STEMM-CHANGE Reverse Mentoring programme: applications for further cohort invited

June 22nd, 2020

The EPSRC-funded STEMM-CHANGE project is launching further cohorts of its reverse mentoring programme.

Due to a recent increase in demand, applications to the programme are being re-opened, with this next round closing on Friday 3 July.

If you are unable to participate at this time, a further cohort will be opened towards the end of July. The late July round will be open to staff in all subjects.

The programme is led by Stacy Johnson, School of Health Sciences and supported by Lucy Williams, Project Officer.

What is reverse mentoring?
Reverse mentoring is when a person in a senior position (the reverse mentee) is mentored by someone in a more junior position to themselves (the reverse mentor).

In this case, senior staff at the University will be paired up with staff in STEMM disciplines who have protected characteristics or under-represented differences . These include:

  • LGBTQ staff
  • Staff with disabilities
  • BAME staff
  • Women
  • People with caring responsibilities
  • People with flexible work patterns
  • Religion or belief

The aim is to give a senior member of staff insight into what it is like to be someone working in a STEMM subject in Higher Education with an under-represented difference.

The programme provides an opportunity for staff to engage in honest, open and respectful conversations about the experiences of people with a range of social characteristics and identities, the opportunities that diversity offers and the barriers that staff with protected characteristics can face in STEMM subjects.

How is the programme structured and what support is available?
A few adjustments have been made in light of the impact of COVID-19. Starting July 2020, it is suggested that pairs start their relationships virtually, transitioning to face-to-face meetings as they hopefully become possible as time passes and social distancing measures are relaxed. Originally, relationships were expected to last about 6 months, but there can be greater flexibility on the duration of the mentor/mentee relationships now.

This should allow everyone to take into account childcare, home schooling, redeployment to the NHS frontline and all of the other work and personal commitments and pressures that have multiplied due to COVID-19.

Reverse mentors will have the opportunity to attend a 3 hour training course and reverse mentees will attend a 90-minute preparation session.

The time that reverse mentors and reverse mentees spend with each other will be agreed by each pair, but it is anticipated that you will meet for one hour per month.

Reverse mentors will have access to optional virtual monthly peer support sessions and mentors and mentees will also have facilitated reflective practice sessions at the midpoint and end of the programme.

How do I become a reverse mentor?
Any member of staff who identifies as being from an under-represented group (as above) can be a reverse mentor if they are willing to share their experiences with someone who is different to themselves.

Find more information about being a reverse mentor and sign up

How do I become a reverse mentee?
Any senior member of staff who believes they would benefit from being reverse mentored by a junior staff member who is different to them can sign up to become a reverse mentee. Reverse mentoring could help in your role as a leader in the University and contribute to removing barriers to inclusion and delivering the University’s EDI efforts.

Find more information about becoming a reverse mentee and sign up to be allocated a junior colleague to be your reverse mentor

Next steps
If you would like to be a reverse mentor or mentee, you will need to sign up to the programme via the links above. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 3 July 2020.

Preparation and training will be provided for both mentors and mentees.

Before applying, please make sure you are free on one of the following days:

For mentors:
Tuesday 7 July: 9.30am-12.30pm, Microsoft Teams meeting

Thursday 9 July: 1pm-4pm, Microsoft Teams meeting

For mentees:
Tuesday 7 July: 12.30-2pm, Microsoft Teams meeting

Wednesday 8 July: 2-3.30pm, Microsoft Teams meeting

For more information about reverse mentoring please contact Inclusion Matters Project Officer, Lucy Williams.

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