Being a woman of a minority ethnic background in the UK can mean facing more barriers and challenges to achieving your career goals. But from the moment I joined Capita, a year ago, I’ve been set up to overcome those barriers. Through some fantastic support, I’m closer to achieving my ambitions and helping others achieve theirs, too.
Representing Capita on the Moving Ahead Mentoring Programme
When I joined Capita as Head of Audit PLC and Operations, my boss put me forward for the Moving Ahead Mentoring Programme, which Capita sponsors and participates in. This mentoring initiative pairs up professionals from different organisations to share knowledge and build confidence.
We’re building a pipeline for professionals from under-represented backgrounds – including BAME, LGBTQIA+ and other protected characteristics – to advance to leadership and board roles. And, when I started the nine-month programme, I took a commitment to champion under-represented talent in my workplace.
Building confidence outside my comfort zone
The support and guidance I’ve gained from my mentor has given me a whole new perspective on my working life. My mentor and I spend time talking through my goals and my development, and she shares her professional journey with me, too. It’s a constant opportunity to keep learning, and to become more confident about bringing my whole self to work.
Taking part in this programme has helped me step out of my comfort zone and explore new areas – plus, it’s a chance to grow my network in a supportive community of professionals, and I’m honoured to be representing Capita among other organisations.
Sharing my knowledge as a mentor
The Moving Ahead Mentoring Programme has been such a valuable experience for me, that I decided to become a mentor myself and to share my new-found knowledge. I signed up to Capita’s Mutual Mentoring programme, which pairs senior white colleagues with more junior colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds.
It’s been empowering to challenge the status quo and build a stronger change-mindset among my peers, and I can’t recommend the programme highly enough. It’s also shown me that Capita “walks the talk” when it comes to diversity: it is investing the money, time and effort into embedding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into its DNA – by opening up Mutual Mentoring to every colleague.
Supporting each other to be brilliant
So, this is my advice to you: get exploring. There are so many resources and opportunities to grow at Capita – it’s all about finding the confidence to throw yourself into each of them. My experiences of mentoring have reshaped the way I work and the way I nurture my team’s growth.
Because, when we can bring our true selves to work, we’ve got the chance to overcome barriers to our success: in an environment of honesty, trust, and continuous improvement, we can really be brilliant!