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Mike Fletcher 

Lollipop offers free mentoring for black women

Lollipop offers free mentoring for black women

A free mentoring scheme for ambitious black women in advertising and marketing has been launched by the head of mentorship for Brixton Finishing School, Maria McDowell.

Lollipop mentoring aims to readdress the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on marginalised groups, in addition to championing black women to thrive in the creative industries and increase representation at the most senior levels.

According to the 2020 IPA Agency Census, at C-Suite level, just 6.4% of roles are occupied by individuals from a non-white background, although this has risen from 4.7% in 2019.

McDowell's resource will match black women possessing two or more years experience with a mentor to provide support and counter perceived inequalities embedded in workplace cultures.

Lollipop is recruiting mentors from across the industry from all ethnic backgrounds in order to redress the imbalance and provide access to a wealth of mentors keen to champion and inspire black women.

With the service going live from August, McDowell has so far recruited 15 mentors for 10 'highly driven' mentees.

Mentors to-date include Ally Owen, founder of Brixton Finishing School, Dino Myers-Lamptey founder of the Barber Shop, Paula Jago COO of ucreate, plus D&I trainer and CEO of Amp Up Your Voice, Johanne Penney.

In addition to free personal mentor-matching based on career needs, lollipop will also host monthly roundtables to create a safe space for black women to network and discuss issues that they are facing.

McDowell (pictured) said: “Black women face preconceived bias' on their potential, which often leads to a deficiency of talent-spotting and therefore lack of career progression. This can often result in loss of confidence, increased anxiety, burnout or even leaving their jobs in hopes of success in another company or sector, often with the cycle repeating.

The feedback so far has been quite overwhelming, which tells me that a platform like this is long overdue.”

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