Creating Pathways through Mentoring and Sponsorship

Creating Pathways through mentoring and sponsorship was conceived in 2014, and is considered the first initiative of its kind in the profession for Black lawyers working in private practice and in-house. In response to research studies that demonstrated that Black lawyers were likely to suffer higher attrition rates than their non-Black colleagues, the programme was designed in order to develop and promote cross-firm mentoring relationships between senior and mid-level Black and minority ethnic (BME) lawyers both in private practice and in-house as a meaningful way in which to address this concern.

The programme is run by a vibrant committee (Pamela Dusu, Akima Paul-Lambert, Paulette Mastin, Sedina Aidam and Nana Prempeh) who work collaboratively to match high performing mid-level Black associate mentees who successfully apply to the programme with senior lawyers, most of whom are partners or counsel in private practice and senior in-house counsel. The mentors are responsible for providing tailored mentoring and career coaching to their mentees. Progress against planned objectives is evaluated periodically during the programme term, and both mentors and mentees are provided with on-going support throughout. The programme has a one year duration.

Following feedback from our initial cohort of mentees on the 2014 pilot programme, we have introduced workshops and training sessions on leadership and professional ‘soft’ skills which serve to supplement the one-to-one mentoring/coaching mentees receive and build career capital. Seminar/workshops for the 2018/19 mentee cohort covered topics like “Impact and Presence” and “Navigating Office Politics”.

Feedback from both mentors and mentees on the Creating Pathways programme has been overwhelmingly positive. Mentees, in particular, reported feeling more empowered to create and nurture better mentoring and sponsorship relationships within their firms/organisations and in a significant number of cases to make timely and important strategic career decisions.

Application to the Programme

Candidates:

If you are an aspirational Black lawyer (in private practice or in-house) with approximately 2-6 PQE and are interested in joining the programme as a mentee, please visit the new Creating Pathways Portal.

Mentors:

If you are a senior lawyer (Counsel/Partner or Senior In-house Counsel) and are interested in participating in the programme as a mentor, please contact us at mentoring@blacksolicitorsnetwork.org for further information. We welcome mentors from Black and non-Black backgrounds to participate in the programme.

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The Creating Pathways Committee:

Pamela Dusu – Globeleq Africa Limited

Akima Paul Lambert – Hogan Lovells

Paulette Mastin – Linklaters LLP

Sedina Aidam – Bank of America

Nana Prempeh – Gazprom Marketing & Trading Limited


Creating Pathways is an initiative of: