Find a mentor: Nine mentorship schemes celebrating and supporting POC creatives

It might be a tough outlook for emerging creatives at the moment, but whatever stage you’re at, mentoring can offer support, reassurance, advice and new connections that can prove invaluable. Here we’re recommending schemes designed for creatives from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

As we encounter more inspiring mentoring initiatives – some of which have been created in response to the pandemic – we wanted to share our findings with you all. Since we found so many, we’ve decided to share them with you under various categories to make the list easier to digest, and find something that’s right for you.

Following our previous recommendations for platforms offering one-off or drop-in mentoring sessions, and schemes created for womxn and non-binary creatives, we’re sharing nine initiatives created especially for creatives from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Barriers are higher for many creatives from underrepresented backgrounds, though there are a number of schemes available with a focus on readdressing the disproportionate balance of diversity in industry.

As with our previous lists, we don’t have first-hand experience of everything featured here, but we hope this will be helpful in seeing what’s out there.

We’re also open to your suggestions if you feel we’ve missed something out; and do stay posted for schemes like this via our Opportunities Board.

Media For All

Discipline: Advertising and Media
Location: UK

Set up in response to the lack of diverse representation in media, Media For All helps creatives from underrepresented backgrounds thrive. Alongside events, they have a brilliant list of industry role models who are contactable for mentoring via their page.

Their mission is to publicise the industry as a place for all young talent to thrive, recruit better representation, support talent in the early stages of their careers and provide access to senior industry contacts.

Find out more here.

Joined Up Thinking

Discipline: Cross-discipline (not just creative)
Location: UK

With an aim to develop trust, build on experience and promote self-confidence, Joined Up Thinking empowers young people to stand out and reach their potential. They help to create a comfortable and conducive environment that encourages young people to actively listen, be heard, develop and gain empowerment.

​Their mentoring opportunities are open to all, but focus on young people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds aged 11 to 25.

Find out more here.

Do That Thing

Discipline: Creative
Location: Manchester, Bradford and London, UK

Do That Thing is a grassroots mentorship scheme that brings together creatives from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds from the UK. Currently in Manchester, Bradford and London, it pairs leaders (established creatives and creators) with those just starting out.

Mentees receive guidance and monthly support from their mentor, access to advice via a hotline, and help with making creative connections in their city.

Find out more here.

Creative Equals

Discipline: Creative
Location: UK

Addressing the lack of diversity within the creative and tech industries, Creative Equals holds courses, workshops and a leadership programme called Creative Equals – supporting and mentoring 30 people stepping into leadership roles with the industry’s multicultural best.


Find out more here.

Mentor Black Business

For: Black business owners
Discipline: Cross-discipline (not just creative)
Location: UK

A resource created to enable Black businesses to thrive, this platform provides over 500 mentorship sessions with professionals and leaders from a broad mix of industries – including music, technology, media, advertising, legal, strategy and more.

Mentees receive six months free mentoring, the chance to join industry networking groups, access to resources from brand partners, and access to M&C Saatchi Saturday School Masterclass Sessions.

Find out more here.

Creative Breakthrough

Discipline: Creative
Location: UK

Launched to support people form underrepresented groups, Creative Breakthrough is a mentoring programme that aims to help nurture the next generation of Black, Asian and minority ethic leaders and improve diversity within the creative industry.

This is an opportunity to connect with those who’ve been there and done it, hear about their experiences and learn how they tackled situations.

Due to the pandemic, the current scheme is currently paused, but the team still encourage you to complete the enquiry form as they look forward to introducing the next groups later in 2021.

Find out more here.

R.O.O.M.

Discipline: Fashion and media
Location: UK

Founded by Kenya Hunt in 2015, R.O.O.M. is a grassroots mentoring initiative that aims to increase diversity in the fashion and media industries. It was set up after Kenya realised the urgent need to help students and entry-level professionals of colour get a foot on the career ladder and progress within the fashion industry.

R.O.O.M.’s mentees have gone on to secure roles at The Telegraph, Grazia, Vogue, Glamour, Refinery29, The Sunday Times Style, Farfetch and more .

Find out more here.

RoutesIn

Discipline: Creative
Location: Amsterdam, New York, Toronto

A creative industry mentorship project, Routes In has been created to open up the creative industry in the hopes of making it more inclusive and diverse by supporting every route to success.

There are opportunities for young talent to find a mentor, seek immediate guidance or advice, and attend events.

Find out more here.

No Trace BAME Initiative
Discipline: Film
Location: UK


Created to address the lack of representation of crew from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds within the advertising production industry, the No Trace initiative supports and offer opportunities in the form of mentoring and short-term paid roles in junior, trainee, assistant and entry-level positions.

They are currently looking for people interested in junior, entry-level, trainee or assistant roles on short-term advertising shoots across various departments including camera, sound and editing to costume, make-up and post-production.

Find out more here.

Written by Creative Lives in Progress