Greene King continues reverse mentoring

Senior teams will learn from diverse community groups within the pub company.

Greene King has begun its latest programme of reverse mentoring, the initiative that sees its senior team learn from diverse community groups within the pub company's business. 

In a bid to build everyday inclusion into its business culture, reverse mentoring allows leaders to gain a new perspective on the company, to witness and have a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities there are for people from under-represented backgrounds.

Over the past 18 months, 30 partnerships of the executive board and senior leaders and their mentors have completed the programme. Greene King says that the conversations and openness can help influence ongoing cultural change and decision making, as mentees identify that they have a lot of common ground but also many differences in their daily lives with their mentors.

"This has been a resounding success for both the mentors and the mentees," says Garry Clarke-Strange, head of inclusion and diversity at Greene King. "It has been truly eye-opening and a positive experience for all. Everyone has come away from this having learned something about others, but also about themselves.

"This is part of our ongoing inclusion and diversity work and a brilliant way for the under-represented, diverse communities which we have in Greene King to have an influence on our leaders. This training has changed the way our leaders manage people and interact with those in their personal lives too."

Difficult conversations

Mentors of all ages and experience and from all backgrounds can volunteer to take part in the programme. It is open to all divisions of Greene King and team members from its pubs, breweries and support centres throughout the country.

On completing the programme, Greene King CEO Nick Mackenzie, whose mentor was from the black, Asian and ethnic minority community, said: "I was a little nervous to start. It can sometimes be a difficult conversation to have about racism, for example, [but] this has given me more confidence. People may not always get it right, but the important thing is that we are trying. This programme helped so much and my ability to talk to people about racism has certainly grown. I feel able now to have these conversations, to promote inclusion and challenge where necessary to meet Greene King’s aim of being a truly anti-racist organisation."

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