Leicester's Future Leaders - Mentoring Programme


“Employees who received mentoring were promoted FIVE times more often than people who didn’t have mentors” - (Source – Forbes 2011) 

“Mentees were approximately 20% more likely to get a raise than people who did not participate in the mentoring program - (Source – Forbes 2011)

Leicester is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the UK, however this is not reflected in the business leadership in the city. Mutiple research has shown having a diverse range of employees can bring together their different talents, experiences and various skill sets to come up with creative and inventive solutions (Schindler 2019). According to UK Research the potential benefit to the UK economy from full representation of BME individuals across the labour market, through improved participation and progression, is estimated to be £24 billion a year, which represents 1.3% of GDP. Furthermore, with 14% of the working age population coming from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) background, now more than ever is time to enact positive change. 

To help Leicester’s businesses recruit and retain more students and graduates from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) background, De Montfort University (DMU) is leading a £400,000 project called Leicester’s Future Leaders, co-funded by the Office for Students.

A lack of networks, mentors and role models has been identified as one of the barriers to progression, as a result we have developed new in-work mentoring programme as part of the project for graduates to receive one to one tailored support from experienced, professional mentors. In addition, mentees will be invited to attend group mentoring sessions with fellow mentees and mentors on the programme. 

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is essentially a relationship designed to be supportive in helping a mentee develop their full potential. It is a relationship built on trust, empathy and active listening. Mentoring can be a powerful learning tool that can enrich a professional journey. 

What is group mentoring?

Group mentoring is where mentees will have the opportunity to speak to multiple mentors.

Mentoring groups effectively strengthens the relationships between all participants involved and encourages a natural exchange of information in a team-based environment. This type of mentoring allows different ideas to be shared among the members of the programme and provides unique advice to the mentees (Mentorloop.com).

“When you reach the top, you should remember to send the elevator back down for the others” - Edith Piaf

How will the mentoring work? 

  • Each graduate (mentee) will be matched with an experienced professional mentor from a business in Leicester/Leicestershire
  • All mentoring meetings will take place online such as: MS Teams, Zoom and Skype   
  • The partnership will last six months  
  • Mentors and mentees will have a minimum of one mentoring meeting once a month  
  • All mentors and mentees will be invited to attend two group mentoring sessions. Both mentors and mentees can share their experiences, thoughts and exchange ideas with the LFL mentoring community  
  • The match is made based on details provided by the mentors and mentees on the application form 
  • Full training and mentoring resources are provided to both mentors and mentees so both partners can benefit as much as possible from the experience 


As this is a funded project it has specific measurable outcomes therefore mentees, mentors and business will be required to complete evaluation measures throughout and when the project has concluded.