Reciprocal Mentoring Programme involving BAME Staff, Black Students and Senior Leaders

Reciprocal Mentoring Programme involving BAME Staff, Black Students and Senior Leaders

Do you want to make a difference for BAME Staff and Black Students at LJMU?

During the last academic year, the University and JMSU conducted a pilot reciprocal mentoring programme involving black students and white senior leaders.  Given the success of the pilot, we are running this programme again and we are extending it to include BAME staff from across the institution. The programme is open to all LJMU Senior Staff from Director Level of non BAME Background and to BAME staff from non-Director Level and to Black Students from all Faculties.

If you are interested in participating in this programme, in support of race equality at LJMU, please read on and be sure to contact:  by Friday 23rd October to sign up.

In the words of Tina Purkis, Executive Director Human Resources: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people looking to get involved in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity agenda.  We are looking for leaders who want to make a real difference, and not just good listeners, we need people who will actually be part of making a change.  Our aim is to have an inclusive university where each person is respected equally and where diversity is embraced.  I think this programme will really add value and help us achieve our aims”.  Tina has recently signed up to the scheme herself and she’s encouraging others to do so too.

What is Reciprocal Mentoring at LJMU? Reciprocal mentoring is the dynamic exchange of information, knowledge, advice and guidance on a regular basis between both parties mentor and mentee) as captured in this very short video: 

Find out from past mentors and mentees:

Why should I sign up? The scheme will provide opportunities for our staff and students to create a powerful alliance where knowledge and understanding of the lived experience of BAME individuals at LJMU are used to raise awareness and influence action at decision making level. The impact will directly contribute towards creating a diverse and inclusive LJMU where all staff and students can progress, thrive personally and professionally. The programme will also assist your understanding of the issues regarding black students’ progression and differential attainment and also with regard to BAME staff recruitment and progression.

Joe Yates, Pro Vice Chancellor for APSS, took part in the scheme year and commented:
"I am passionate advocate of reciprocal mentoring. I have found that really useful on a personal level and at an institutional level as the Pro Vice Chancellor for APSS. The 1 to 1 relationship with my mentor / mentee has challenged me to think differently about my own approach to academic leadership as well as made me reflect on how we might be able to do things differently at an organisational and institutional level - to better ensure we are inclusive and challenge discrimination wherever we experience it. I am proud  to say that we have lots going on in the Faculty in this area – for example around decolonising the curriculum and wider initiatives to enhance the learning experience and the support we provide – but we can do more and the reciprocal mentoring scheme has really challenged me to think differently about this. To build on this we are planning to extend the mentoring scheme across our management team in APSS. I am personally grateful for the experience and for the time with my reciprocal mentor" 

What do I have to do? We believe you will find this opportunity invaluable and there is a time commitment of 6 months based on the estimate below, which includes:

  • Attending an introductory training session and attending 4-6mentor/mentee meetings: approximately 1-1.5hr per meeting, once a month for six months.
  • Following recommendation from students in the last cohort, you are invited to read “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” (2017) by Reni Eddo-Lodge or Judy Ryde’s “White Privilege Unmasked” (2019), before the start of the programme.
  • You must be fully committed to enter a reciprocal mentoring relationship. Contact by Friday 23rd October to sign up. 

Mentor / Mentee (Students or Staff from the BAME Community) Benefits:

  • Building a partnership with a senior leader and working in alliance to affect culture change
  • Opportunity to tap into the mentor/mentee’s experience e.g. career advice, lessons learned, development opportunities (networking and shadowing) in order to gain leadership skills and accelerate career aspirations
  • Opportunity to contribute to conversations or projects that will affect real and tangible culture change to enable greater levels of inclusion and diverse representation from marginalised groups within senior leadership teams 
  • Better understanding of the ways in which power works at a conscious / unconscious level
  • Greater awareness of self and systems through the relationship that is formed
  • Student mentors will gain career advice and guidance from a senior leader alongside a whole range of employability skills such as mentoring, leadership and self-confidence

Mentor / Mentee (Senior Leader) Benefits:

  • Building a partnership with staff or students from BAME background and working in alliance to effect culture change
  • Seeing things from a different perspective
  • Enhanced ability to be a more effective agent of change
  • Increased understanding of the ways in which behaviours, beliefs, policies and practices impacts upon the lived experience of people from marginalised groups
  • Action plan on ways to influence change at LJMU, challenge beliefs and behaviours with peers and influence decision making
  • Motivate senior peers to take action that really makes a change for underrepresented groups

Benefits to LJMU:

  • Improved ways of recruiting staff and students from the BAME community and attracting more diverse talent to join LJMU workforce
  • Retention of our talented staff and students from the BAME communities
  • Breaking down barriers to progression into senior leadership roles

We will evaluate the programme at the end of the reciprocal mentoring relationship and use the learning to help improve the experience of our diverse students and staff and support them better.

For any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:


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