Race at Work Cross-Organisational Mentoring Circles - Business in the Community

Race at Work Cross-Organisational Mentoring Circles

A six month programme providing personal development opportunities.

About the Cross Organisational mentoring circles

Business in the Community’s (BITC) Race at Work Cross Organisational Mentoring Circle (COMC) programme connects Black, Asian, and ethnic minority mentees with mentors from other organisations. The programme provides personal development opportunities, facilitates the expansion of professional networks and encourages shared learning with peers and leaders from other participating organisations.

The six-month programme comprises monthly meetings with a regular mentor. In addition, access to BITC’s network of guest mentors who can provide masterclasses on topics ranging from networking and relationship management to public speaking and personal branding is a feature.

How, and why, Cross-Organisational Mentoring Circles work

BITC’s Race at Work: Black Voices report, published in 2020, shows that many employers may be underserving the ambitions of workers from Black, Asian, and ethnic minority backgrounds, potentially missing out on talent, enthusiasm, skills, and expertise. Findings from the report show that 33% of Black employees feel their ethnicity is a barrier to progression (compared with 1% of white employees). There are also imbalances in available support, with 43% of Black, Asian, and ethnic minority employees keen to pursue fast-track progression opportunities, but only 10% can do so.

Enabling every employee to feel rewarded and supported in their career progression can be a brilliant way of improving feelings of loyalty, improving retention (reducing hiring costs), and building a fairer workplace. Mentoring is a valuable method of delivering improvements not only for the people involved, – by boosting their confidence, developing their skills, and helping them maximize their potential – it can also support the growth of senior leaders by introducing them to different perspectives, ideas, and experiences2.

Supporting Black, Asian, and ethnic minority progression for over ten years

Since launching in 2013, BTC’s Cross Organisational Mentoring Circles programme has supported:

  • 87 unique participating businesses and other organisations representing a range of sectors, locations, and sizes
  • 2,500+ mentees, have each benefitted from a professional career and development support
  • 300+ mentors have each gained valuable skills, experience, and insights.


Cohort 2023 key dates


  • Submit your Lead Mentor and Mentee details by 25 August 2023 
  • COMC Mentor Training: 10:00-12:00 19 September 2023 
  • COMC Mentee Briefing: 14:00-15:00 21 September 2023 
  • COMC Line Manager Briefing: 10:00-11:00 17 October 2023 
  • COMC Launch: 09:30-12:00 24 October 2023 
  • COMC Closing Ceremony: 10:00-11:30 23 May 2024