Lewisham College hosted the launch of the Black FE Leadership Group (BFELG) mentoring scheme at a virtual event last week to support *Black individuals working in Further Education to step up into leadership roles to create and sustain an ethnically diverse FE education system.
At the event, attendees heard about the scheme and how it could support Black staff members move up into middle and senior management roles by helping them gain leadership insight into a variety of contexts, approaches, and experiences.
Asfa Sohail, Principal at Lewisham College and Chair of the Black FE Leadership Group mentoring committee, led the virtual event and shared details about the scheme and her experience working and progressing to leadership roles within the sector.
Mentor Kam Nandra, Quality, and Improvement Specialist spoke about the benefits of participating in mentoring programmes, while mentee Shakira Martin, Head of Student Experience at Rose Bruford College and a former Lewisham College student, shared her experience and the benefits she gained from mentoring.
Asfa Sohail, Principal at Lewisham College, said: “I’m immensely proud to have hosted the launch of the Black FE Leadership Group mentoring scheme. Principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are embedded in everything we do at Lewisham College (part of NCG) to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities for development and career progression.
"We are fully committed to inspiring excellence and supporting our staff and students to achieve their goals. I want to take this opportunity to encourage individuals from Black groups to contact BFELG if they are interested in taking part in the mentoring scheme."
Stella Mbubaegbu CBE, Black FE Leadership Group, Executive member, said: “The Black FE Leadership Group Mentoring Scheme has been developed to meet the expressed needs of Black staff members in the FE and related sectors. We are grateful to Asfa Sohail for her leadership and thank all the mentors and mentoring committee, for their commitment to inspiring and supporting a new generation of leaders.”
During the event, attendees participated in a Q&A session with the panellists and a workshop led by Dr Maxine Room, Black FE Leadership Group representative and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion coach and mentor.
*Black is used as an inclusive definition for people from ethnically diverse backgrounds who share a lived experience of the effects of racism.