Publication description

This document includes videos and transcripts of induction materials for the Civil Service LGBT+ mentoring programme. Watch these videos or read the transcripts if you are considering participating in the mentoring programme to learn how it works and how to make the most of it.

More detailed, written information is available on our website:

Part 1 – About the Civil Service LGBT+ mentoring programme


Welcome to the Civil Service LGBT+ mentoring programme. In this short video, we’ll explain how the programme works, and how you can take part. More information is published on our website at

LGBT civil servants have consistently told us that they don’t feel like they have access to the same development opportunities as their straight or cisgendered colleagues, and that they struggle to identify senior LGBT+ role models that they can aspire to emulate and follow.

The Civil Service LGBT+ mentoring programme was created to address those issues.

The programme provides new career development opportunities, and it increases the visibility of LGBT+ leaders and role models across government.

The programme is designed exclusively for LGBT+ civil servants, and by LGBT+ civil servants.

However you describe your LGBT+ characteristics, if you have a minority sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or variations in sex characteristics then you can take part – either as a mentor, mentee or both!

Since 2021, more than 1150 mentees and 700 mentors from 90 Civil Service organisations have taken part. We estimate the programme has facilitated at least 6,000 hours of mentoring for LGBT+ civil servants so far.

That makes it the largest mentoring programme of its kind in the Civil Service.

So how does the programme work?

This programme connects mentees with a mentor that is 1 or 2 grades more senior than they are.

For example, EO mentees, will be matched with mentors at HEO or SEO grade, and Grade 7 mentees are matches with mentors who are Grade 6 or Senior Civil Servants.

More widely, your grade, your department or agency, your profession and, if you choose to tell us, your specific LGBT+ characteristics are all taken into account when finding you a potential mentoring match.

The programme works in two parts.

First, we match all our mentees and mentors for speed mentoring. Each mentee gets 1, 2 or 3 speed mentors to meet for an initial, 30 minute mentoring discussion. Next, after each mentee has met all of their potential mentors, they choose one to keep working with.

If you’ve found the perfect pairing, we encourage you to keep meeting. Once every 4 to 8 weeks, for up to an hour, for up to a year.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

Find out more and register at

Part 2 – How the Civil Service LGBT+ mentoring programme works


Welcome to the Civil Service LGBT+ mentoring programme. In this second video in our induction series, we’ll explain how the programme works in more detail. More information is published on our website at

We’ve tried to make the Civil Service LGBT+ mentoring programme as straightforward as possible.

There are essentially four steps:

  1. Register to be part of it
  2. Wait to be matched
  3. Do some speed mentoring sessions
  4. Do some longer term mentoring

We’ll now take you through those steps in more detail.

Step 1: Register to take part

Register to take part in the programme during March.

Make sure you register before the deadline. If you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to take part.

You register online at Registration takes around 15 to 20 minutes.

You use the same form to register as both a mentee and as a mentor. You don’t need to submit multiple forms.

Make sure you register using your Civil Service email address. If you use any other kind of email address, your registration will be rejected and your submission will be deleted.

After you submit your registration, you should receive an automated email confirming your registration was successful.

Don’t share this email with anyone else.

The email will contain a link so you can update your information at any time before the registration deadline.

The registration form is a Google Form. Some Civil Service organisations can’t access Google Forms.

If you can’t access this form from the device issued to you by your department or agency, you can still register for the programme: just use a personal device instead.

Step 2: Wait for your matches.

Registrations close at the start of April. We aim to complete the matching exercise within 1 week of the registration deadline. We will use the information you gave us to find you up to 3 matches. We will send you an email you in April to confirm your matches.

When you register, you’ll be asked for information like your grade, department or agency, profession and, if you choose to tell us, your specific LGBT+ characteristics. We use this information to find you potential matches.

We can’t guarantee how many matches you will get from this process. The number of matches you receive depends on the total number of people that registered at each grade, in each department and in each profession.

