Launch of the Government Statistician Group Reverse Mentoring Scheme

The Government Statistical Service (GSS) People Committee is launching a diversity and inclusion (D&I) reverse mentoring scheme for the Government Statistician Group (GSG).

Set up by the D&I Task and Finish Group, the reverse mentoring scheme forms part of our commitment to staff development and to build inclusion across the profession.

The Scheme provides the opportunity for all staff from underrepresented groups with diverse backgrounds to mentor and engage with Senior Civil Servants (SCS) within the profession. It is designed to provide an open and honest environment to spark discussions around creating and delivering inclusive work practices, and to encourage a learning experience for both parties.

National Statistician, Sir Ian Diamond said:

“Enrolling in reverse mentoring is a really useful tool to gain insights and perspectives of other colleagues from a range of backgrounds. It can help to uncover previously unexplored opportunities and also to understand the challenges faced by colleagues. From my personal point of view, I have found it very enlightening. I would encourage all those interested to engage with this programme”.

Jason Bradbury our D&I Reverse Mentoring Senior Champion and GSG Head of Profession at Ofsted has blogged about his support for the scheme. We’ll be publishing more blogs as part of National Inclusion Week.

How the scheme will work

The GSS Diversity and Inclusion Task and Finish Group will be working with the networks across the GSS to build a pool of those willing to be reverse mentors for the GSG SCS.

The group, supported by GSS Careers, will then work with both communities to match the mentor and mentee based on development aims. Mentoring training will be offered to new mentors to ensure that they are clear on the mentoring process.

A mentoring agreement will be put in place to ensure that all are committed to ground rules and the opportunity for mutual personal development. The mentoring process will last for as long as the pairing agree to do so – but we would recommend a minimum of 3 sessions.

The Task and Finish group members and GSS Careers will be there to act as support to both the mentor and mentee if needed.

The scheme will be reviewed and assessed after 3 months and then considerations will be given to widening the scheme to other analytical professions supported by the Analysis Function.

How to volunteer

Mentees

SCS wanting to take part in the D&I Reverse Mentoring Scheme should email gss.careers@ons.gov.uk to indicate their willingness. Please also suggest what you would be looking for in a reverse mentor (i.e. what development aims you would like to meet; is there any specific network you would like to know more about).

Reverse mentors

The scheme is open to any member of the GSG with any characteristic protected under the Equality Act 2010 and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The scheme will give you the opportunity to spend one on one time with a member of the GSG’s SCS and offer them a different perspective of life within the GSG.

It is a great opportunity to share your experiences to help educate others – and a great personal development opportunity for you too to learn what life is like in the Senior Civil Service. Please email gss.careers@ons.gov.uk to indicate your willingness to take part.

Benefits of mentoring

Mentoring is one of the ways people learn: 20% of our learning comes from coaching, mentoring, and developing through others. The relationship of a mentor and mentee can be incredibly enriching and empowering for both individuals, creating fresh perspectives, and have a lasting impact on a mentee’s career.

One of the benefits of a diversity-based reverse mentoring relationship is that it pairs people who would otherwise not come together; these relationships are often profoundly transforming for both parties and promote a culture of inclusion in an organisation, where everyone matters.

An example of the benefits of reverse mentoring partnerships can be seen in John Manzoni (chief executive of the civil service and the Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary from 2014 to 2020) and Bernadette Thompson (Co-Chair, Race to the Top G6/7 for civil servants at grades 6 and 7 from ethnic minority backgrounds).

Further information

More details on the scheme can be found on the diversity and inclusion page. You can also read more in the Business in the Community Reverse Mentoring Factsheet [PDF 190KB].

National Inclusion Week

National Inclusion Week is a national event that celebrates people and organisations. This year it runs from 28 September until 4 October. Follow #NationalInclusionWeek on Twitter to find out what’s going on across the UK.

If you have any questions about the scheme please email gss.careers@ons.gov.uk.