Applications for the CIPR and Taylor Bennett Foundation’s BME Reverse Mentoring scheme opens today

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Taylor Bennett Foundation have opened applications for the PR industry’s first BME Reverse Mentoring Scheme. Designed to help senior leaders understand the challenges faced by practitioners from diverse communities in the PR industry, support the creation of  inclusive cultures and drive lasting change in the PR industry, the scheme will run for just over 10-months.

Applications open following a successful pilot scheme, which paired senior leaders with Black, Asian and ethnic minority PR professional mentors to share insights into what it is like to be a person of colour in the industry, to understand the challenges that are experienced, and to showcase the vital role of informed allyship and inclusive cultures. The scheme also supports and encourages new ways of thinking in how organisations approach all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Participants in the pilot scheme included mentors from Netflix, Imperial College London and agencies such as Four Communications, with mentees from Google, ARUP, Cardiff University Centre for Journalism and Public Communication and a wide range of agencies include Cicero, Launch and Brands2Life.

Due to the success of the pilot programme, CIPR’s D&I Network and Taylor Bennett Foundation are inviting those interested in becoming either a mentor or  mentee to apply to the Scheme before applications close on 9th December 2022. Full details of the Scheme, applicant criteria and how to apply can be found at

Avril Lee, Chair of the CIPR’s D&I Network and Head of Healthcare Europe, 3 Monkeys Zeno said:The BME Reverse Mentoring Scheme was created as we strongly believed that senior leaders needed to take responsibility for creating fairer, more diverse workplaces, but to do this they needed to appreciate the realities of being a person of colour in the UK PR industry. Our pilot programme has shown that mentoring partnerships can result in valuable, honest conversations about the challenges, both personal and cultural, faced by those from minority backgrounds.

Critically, the scheme is not only building understanding but also shaping positive action. Mentees have already used their learnings to inform the D&I initiatives in their organisations to improve inclusiveness and representation. I want to thank all those who took part in this year’s scheme, and I’m now excited to welcome mentor and mentee applications from those who are fully committed to making real DE&I change happen in the comms industry.”

Melissa Lawrence, CEO of Taylor Bennett Foundation, said: “Our reverse mentoring programme has highlighted many positive things and we know the mentees can take what they have learnt to create a real lasting impact within their business. If you are a senior leader looking for thought provoking conversations on the issues related to diversity in PR, then I encourage you to take part in this programme, to make a difference not just to your organisation but the industry." 



  • In a senior leadership role, with the ability to enact change and build an inclusive culture within your business
  • Can demonstrate existing action to D&I initiatives and programmes
  • Willing to have open, non-judgmental conversations
  • Mentees should be from a non-minority background


  • Five + years’ experience working in PR/Communications
  • Committed to investing time and effort to D&I initiatives and programmes
  • Willing to have open, non-judgmental conversations
  • Mentors should be from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background

To apply:

  • Mentors apply here
  • Mentees apply here

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners with nearly 10,000 members.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).

Further information

Jon Gerlis MCIPR

CIPR PR and Policy Manager

Tel: 07741 146920

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @JRGerlis

About the Taylor Bennett Foundation

The Taylor Bennett Foundation is a charity that exists to encourage Black, Asian and minority ethnic graduates to pursue a career in communications which is achieved by an award-winning PR & Communications training programme, internship and mentoring programmes. With the support of leading communication agencies and in-house teams, Taylor Bennett Foundation runs professional development programmes that provide participants with the knowledge, skillset and networks required to pursue a successful career in communications.

Further information

Melissa Lawrence

Chief Executive

Tel: 07539 478 374

Email: [email protected]