When I first joined the Taylor Bennett Foundation in 2016, my knowledge of PR was non-existent. Fast forward six years later, thanks to the support of the foundation and great leaders I've learnt a lot from those around me. 

Therefore, I was keen to join the Scheme as I am intrigued by leadership, particularly on how you get it right and what challenges leaders face. Over the years I've observed that the best leaders produce an inspired, diverse and confident team by creating an environment where people can offer different perspectives and ideas without fear of retaliation.

So I was excited to be paired up with Tom Frackowiak, who offered me insight into challenges he faces as a leader. This offered me a new perspective on how I can find ways to help support leaders I work with. My key takeaway from my conversations with Tom was the importance of acceptance. Admitting that there may be patterns, cultures or practices in place which result in a lack of diversity is key, swiftly followed by actions. Our conversations were also a reminder of the importance of speaking to someone who can offer an outside perspective to your challenges. 

Tom Frackowiak

I cannot recommend the CIPR and Taylor Bennett Diversity and Inclusion Reverse Mentoring Scheme highly enough! I was very lucky to have Esther as my mentor who was able to give me different perspectives and insights into why there is a lack of diversity in the PR industry. This led to practical conversations around culture, team management and recruitment, which gave me a greater understanding of the challenges faced by people from different backgrounds or family circumstances. From what I learnt from Esther, I hope to continue to improve the work environment across Cicero/amo and provide more opportunities for people from a diversity of backgrounds. There is still a lot that needs to change across the industry and more schemes like this will make a big impact.