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Reverse Mentoring


Our third cohort of the “Reverse Mentoring” programme has recently commenced – a programme developed to help create a shared understanding of the barriers, challenges and opportunities for colleagues from ethnic minority groups.

Partnering senior leaders (mentees) with individuals from ethnic minority groups (mentors), participants share their experiences, perspectives and knowledge to broaden and deepen their awareness of themselves and others to create an environment where everyone can thrive.  

We caught up with some of the latest cohort about why they signed up to the programme and also the previous cohort about their experiences.

Vishali Chetty, Restaurant Associates

"Large organisations inherently operate within a hierarchical structure, which can often create barriers to open communication. This programme provides an essential avenue for breaking down those barriers, allowing for more fluid and dynamic exchanges across different levels. As a member of an ethnic minority group, it is particularly meaningful to have this platform. Even though we are in early stages, it has enabled me to voice my opinions and engage in meaningful discussions in a safe and supportive environment where I truly feel heard. The opportunity to contribute to and learn from this process has been both empowering and enlightening, highlighting the importance of diverse perspectives and inclusive dialogue within any organisation."

Jess Payne, Director of Social Value, Compass One

“Reverse Mentoring has given me the opportunity to share perspectives and gain insight and advice from my Mentor. This person has been great to learn from, and I hope with this experience, and the action that comes out from our meetings, that we are helping contribute to our inclusive company culture.”

Previous cohorts - Mentors:

Allison Todd,Senior Compensation and Benefits Advisor, Compass Group UK and Ireland

“The reverse mentor programme was an experience outside my comfort zone, yet it was enlightening to both my professional and personal growth. My mentee and I were very open about our experiences and for this reason we’ve kept in touch so we can continue having the important and sometimes difficult conversations that will be beneficial to both of us and our contribution to Compass. I enjoyed taking part in the programme and would certainly recommend it to any colleagues considering joining.”

Bally Purewal, Account Director, 14forty

“Upon hearing about the Reverse Mentoring Programme, I thought it was a great opportunity for colleagues to learn about the challenges ethnic minority groups face in their social and professional lives. Discussing internal and external factors through the programme makes a difference. Employees can provide wisdom and insight to senior colleagues, helping to bridge the gap between knowledge and understanding. This helps provide a platform for meaningful conversations and mutual understanding. I enjoyed engaging with my mentee and found the programme very useful.”


Claire Steele, Head of Operations, Chartwells UK

“Being the mentee was really enlightening!

My mentor shared experiences which helped me recognise that my position can have a positive impact on improving inclusion. I would absolutely recommend joining the programme if you get the opportunity. My mentor and I have continued with our meetings outside of the programme as we have built a relationship on trust and honesty. The reverse mentoring programme really helped me gain a deeper understanding of the challenges currently faced by ethnic minority groups both within the workplace and day to day life.”

Richard Getting, Head of Finance, The Jockey Club Catering

“There is no better way to learn than through the personal interaction of individuals’ lives and experiences. This programme is a great way to see things through a different lens which makes you consider behaviours, appreciate impacts, and drive actions.”

Gayle Appleby-Merry, Head of Operations, Compass Group UK and I

“I heard of the reverse mentoring programme and to begin with whilst I was intrigued, I was also slightly apprehensive. Seeing and hearing experiences through the eyes of my Mentor created a great deal of self-reflection. This coupled with feedback to the leadership team felt extremely rewarding as I contributed to influencing progress. My mentor and I struck up a very close and trusting relationship and this really gave myself and others a deeper understanding of the many challenges faced by ethnic minorities and how we can impact positive change by listening, being empathetic and speaking up.”

The main aims of the programme are:

  • To enhance both personal and professional development of mentors and mentees.
  • To provide those from under-represented groups with greater access to senior leaders, wider professional networks and visibility of different career pathways.
  • To develop enhanced ED&I strategies, based on mentoring feedback to further improve culture and working environment.
Reverse Mentoring participants