#MentoringMatters — @LMFnetwork mentoring programme & 2021 campaign

6 min readDec 1, 2020

Did you know that 79% of millenials see mentoring as a crucial to their career success (Huffpost). Given the impact of Covid19, we are heading into a global recession, with an estimated 1 in 10 people losing their jobs or being asked to reskill. This is one reason why the LMF mentoring scheme was launched and is carrying on to our second programme.

This article will cover our current process, key learnings, how to get involved as a mentor or mentee, future progression of the scheme and data based benefits to our pledged partners.

What is the LMF mentoring programme?

The LMF mentorship programme, is a comprehensive 6 month multimedia programme to provide supportive relationships, opportunities and tools to achieve one’s career goals. Covering topics from goal setting, personal branding to CV & interview skills and public speaking.

What problems are we solving?

  1. Breaking open the conversations around career progression and promotion
  2. Matching companies with great industry talent to bridge the diversity gap
  3. Supporting professionals to upskill in the career skills of the future

What have we done so far? [Programme #1]

In June 2020 we launched our first pilot led by Tania Croda (Mexico)

Can you dive into the detail?

It was a 6 month virtual programme which saw 140+ matched mentor and mentee relationships across 18 countries. We designed and delivered 6 interactive workshops, 4 tea times and encouraged a supportive online community. We ran three streams to ensure all topics were covered : career acceleration, career transitioning and finding your passion.

Who were the participants?

Participants applied for the scheme in May and June through a short online survey. We then matched them using a blind CV method with their mentoring groups or pairs. Communications were sent at each stage to ensure the participating community were onboard and comfortable.

What is the feedback?

The feedback has since been epic! We have received messages of gratitude and success stories through out.

95% were “matched with a perfect mentor”

89% felt upskilled after each workshop

93% will recommend to a friend (mentor & mentee)

95% feel inspired to apply for job roles when companies lead the session

89% are open to follow up information from mentors and partners

What was the funding model?

In 2020, the @LMFnetwork self funded the scheme with kind donations. Names and the amounts donated can be found here (with an impact report being released mid December).

Can you give us an idea of the types of workshops delivered?

  • Goal setting — Jasmine from Babes on Waves
  • Values and intentions— Sonya Barlow, LMFnetwork
  • Personal Branding — Sonya Barlow & Tania Croda, LMFnetwork
  • Communication and Public Speaking — Gunjan (Chaurasia) Kafil, Communications Consultant
  • How side hustles can complement your career — Janeena Sahota, Antonette Anandarajah, Marcia-Lee Laurence, Precious Oduebo, Dan Doherty from Capgemini Invent
  • Celebration & Successes — Tania Croda, LMFnetwork

Were there any key learnings or things to improve?

Considering it was a pilot scheme, we found many things to improve on, which we will be taking into our 2021 scheme. Including:

  • More data collection — We realised our initial data collection didn’t cover key characteristics or demographics and so we had to ask again
  • Mentor training session with networking events — This time round, we unconsciously placed more emphasis on mentees than mentors. In 2021, we will have a 2 hour training session for mentors and optional networking coffee meets for them throughout, to meet other professionals
  • Invite speakers and experts to lead sessions — Participants on the programme enjoyed speakers and experts leading sessions, as it allowed them to engage with new ideas, industries and perspectives.

How will you finish the programme?

There is a celebration event on the 7th December closing the programme and celebrating the successes of those who have participated!

What does 2021 hold? [Programme #2]

In February 2021 we are launching the revised version of our programme alongside a #mentoringmatters campaign with our partner organisations.

What is the #mentoringmatters campaign?

Any company who will pledge mentors towards the programme will be able to get involved in the campaign, which will showcase those supporting us to bridge the skills gap and create a progressive scheme. Those involved will receive generous data led updates on the programme, advice on how to attract and retain diverse talent, invites to roundtables and social acknowledgement of their support. Companies sponsoring the programme will be able to deliver workshops and directly connect with all involved.

We are also launching a social mobility pillar and research, which will be accessible to and shared with those pledging, led by Maya Welford.

What does the mentoring programme consist of?

In 2021, we have decided to limit the number of places to ensure quality and consistency. We will have

  • 50 mentor 50 mentee spaces globally
  • 6 workshops [compulsory] — Led by partner organisations and speakers
  • 6 x 121 mentor/mentee sessions [compulsory] — As directed by the teams
  • Mentor training & networking events [optional]

What’s a mentees requirement and How can I sign up?

We ask all mentees to be between 0–5 years of work experience and either focused on 1) progressing in their career or 2) finding their passion. Mentees are required to attend 121 sessions, the career based workshops and fill in 3 short surveys throughout the programme. They will have support through direct email, regular catch ups with the founding team and a buzzing slack community. You can sign up here

What’s a mentor’s requirement and How can I sign up?

We ask all mentors to be between 5+ years of work experience and either focused on support someone to 1) progress in their career or 2) find their passion. Mentors are required to attend 121 sessions (1 hour per month), with optional tea times and networking events. They will have support through direct email, regular catch ups with the founding team and a buzzing slack community. Anyone can pledge to become a mentor, individually or for your company. We are inclusive. You can sign up here

How can I sponsor or partner with the programme?

In 2021, we are thankful to have confirmed partnership pledges from Stripe, Knowledge Transfer Network and The Charity Learning Consortium.

Partners can pledge in three ways:

  1. Bronze — Pledge mentors to the programme for 6 months — Donate £120+
  2. Silver — Pledge mentors and deliver 1 tea time or career workshop with unlimited mentors — Donate £750+
  3. Gold — Pledge as a main sponsor, deliver 2 career based workshops, unlimited mentors and lead the celebration event — Donate £1,500+

If you’re interested, please content Sonya Barlow via email hello@LMFnetwork.com

What are the timelines

  • Deadline for sponsors — January 1st
  • Deadline for mentor/mentee applications — January 7th
  • Comms to those who have a space — January 21st
  • Mentor onboarding and training — January 28th
  • Community onboarding and 1st session— 2nd February

You mentioned data collection and a campaign? Can you provide more detail?

By the end of the programme we will have conducted three different surveys : to collect primary data and release a white paper on social mobility, mentoring and it’s impact on career progression. Partners and sponsors will gain access to the data, the community of participants, be referenced within the research and be invited to an exclusive roundtable to discuss.

I am unsure about mentoring, do you have more information?

Join our event led by Maya Welford “The importance of professional mentoring” to hear from current mentors, mentees and partner organisations. Here

For all other queries and questions, please email hello@lmfnetwork.com

Written by Sonya Barlow, LMFnetwork




LMF Network - building the careers & confidence of 25,000 people by 2025 through mentoring, masterclasses & meaningful conversations. www.LMFNetwork.com