The 30% Club is a group of chairs and CEOs committed to better gender balance through voluntary action. Their hugely successful cross-company mentoring scheme, managed by specialist diversity mentoring experts at Women Ahead, has recently launched its fifth year. The scheme, which matches male and female senior leaders with high potential female mentees from different organisations, has grown from eight participating organisations four years ago, to over 70 participating organisations and 2,000 mentors and mentees.
The scheme aims to enable women and ensure that talent is not lost from organisations at pivot points in their careers. It helps firms create more inclusive, diverse and innovative teams, improves employee engagement and increases retention. By engaging with male mentors, the scheme also creates better awareness and engagement from male leaders.
Liz Dimmock, 30% Club Steering Committee member and founder and CEO of Women Ahead explains: “Women Ahead believes that whatever your career, you will always benefit greatly from meeting people who have different perspectives and new ways of tackling challenges. Companies that use mentoring to develop their female talent see improved engagement levels, higher retention, and increased diversity and inclusion. Having diverse senior leadership teams is consistently proven to improve company innovation and profitability. It’s not a gender issue – it’s a business issue.”
30% Club Chair, Brenda Trenowden agrees: “Each participating organisation defines the pivot point at which it sees a divergence between the career paths of its men and women, and invites key women in this ‘danger zone’ into the mentoring scheme. We have had significant pick-up on the initiative – growing from eight organisations taking part when we first launched, to the 60+ organisations we see participating this year. It shows that companies are increasingly recognising the benefits of retaining their female talent through the mid-level career point, and it supports women in pushing through this ‘danger zone’ of mid-career level so that they can reach senior executive and board positions. There is an obvious business argument for having a diverse board and executive team, with complementary skills and less danger of ‘groupthink’.”
BRUIN has been instrumental in a number of gender diversity initiatives and on 6th July, is hosting a breakfast seminar ‘Mentoring for Success’, in partnership with the 30% Club. We will be joined by participants in the scheme, who will share how they and their organisations have benefited, and the impact that mentoring has had on their diversity objectives. For more information please contact Emily Ayre.