Terry Slavin reports on the programme pairing experienced mentors with women aiming for executive roles in the tech industry

Opening up mentoring opportunities to help women ascend to senior positions in tech is the idea behind the Rebus programme, which will be launched in the autumn by BT, Avanade and global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.

This initiative will mirror another female leadership mentoring scheme that has been running since last October in the hospitality industry. The Plan B Leadership Mentoring Programme, supported by UK Hospitality, Odgers Berndtson, BT Sport and catering industry consultants Elliotts, provides a series of speed-mentoring events to introduce mentors to mentees. The schemes provide a framework for them to connect on a regular basis in ways that work for them, such as through a monthly coffee or Skype call.

This is particularly valuable for women working in smaller companies, where formal support may not otherwise be available

Holly Addison, head of consumer digital and telecoms at Odgers Berndtson, said the goal of the programme is to provide women who want to be considered for top executive and board roles with high-quality mentoring, advice and motivation by matching them up with objective mentors.

This is particularly valuable for women working in smaller companies, she said, where formal support may not otherwise be available.

Addison said speed-mentoring events would be held every month. Like the Plan B events, 15 potential mentors and the same number of mentees will be invited to attend. They will then whizz through a series of 15-minute meetings to see who is best able to strike up a connection.

Holly Addison, of Odgers Berndtson, one of the partners behind the Rebus scheme.

In the Plan B events held so far, Addison said, only two mentees were unable to find a suitable mentor.

Addison said about 200 potential mentors have been lined up, their gender split roughly evenly between men and women. All have been asked to nominate a woman they believe would benefit from mentoring, to build up a bank of potential mentees.

The idea for the mentoring programme came out of a recognition “that all the women we met who have broken through [to senior leadership roles] have at some point had either formal or informal mentoring,” Addison said. “We want to help facilitate that.”

Main picture credit: Fizkes/Shutterstock


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Equal opportunities  Tech industry  Rebus  Odgers Berndtson  female leadership 

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