Where else can you seek help?

External mentoring services.

There are external suppliers providing services such as support, networking opportunities, speed mentoring etc. Some are free and some come with fees attached. Some are very targeted (e.g. black women or LGBTQ+) or open to all such as NABS. Occasionally, you have to be a member to access the resources.

Explore external mentoring sources

    Free

    Bloom's mentoring programme

    Bloom’s mentoring programme is open to women with 1 to 5 years’ experience of any discipline in the broader marketing and communications industry. But you have to apply.  The mission of the 500 members is to ensure women have equal opportunity in the communications industry. "By harnessing the power of their real voices, we strive to future-proof women’s careers, spearhead industry change and pay it forward."

    Bloom has recently focused on engaging men in the conversation by setting up The Exchange, a cross-mentoring pilot that brings women together with senior men, and has brought valuable perspective and insight to both sides.

    Bloom is also famous for its “Booth of Truth,” which since the 2017 Bloomfest Event invites members to share stories about their experiences in the industry – which unfortunately continue to include sexism, racism, ageism, and more.

    Bloom in Colour (BIC) "supports Bloom members within the industry who identify as Women of Colour from marginalised ethnic communities. BIC champions and elevates Women of Colour, driving equity and reinforcing the need for diversity from within Bloom and beyond. It is a safe space for Bloom women to discuss the challenges they face when it comes to diversity, and provide support. We believe it to be a collective effort and so BIC welcomes all Bloom member allies."

    The Naked Truth’s podcast is also refreshing – please see here for the recent one on Allyship.

    They also collaborate to produce useful guides – for example their one for returning mothers and the agency they return to: The Great Return: Ensuring work really works for returning mothers – and our industry

    Finally, they have formed a community of ex mentees. "Boost is a dedicated network supporting our former mentees, keeping them part of the Bloom community. The programme is designed to support, grow and empower our female industry leaders of tomorrow and is open to all former Bloom mentees who have not yet reached the 7+ years’ experience required to join the Bloom members network. Boost members will have access to Bloom member support, a dedicated community and workshops."

    SheSays

    SheSays focuses on networking and support for female creatives. Fabiana Xavier, its London president, says, “The male culture is more naturally geared towards networking – they organise sporting events and are more likely to go to the pub after work.”

    Their mentor programme is called "Who’s Your Momma?". Their objective is to help their mentees rise to the top of their game, smashing career goals like promotion or dealing with an awkward colleague.

    As well as mentoring they also do advocacy: This is BOOM, "our activism hub, where we showcase co-created tools, services or campaigns to help achieve gender parity by getting more women in leadership positions."

    NABS 100 Club

    The NABS 100 Club offers mentoring and speed mentoring. They are senior leaders from media owners, media agencies, creative agencies, and they cover all disciplines.  Fascinatingly they provide book recommendations. There are classics like Eating The Big Fish and How Brands Grow and some great outliers such as The Sleep Revolution (Arianna Huffington). All those who sign up to be mentors have to go through an induction.  NABS is also a great place to get free training on subjects which can help often mentees navigate their careers: such as resilience building or 121 stress coaching

    NABS also run speed mentoring events for certain groups e.g. LGBTQ+.

    Media For All (MEFA)

    Since its 2017 foundation, MEFA has three pillars: "We want to RECRUIT ethnic minority talent, we want to help RETAIN then in our industry and we want them to RISE." The All In Census (pioneered by The Advertising Association) showed that we were still not representative in ethnicity nationally and certainly not of the London ethnicity.  MEFA do several things to help, among them training and mentoring. Their 2022 mentoring programme will launch in April/May 2022. You need to apply and then this free programme (6 monthly sessions) will give people of colour within the media industry the opportunity to be mentored by a MEFA Role Model from a breadth of sectors within the industry. They often partner at NABS speed mentoring events.

    International Advertising Association UK Speed Mentoring 

    "Our mentoring events bring together some of the media industry’s most notable figures as mentors, who offer their time and experience to offer invaluable guidance to the next generation of leaders, in a fast-paced hour and a half of conversation."  Not clear who the mentors are.

    Lollipop Mentoring

    Lollipop Mentoring is for black women in advertising and marketing.  Started by a black female in our industry who was fed up with being seen as ‘angry’.  And based on horrible stats such as that black women earn on average £20k less than white men – £38k vs white males who earn £58k despite similar education levels. Impressive bunch of mentors.

