?

If the answer is yes to either of the above questions, then this is a great opportunity for you: our regional HR & OD colleagues have developed the South West Reverse and Reciprocal Mentoring programme which is due to re-commence in July 2022!

Read on, or attend one of our June awareness sessions (details below) to find out more.

Who is this programme open to?

  • Staff from underrepresented groups who wish to participate as a mentor.
  • Any staff wishing to participate as a mentee to learn and understand the perspectives of our underrepresented colleagues.

Why Reverse and Reciprocal Mentoring?

This Reverse and Reciprocal Mentoring programme supports the delivery of the region’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) plan and drives to foster and improve a compassionate and inclusive working environment for all staff within the region. The launch of the programme will enable and empower staff to learn from and understand the perspectives of our underrepresented colleagues. It will also provide an effective way to build a genuine awareness of the barriers and challenges that face our underrepresented colleagues within the region, with an ambition to build new connections, improve staff experiences and eradicate inequalities.

In this context, mentoring will foster a positive dialogue between two people and allow participants to explore different ways of thinking and develop approaches to improve the way we all work together. It will connect our diverse workforce and provide support for our colleagues that are currently underrepresented, whilst providing an opportunity to network and build inclusive relationships. It also aims to help engage, retain and promote our talent, all in alignment with our regional talent management approach.

Registration to the programme is voluntary and both mentee and mentor participants have the choice to select the arrangement of Reverse, Reciprocal, or a combination of both approaches. In a reciprocal arrangement, you each act as mentor and mentee to each other, whereas in the reverse mentoring approach the role of mentor and mentee do not shift. More detail can be obtained by attending one of our awareness sessions (dates below).


“It was a good to share lived experience with my reciprocal mentor and how these influenced who we are, our behaviours and responses. I would definitely recommend the programme.”

“Although I expected to make a new connection I had underestimated how the relationship would develop over time. I had a safe space to test and check out things that I might not feel comfortable to do with others.”

“It has been useful in approaching the recruitment process, to make it as inclusive process as possible. There have been benefits all round.”

What is the commitment?

  • Mentors: One virtual induction session plus one virtual training session (further details provided below).
  • Mentees: Virtual induction session (details below).
  • Both: Minimum of three mentoring sessions (minimum one hour each) over a six month period, plus attendance at feedback, evaluation and supervision sessions.

Planned sessions for mentees and mentors:

Mentors and mentees to attend (programme induction) – Tuesday, 12th July, 2.00PM-4.00PM

Only mentors to attend (mentoring training) – Tuesday, 19th July, 12.00PM-2.00PM

Want to find out more or still feeling unsure?

Why not join one of the HR & OD South West Reverse and Reciprocal Mentoring awareness sessions? You can discover more about how it all works, ask questions and hear what staff have been saying about the programme.

Please email [email protected] to sign up for either of the two awareness sessions held (identical sessions):

Thursday, 9th June 11:00AM-12:00PM (passed)

Tuesday, 14th June 2:00PM-3:00PM

Tuesday, 12th July 10:00AM-12:00PM

This is a fantastic developmental opportunity for all parties involved. We invite you to take up the chance to make a difference within the South West region.

If you have any queries about the programme please contact [email protected].

** IMPORTANT NOTE: Expressions of interest have now closed (on Friday, 17th June 2022). However, you can still email [email protected] to express interest for the next cohort of the programme**.

IMPORTANT: Please also ensure your line manager has expressed support for you to attend the sessions on the aforementioned dates.