CIPR and Taylor Bennet Foundation launch 2024 BME reverse mentoring scheme

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Taylor Bennett Foundation have launched the third Reverse Mentoring Scheme to tackle equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) challenges in the PR industry. Over the following 10 months, the scheme will challenge the general organisational infrastructure and representation in the PR and communications sectors, championing diversity and inclusion and working towards change in the industry.

The scheme supports progressive learning as senior agency and in-house leaders are paired with a PR and comms professional from a Black, Asian, or ethnic minority background. The participants will exchange insights, challenges and their experiences as minorities and discuss forward thinking ideas to encourage EDI and a PR practice that better reflects the diversity of modern society.

The 2024 cohort includes (not limited to):   


  • Alicia Solanki, Senior Vice President (EMEA), Team Lewis  
  • Shamma Kelly, PR Manager, Clifford Chance  
  • Ed Tan, Account Director, 5654 & Company 
  • Andrea Ilaka, Associate Director, Golin  
  • Freeha Rafiq, Director, Corporate Communications (Global), Amicus Therapeutics 
  • Jinmi Macaulay, Director of External Communications, Data Communications Company 
  • Tani Fatuga, Senior Communications Consultant, Hard Numbers  
  • Zoe Beard, Senior Manager, PR & Communications, Bitmovin  
  • Matthew Geer, Head of Communications & Marketing, Kent Housing Association 
  • Ruvina Uppal, Corporate and Tech, Communications Leader  
  • Anita Salhotra, Communications Specialist  


  • Andy Williams, Senior Client Services Director, WPR  
  • Adam Mack, Head of Strategy, Hope & Glory 
  • Selena Callas, Senior Managing Director, Teneo  
  • Fiona Laffan, Global Head of Corporate Affairs, ICG  
  • Joe Walton, Managing Partner, Fight or Flight  
  • Hannah Devoy, Creative Director, Missive  
  • Richard Jones, Head of News, Ministry of Justice 
  • Elizabeth Kanter, Owner, Avex Government Affairs 
  • Jenny Todd, UK Managing Director, Archetype UK 
  • Suzanne Morris, Chief Operating Officer, Headland Consultancy  
  • Sarah Kent, Managing Director, Whistle PR  
  • Caroline Lagden, Head of Colleague Channels & Experience, Lloyds Banking Group 
  • Laurian Hubbard, Head of Engagement Services, Welsh Parliament 

We know that change doesn’t happen overnight but it takes everyone of us to have, at times, difficult conversations, to help shift the dial. As a result of the programme, we have seen companies change how they approach recruitment or career development opportunities – these are practical actions that will make a difference.
Avril Lee MCIPR, Chair of the CIPR Diversity and Inclusion Network


I am so proud of this scheme and thank all of those who have taken part.  The scheme has enabled senior agency and in-house leaders to gain an insight, to be educated and challenged in a way that isn’t possible elsewhere. The commitment from both the mentors and mentees demonstrates the passion people have for nurturing and diversifying the talent in the PR industry.
Sarah Pinch, Chair of the Taylor Bennet Foundation

  • All participants were interviewed and screened by the CIPR and the Taylor Bennett Foundation from a broad range of agencies and in-house working in a variety of sectors.  
  • The scheme is expected to end February 2025 and CIPR and the Taylor Bennett Foundation will continue to assess the findings and apply more initiatives to ongoing programmes.  

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