BAME in Hospitality to launch mentorship programme to help diversity in senior positions

BAME in Hospitality is to launch a mentorship scheme in autumn designed to support the career development of minority ethnic employees in the hospitality industry.

Mentors such as chef James Cochran, writer Rukmini Iyer, food critic Jimi Famurewa, and chef Nokx Majozi will be involved, with the group calling on mentors from diverse backgrounds and mentees from BAME backgrounds to get in touch.

Lorraine Copes, a procurement specialist, set up the not-for-profit organisation last year to address the lack of Black, Asian, and other minority professionals in senior and leadership positions within the sector.

The UK BAME population is 14 per cent, and hospitality representation in 2011/2012 was 16 per cent and in 2018/2019 it was 17 per cent.

But despite the positive numbers in terms of diversity, influence is more sparse. Positions such as head chef and general manager are more often than not held by non-BAME workers.

Copes said: “I felt compelled to take action as throughout my 18 years within the sector I have always been the only person of colour around any decision-making table, and there is a very visible barrier for career progression for people of Black, Asian and other minorities within the hospitality sector, which needs to be confronted and addressed.”

The organisation’s mission is to advance learning throughout the sector, beginning with a focus on its members and providing them with mentoring, coaching and sponsored learning initiatives.

This will be accompanied by partnering with organisations and businesses, and providing access to tools and resources.

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