Case Study:

How Compass Group UK & Ireland piloted their reverse mentoring scheme

Written by Emma Molloy Wednesday 09 March 2022
Take a deep dive into how amplify the voices of your employees – with this concept that flips traditional mentoring on its head
Two men from different ethnic backgrounds talking in front of a laptop

Reverse mentoring – a concept popularised by Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, who in the 90s asked his younger workers to share their superior knowledge of new technology with less tech-savvy older employees – now stretches beyond simply computer lessons. It aims to amplify the ideas and voices of less experienced, less senior and more diverse employees.

In November 2021, Compass launched its reverse mentoring pilot scheme as a key strand of its diversity and inclusion strategy. The idea to start the scheme surfaced from input from ‘Within’ – the company’s employee network “run by colleagues, for colleagues”.  “It was very much generated as part of our D&I strategy, but informed, designed and guided by our Within network,” says Amanda Scott, director of talent, learning and D&I at Compass Group UK & Ireland, who are leading experts in catering, cleaning, vending and facilities management.

“We really took the lead from our employees”, says Amanda. “Having a reverse mentoring programme was something that everyone was really up for to really educate and inform people. And because the majority of our senior leadership are not from an ethnic minority background, we felt it was really important for them to connect with people and hear their stories.”

I think these kinds of programmes are going to be really helpful in breaking down some of the nervousness around tackling race

“There’s also a lot of people who are nervous around the language, particularly around race and ethnicity,” continues Amanda, “and I think these kinds of programmes help that by raising awareness and testing some assumptions that people might make. So I think that's going to be really helpful in breaking down some of the nervousness around tackling race.”

Keep reading to learn how Compass Group UK & Ireland kicked off its mentoring scheme


If you are already registered as a CMI Friend, Subscriber or Member, just login to view this article.

Confirm your registration

Login below to confirm your details and access this article.


Please confirm that you want to switch off the "Sign in with email" remember me feature.

Register for Free Access

Not yet a Member, Subscriber or Friend? Register as a CMI Friend for free, and get access to this and many other exclusive resources, as well as weekly updates straight to your inbox.

You have successfully registered

As a CMI Friend, you now have access to whole range of CMI Friendship benefits.

Please login to the left to confirm your registration and access the article.