Penguin Random House is launching a mentoring programme with Creative Access that will see 150 of the company's most senior colleagues take on mentees from under-represented backgrounds, both from inside and outside the publishing house.
The programme, fulfilling one of the commitments on its accelerated inclusivity plan published in July, is now open for applications to young people (18+) from under-represented communities who are interested in a career in publishing or the creative industries. Those applying may still be at school, college or university or have some work experience (in publishing or other creative industries) but want guidance on progressing their career. Equally, applications from those not those currently not in education, employment or training. The deadline for applications is midnight on 22nd October.
Alongside this, the Penguin Random House HR team will pair each of the 150 leaders with a second mentee from within the company to offer support and advice on career development and progression.
The programme will run as two six-month cohorts, over a 12-month period, so that mentors support one mentee at a time, meeting monthly. The 150 mentors will comprise the entire senior leadership team (including c.e.o. Tom Weldon) alongside a number of other heads of department across the company. To help set the new relationships up for success, Creative Access will offer training to both mentors and mentees.
This new programme follows Penguin Random House’s launch of its Books for Everyone, by Everyone action plan in July, which set out a renewed commitment to being a more inclusive company and publisher. It outlines a number of actions focused on removing barriers for entry and offering greater support for career progression and development for those in the company, including a commitment to match each leadership team member with two mentees.
Josie Dobrin, Creative Access c.e.o., said: “Our first ever publishing trainees took part in year-long internships at Random House back in 2012, so it seems fitting that we are now partnering again with Penguin Random House on this exciting new mentoring scheme. There are so many young people from under-represented backgrounds who would love to enter the publishing industries but have no idea where to start, and many more who are already working in the industry but would welcome support to help progress to more senior levels. This opportunity will allow them to get one on one support to help make their dreams a reality—and more importantly help the book industries in time to better represent our society.”
Val Garside, HR director at Penguin Random House, said: “Creative Access run a number of brilliant programmes focused on making the creative industries truly reflective of our society, similar to our own ambition for the publishing industry—making them the perfect partner. Mentoring is a powerful tool, and we hope this programme will have a key role to play in supporting the next generation of creative talent. And it’s also a hugely valuable opportunity for senior leaders across our company to hear from this new generation, both inside and outside the company. We know that to make meaningful and long-term progress towards being a more inclusive publisher we need a culture of sustained learning—for everyone, across all levels of seniority. I’m very excited about what we can offer and learn through this partnership.”
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