Today we’re launching the second round of our award-winning mentoring programme aimed at LGBT+ civil servants and we’re asking you, whatever your grade, location, profession, department or LGBT+ identity to get involved.

We established our mentoring programme last year and couldn’t have anticipated the level of interest in the programme or how well it would do. We knew there was a need for something that focused on the career development of LGBT+ civil servants based on research conducted by our predecessor network, and we were delighted when over 850 of you signed up to take part as mentees and mentors, resulting in at least 3,000 hours of mentoring over the past year.

This year we’re back, bigger, bolder and better than ever! We’ve listened to your feedback to make changes to the programme so it’s even better. This year it’s our ambition to reach more LGBT+ civil servants across the spectrum, widen the pool of those taking part and provide mentors and mentees with the support and tools to strengthen their careers, gain new skills and give something back to their community. Our programme will reman online with a structured format, both things you told us you really valued.

Register as a mentor, mentee or both

You can register to take part in the 2022 mentoring programme from 17 May 2022 to 17 June 2022.

You can sign up as a mentor, as a mentee or both.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring can best be described as a process by which one individual (the mentor) shares their skills and experience in order to support the learning and development of another’s career (the mentee).

Integral to mentoring is the development of a professional relationship, with the mentor usually being more senior in either grade, knowledhe or experience.

Mentoring can make a huge difference to the careers of both the mentors and mentees. It’s about more than just giving advice and guidance, often the benefit for mentors and mentees will be reciprocal with both learning from each other.

As part of our programme, we will match you with up to three mentors for a speed mentoring session. The speed mentoring will give you the opportunity for potential mentors and mentees, increasing your chance of developing a long term mentoring relationship.

How it will work

Like last year we will match mentees to more senior mentors. All participants in the programme will be LGBT+.

1. Sign up as a mentor or mentee

You will be able to register as a mentor, a mentee, or both. We’ll ask you to provide us with some information about you, like your Civil Service profession and your grade. We’ll use this information to narrow down mentors and mentees we think might be a good match. This year we will give mentees the opportunity to be matched on the profession of their choice.

Anyone can be a mentor at grade AO or above. It doesn’t matter what profession you work in, or where you’re based. We’ll give you training and guidance on how to be an effective mentor.

If you’re a mentee, we’ll be aiming to match you to mentors that are one or two grades more senior than you are.

2. Wait for your matches

Once you’ve registered your interest, we’ll send mentees and mentors up to 3 matches. We will run separate induction sessions for mentors and mentees to give you the required support and training.

You can register for induction now: the details are on our mentoring topic page

3. Set up a ‘speed mentoring’ session

Once we’ve sent out the matches, mentees are responsible for contacting their matched mentors to arrange a one-off, 30 minute mentoring session.

If both the mentor and mentee decide they’re a good match, they can agree to keep the relationship going and to meet again.

4. Keep the conversation going

If you find a match, the rest is up to you! You can meet up with your mentor or mentee as often as you both agree to meet. We’ll send you regular reminders, tips and advice about how to get the most from your mentoring relationship over the following months.

Those who signed up last year are welcome to sign up again. Perhaps you are a mentee who’d like to try their hand at being a mentor, or the reverse. If you did sign up last year, there is a slim chance you could be matched with someone you have already been matched to, however this is very unlikely.

For more information on how we’re planning to run the programme you can read our guidance document about the programme.

What to do next

If you’re interested in taking part, the first step is to sign up. You can sign up as both a mentor and a mentee if you like.

Registratons are open from 17 May until 17 June 2022. We will start matching mentors and mentees after the registration window has closed.

Become a mentor

Give something back and become an LGBT+ mentor. We strongly encourage people at all grades to sign up as mentors – whether you’re an SCS or an EO. Everyone can help someone! The more mentors we have, the more mentees we can support through the programme.

Register as a mentor

Sign up as a mentee

Give your career a boost and sign up as a mentee. Whilst we can’t guarantee that everyone will find a mentor they keep for the long term, we will try to ensure everyone can access some speed mentoring.

Register as a mentee