Leeds Trinity University launches staff diversity mentoring scheme

From October, university staff from diverse backgrounds will be able to access cross-institutional mentoring at Leeds Trinity, Sheffield Hallam, York St John, Huddersfield and Sheffield Universities

Leeds Trinity University has partnered with four other higher education institutions across Yorkshire on a new diversity mentoring scheme for staff.

The U-Connect scheme, which launches in September, will provide cross-institutional mentoring to university staff from diverse backgrounds – “who may have experienced barriers on account of their race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected characteristic, or intersectionality” – at Leeds Trinity, Sheffield Hallam, York St. John, Huddersfield and Sheffield Universities.

Participants can engage in the scheme as a mentor or be mentored by someone from a different institution. Leeds Trinity University will provide five mentor and five mentee places for the U-Connect scheme during its pilot year, with mentoring starting in October 2021 and running until August 2022.

“At Leeds Trinity University, we were keen to find ways to open up people’s horizons and find development opportunities outside our own institution,” said Sue Carr, head of learning and workforce development at Leeds Trinity University.

“We approached other universities who we knew were interested in the same thing and U-Connect as a concept was formed. We’re looking forward to seeing how our first pilot year goes and hopefully making a real difference to the professional development of all those involved, whether as a mentor or mentee.”

Professor Charles Egbu, vice-chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said: “I am delighted to announce that we are partnering with universities across Yorkshire to launch the U-Connect diversity mentoring scheme. At Leeds Trinity, we want to create an inclusive environment for everyone to work in, meaningfully contribute to, and feel that their voices are being heard. This new scheme will support this ethos by supporting staff development and positively impact our growing learning community.

“With the establishment of this new mentoring scheme and the university’s forthcoming new five-year strategy, we hope to act as an example of best practice for other universities across the country, ensuring that everyone in our community feels listened to and valued.”

Pic from left to right: Sue Carr (head of learning and workforce development at Leeds Trinity University), Simon Errington (HR and resourcing at York St. John), Olivia Briddon (equality, diversity and inclusion manager at the University of Huddersfield), Professor Charles Egbu (vice-chancellor at Leeds Trinity University).

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