    D&AD Shift

    Your senior people could mentor on D&AD Shift to meet non-university educated creative people, but this is more to do with a recruitment pipeline.

    Media Trust

    If you want your people to practice mentoring a good place to go is to receive free mentor training and experience of mentoring a diverse young person or charity via Media Trust.  They already work with Mindshare and Wavemaker, and again this is probably useful also for recruitment pipeline.

    The Outvertising Mentor Programme

    Outvertising exists to make UK marketing and advertising completely LGBTQ+ inclusive. The programme helps LGBTQ+ talent, either new to or looking to join the industry, thrive. We believe that with the right infrastructure of support in place a new generation of talent can come through, bringing with them enormous value, diversity and creativity to an industry where senior LGBTQ+ visibility is low. 

    The programme’s mentors are all Outvertising volunteers, senior leaders in the industry with a wealth of knowledge, and are either from the LGBTQ+ community themselves or allies. All mentors will have gone through mentor training in preparation for the programme’s launch.

    The programme runs over a 6-month period and you can expect anywhere between 6-12 sessions with your partner in addition to Outvertising run sessions and check-ins.

    To apply to take part as either a mentor or mentee, please complete the application form. Once you've done that we will review the information you've shared to make sure you're matched as best as possible to complement each other's skills and ambitions.’  Please note, applications open again early 2023.

    But they have a raft of events and training – many free – to attend in the meantime, for example Role Model Training; plus useful guides.

    WYK Digital 

    It’s what you know, not who, is their mantra.  We know of a few agencies who partner with this free bootcamp and provide mentors.

    ‘Our results have shown, that with the right support, motivation and commitment - a career in digital marketing is available to anyone regardless of education or background.’ They seem particularly keen on ethnic, social and neurodiversity.  ‘We’re looking for ambitious young people who have a willingness to learn & commit to the opportunity we’re offering. 80% of our graduates land roles in digital marketing jobs within three months of leaving the programme.’

    Fees apply

    WACL

    WACL has just launched their third year of "next gen female leader mentoring". They have even produced a film of previous mentees talking about what it meant for them.  Around 100 WACL members volunteer their time to mentor on this programme. Past mentors have included Fiona Parashar, Lisa Thomas, Rania Robinson, Amelia Torode and many other high-profile women working in advertising and communication. It costs £100 but all profits go to charity.  There are two series of mentoring each year, one from September to December and the other from March to June. If successful you will be matched with four mentors, and you will see each of them for an hour over four months.

    In addition they often have group mentoring at the annual WACL Gather – in 2022 the theme is next generation of leadership. Tickets are £150.

    Creative Equals

    You can pay Creative Equals to help you set up a mentoring programme which aids your diversity and inclusion policies and culture. 

    Creative Mentor Network

    Creative Mentor Network will train your mid-senior people to mentor underrepresented talent, thus creating a pipeline for recruitment and retention.

    APG Young Planner’s mentoring

    APG Young Planner’s mentoring is open to planners with 0-3 years' work experience.  "During the event, you will have two 25 minute sessions with experienced senior planners and one 20 minute session with a keynote speaker." Early evening sessions through 2022, appears very popular as only 12 mentees can attend at any one event. £5 for APG members, £20 for non members.

    The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) 

    "Our mentoring scheme is a flexible and open platform designed to match aspiring and developing professionals to the experience and knowledge of a mentor that suits them best." Exclusively available for Affiliate Professional and graded (ACIM, MCIM and FCIM) members.

    We know marketers are busy by nature and that’s why our mentoring scheme is designed to work around you. Whether mentor or mentee, it’s your decision as to how you wish for your relationship to work. Search for a mentor in your region or offer your services as a mentor to the global marketing community through online or call based mentoring". We include this in cost as you are required to be a member.

    BIMA Mentoring

    BIMA Mentoring (British Interactive Media Association) is an initiative that helps aspiring digital professionals get ahead, a six-month programme for BIMA Members’ only, that supports all levels.  Mentees are matched with a compatible mentor from another organisation, based on experience and interest area and no more than two ‘levels’ higher up.  Although it is £395 we have received good reports on its efficacy.

    Last updated 19 July 2022