CIPR and the Taylor Bennett Foundation Diversity Reverse Mentoring Programme

Mentor: Shanil Nayee, Account Director at Harvard
Mentee: Jo Patterson, Managing Director, 3MonkeysZeno

Jo and I knew from the beginning that it was important to be honest throughout the scheme. And I was personally determined to explain the struggles that young black, Asian and minority ethnic professionals face when entering the industry. So having a senior voice listen to issues around retention, internal culture, policy, recruitment and so much more was invaluable.

What’s more, Jo was incredibly open and transparent with me about her efforts to change an agency that has for too long shied away from serious diversity and inclusion conversations. I can only commend her determined attitude and will to change people’s mindset, not only to
better Three Monkeys Zeno but the PR industry as a whole.

The regular and monthly conversations that we had helped me to understand the challenges of implementing a successful DE&I strategy and simultaneously running an agency. I’d highly recommend the programme to young professionals that want a grounded, first-hand
insight on diversity, equity and inclusion challenges, from business leaders that have the
power to make positive change.

The onus is on all of us to take a collective responsibility and create an industry that’s inclusive and representative. I’m incredibly proud of the work we achieved together and trust that Jo (as well as the other mentees) will continue to make PR a better place to work for everyone.

Shanil Nayee