The NHS is turning to technology to give a fillip to its mentoring scheme.
Its Breaking Through programme, run by the National Leadership Centre, which aims to give leadership opportunities to black and ethnic minority staff (BEM), will now include an online search facility to help mentees find the best fit.
“We are the largest organisation in the UK,” said national programme lead John Batchelor. “We can’t just rely on a database.”
The facility will act as a hub, with information on likely mentors identified by the Leadership Centre.
Mentees will be able to use key word searches, including ethnic origin or geographical location, to help them find the right match.
It will also help with an evaluation of the project, which has placed in excess of 200 mentees since its launch in 2003.
“The system allows [the collection of] qualitative information about mentoring and quantitative [information] identifying who has been promoted,” said developer and diversity consultant Simon Kettleborough.
Research conducted in the US by Harvard Business School shows that having a mentor is key to BEM middle managers being promoted.
“It is a key facet of career development for BEM people,” said Kettleborough of Performance Through Inclusion, which also runs mentoring workshops for the NHS.