You could receive 1, 2 or 3 matches.

In previous rounds of the programme, most participants had 2 or more matches.

How does the matching work?

Your grade is the most important factor we consider. The programme aims to match mentees with a mentor that is ideally 2 grades more senior than they are. If there are no mentors available at that grade, we’ll try to match mentees with mentors that are 1 grade more senior instead.

For example, that means that, by default, EO mentees will be matched with mentors at SEO grade. Grade 7s will be matched with Deputy Directors by default.

If there aren’t enough mentors at those grades, EO mentees will be matched with HEO mentors; and Grade 7 mentees will be matched with Grade 6 mentors instead

Our matching process means you cannot be matched with someone that works in the same Civil Service organisation that you do.

For example, if you tell us you work for the Department for Work and Pensions, you will not be matched with someone else in that department.

Most roles in the Civil Service are in a formal profession. During the registration process, you will be asked if you are part of a Civil Service profession.

Your current profession considered in the matching process. If there are matches at the right grades, you are likely to be matched with someone in the same profession as you are.

Mentees can choose to be matched on a different profession from the one they currently have. For example, someone in the analysis profession might want to be mentored by someone in the policy profession. If there are matches at the right grades, they are likely to be matched with someone in their chosen profession.

You might also be matched with someone in a totally random profession. This is intentional to help to ensure everyone gets at least 1 match, and to give everyone the chance to learn from LGBT+ people in different parts of the Civil Service.

Both mentors and mentees can choose whether their LGBT+ characteristics are taken into account when we match them.

This is a hard thing to make work, so if you are a mentee, you must choose the most important characteristic that you would most like to be considered. For example, a trans gay person will need to choose whether they’d prefer their mentor to be trans or to be gay.

Choosing to be matched based on your particular LGBT+ characteristics will not lessen your chances of getting a match. It will mean that, if a better match is available, you will be matched with them over other possible matches.

When we have completed the matching exercise, we will email you with the contact details for each of your matches. You should expect to receive this email by the middle of April.

If you haven’t heard from us by the end of April, something might have gone wrong. Email us at if you haven’t received any emails from us with your matches by the 30 April.

Step 3: Hold your speed mentoring sessions

When you have received your matches via email, it is time to conduct your speed mentoring sessions with the 1, 2 or 3 matches you have been given.

Those sessions should take place during April and May.

Mentees are responsible for setting up their speed mentoring sessions. Mentees should contact mentors as soon as possible to book in these sessions.

Each speed mentoring meeting should be thirty minutes long.

That means each mentee will get between 30 minutes and 90 minutes of mentoring during this part of the programme, depending on the number of matches they receive.

For mentors, it’s a maximum time commitment of 90 minutes; but it could be less than that.

Mentees should decide how they want to use their speed mentoring sessions.

They can use the session for 2 things.

If a mentee doesn’t think they need a long-term mentor – and they just want some one-off advice – they can use their speed mentoring session just for that.

If a mentee is looking for some longer-term support, instead they should use the session to explore with their speed mentor whether they are a good potential fit for them long term.

Step 4: Keep the conversation going

After all of your speed mentoring sessions are finished, it is time to decide whether you want to commit to a longer-term mentoring relationship.

In early June, mentees that want a long-term mentor should reflect on their speed mentoring sessions and decide if any of their mentors were a good match for them.

If they are, then the mentee should contact the mentor and ask them to mentor them for the rest of the year.

Mentors joining the programme are asked to agree to mentor at least 1 mentee across the remainder of the year.

If a mentor says “yes” to a mentee, we encourage you to keep meeting once every 4 to 8 weeks, for up to an hour, for the rest of the year.

We hope you will, but we can’t guarantee that you’ll find a long-term match through this process.

If you didn’t, that’s OK. You can try again next time.

And you’ll still have had between 30 and 90 minutes of speed mentoring to learn from!

That’s the end of the mentoring programme process, and this video. More information is available on our website.