Over 150 leading employers across the UK have signed up to a mentoring initiative to help women in senior positions reach board level of companies in the hospitality and leisure sectors.
Launched a year ago, The Plan B Leadership Mentoring Programme has attracted key companies such as Mitchells & Butlers, Burger King, Wagamama, Sodexo, Byron, Casual Dining Group, Fullers and Pizza Express.
In addition, since launch it has matched over 100 women with mentors to help progress their careers, said the founders.
“We are delighted at the speed with which this important initiative to help women reach the top has been adopted by major employers,” said co-founder Holly Addison, partner and head of the hospitality and consumer digital practice at global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.
“Our feedback suggests that high level mentoring gives many women the confidence they need to navigate the path to board,” she added.
The scheme, which uses speed mentoring to give women aspiring to top executive roles support and advice from experienced board level mentors, has also just won an industry award, presented at the CGA Peach 2019 Conference, for its contribution to diversity in the industry.
Pitched as particularly valuable for women working in smaller companies or environments with fewer resources or role models, Addison founded the scheme together with Emma Causer from Zonal, Ann Elliott of sector agency Elliotts and UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls.
Following what Causer described as a “monumental” year for Plan B, it was now seeking more mentors and mentees for 2020.
“We need more mentors to keep up with demand. Looking to 2020, we have an exciting programme of events confirmed and are looking for new female mentees to start their journey with us,” she said.
Speed-mentoring events confirmed for 2020 so far are to be held in Central London on 21 and 27 January, 17 and 24 March, 16 and 22 June, and 15 and 22 September.