Black Leaders Programme

Cross-industry mentoring and reverse mentoring for change

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The Investment Association in collaboration with #TalkAboutBlack (part of the Diversity Project) have developed the Black Leaders Programme to help equip senior Black leaders with the tools and networks needed to achieve their professional goals.

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Acknowledging the barriers to advancement that Black professionals face, this mentoring and reverse mentoring programme, through nurturing Black leaders, will aid in establishing a pipeline for underrepresented talent to the C-Suite. Through a 12-month programme, mentors and mentees will meet regularly to connect and discuss ways to successfully navigate the investment management industry.  The participants will exchange ideas on strategies and career development that will aid both the mentors and mentees to build a more inclusive industry going forward.



“My relationship with my mentor has been brilliant, and it has been refreshing sharing some of the challenges of being a senior Black professional in the industry, but also having really good discussions on career development and how I can broaden my horizons.”
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The Programme

The Pilot 

Focused on empowering Black talent at all levels in investment management, the programme was launched in October 2020 connecting 16 senior Black professionals in investment management with industry c-suite leaders.


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How does it work?

One-to-one match between a C-suite executive within an IA member firm and a senior Black professional within a member firm. 

An effective mentoring relationship takes time to develop.  As participants will often discuss complex and potentially sensitive topics, it is important to establish a level of trust and comfort between the mentor and mentee.  As such the mentoring programme will last for twelve (12) months beginning January 2023.

Mentors and mentees will work closely with a facilitator during the 12-month programme to ensure that they are both achieving the goals they have set out for the mentorship.  The expectation is that mentors and mentees will meet every 6 to 8 weeks throughout the year. A plan for the mentoring relationship should be agreed during the first meeting.

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Who is this programme for?

  • People of African descent, with an eye on intersectionality, including but not limited to gender, social-economic background, sexual orientation and disability
  • Investment Management professionals that are, or could be on a path to C-suite roles
  • Candidates should have at least ten (10) years of industry experience 
  • The individuals should display leadership qualities that would allow them to become ambassadors for the wider investment management industry in the future

The application deadline for the programme was 25 November.  Those selected for the programme will be notified in early December.