What is the BAME staff mentoring scheme?
The BAME staff mentoring scheme aims to provide support and guidance around the career development of BAME staff members. It is a 6-month mentoring programme where a member of staff is matched with a more junior BAME staff member. The BAME Staff Mentoring Scheme is now open to applications from BAME staff members interested in becoming mentors and mentees.
Why is the BAME staff mentoring scheme important?
In 2015, the UCU surveyed its members from BAME backgrounds to chronicle their lived experiences of working in post-school education. Their findings showed that up to 60% felt that increased support for BAME staff through mentoring schemes would be effective measures towards combating racism in the workplace.
In 2019, the University of Sheffield launched its Race Equality Strategy, with the aim of “improving the representation, progression and success of BAME students and staff, both home and overseas”.
We are complementing existing schemes by focusing on BAME staff. We believe that the Scheme has the potential to improve access to professional networks, create an increased sense of belonging and improve the confidence and progression of BAME staff.
Who are the mentors?
Mentors are experienced members of staff from any ethnic background; we aim to provide mentees with their preference of a BAME mentor or a non-BAME mentor. Mentors provide a supportive, judgement-free space for mentees to speak to an impartial mentor about topics relating to their professional lives.
Benefits of being a mentor:
● Helping others to gain confidence, networking and interview skills
● Contribute to gaining your HEA accreditation
● Gain fulfilment from facilitating personal development and encouraging others
● Advance equality and diversity in higher education
Who are the mentees?
Mentees are members of staff from BAME backgrounds who would like to receive support and guidance from more experienced members of staff.
Benefits of being a mentee:
● Gain confidence
● Receive support and guidance
● Opportunity to discuss professional issues in a safe environment
Feedback from previous participants
"There was a genuine interest in my mentoring needs and I felt that I was understood - a sense of empathy as a fellow BAME member of staff".
"We had a similar immigration journey and outlook on diversity. Sharing perspectives from our different sectors (academia and finance) was enlightening for both parties".
What will happen next in the 2021-22 academic year?
27th September - 13th October: induction sessions (3 sessions in total)
- Tuesday 28th Sept (10-12)
- Tuesday 5th Oct (1-3)
- Wednesday 13th Oct (9.30-11.30)
- Thursday 4th Nov (13:15-14:35)
15th October: registrations open (attendance on an induction session, either from 20-21 or 21-22 academic year, is compulsory prior to registration)
5th November: registrations close
29th November: matching confirmed
1st December: Scheme officially starts
What do I need to do if I am interested?
You will need to sign up to attend an induction session if you have not already done so in the previous academic year. If you attended an induction session last year, you do not need to attend one this year. Everyone who has attended an induction session (either this year or the previous year) will then receive further instruction for registration.
BAME Staff Mentoring Scheme team
Aarti Iyer (Reader in Social Psychology), Department of Psychology
Fang Zheng (International Student Adviser), International Student Support
Stephanie Ejegi-Memeh (Research Associate), Health Science School
Dalbinder Kular (Specialist Mentor), DDSS Support Worker Service Student Skills and Development Centre