“Achieve More Together”: Mills & Reeve's Reach mentoring scheme

Published on
3 min read

Earlier this year we were excited to launch Mills & Reeve’s first Reach mentoring scheme to support our Reach staff. I am proud to be part of the wider Reach network and a member of the Reach Mentoring Committee. As a lawyer from an Asian background reflecting on my personal journey into the legal profession, I understand the challenges and barriers facing black, brown and mixed heritage lawyers. It therefore comes as no surprise that working in a firm that fosters diversity and inclusion is very important to me. Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of Mills & Reeve’s strategy.

Our Reach network

Our Reach (race, ethnicity and cultural heritage) network supports black, brown and mixed heritage staff, raises awareness of issues and is a platform for wider understanding and promotion of diversity and equality issues. The network is open to anyone at the firm that wants to support the aims and objectives of the group.

Reach Mentoring scheme

We have successfully implemented mentoring schemes across the firm to support working parents, senior leaders (reverse mentoring) and trainees. The Reach mentoring scheme provides a platform where we can ensure that our highly talented Reach staff receive the support, guidance and advice from a senior figure who could make a difference to an employee’s career progression.

So what is Reach mentoring? In its simplest form mentoring is one person sharing their knowledge, skills and experience to assist others to develop and progress in their careers. Our mentors seek to build self-confidence of our mentees with a Reach focus acting as a sounding board and creating a safe, open and non-judgemental space to help our mentees to identify their own issues and goals. Our mentors use their own knowledge, experience and expertise to work with our mentees to find ways of resolving or reaching these issues and goals.

The scheme is another example of the firm’s core value, “working together” to support and develop others to achieve more.

What next?

We launched the scheme in January 2021. A key objective of the Reach Mentoring Committee is for our mentors and mentees to have a positive and value-adding experience. The committee are evaluating the scheme’s progress, impact and participant experiences through one-to-one feedback and we are delighted to share below some of the feedback received from our mentors and mentees. We hope to roll the scheme to the wider Reach network in due course.

Feedback from our mentors and mentees

“Being a mentor to a junior colleague has been incredibly rewarding. The specific focus on diversity means that we can have meaningful and positive discussions to further improve the experience of black, brown and mixed heritage colleagues within Mills & Reeve.”

“The Reach mentoring scheme is great. As a mentee, it has given me confidence to ask questions I wouldn’t normally be confident asking. It is nice to have guidance and support….I appreciate the effort you are all putting in.”

“As a white mentor, my sessions have really made me stop and think about specific micro-incivilities in the workplace….if I had been there, would I have recognised the micro-incivility, would I have spoken up, what would I have said?” 

“My mentor is really approachable and relatable and has been helping me work on bringing my whole self to work…”

“My mentoring sessions are flexible and focused on discussions that I found beneficial which relate to work, my career and personal life generally.”

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