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Travers Smith launches second year of pioneering LGBT mentoring scheme in partnership with Just Like Us


Building on the success of its pilot year, Travers Smith LLP is delighted to launch the second year of a pioneering mentoring scheme in partnership with LGBT+ charity Just Like Us.

The scheme aims to give LGBT+ graduates the skills, confidence and support they need as they transition from university life to full time employment.

Entering the workplace can be daunting experience for LGBT+ people. Many LGBT+ people come out at university, but a staggering 60 per cent go back into the closet when they start their careers. Having to conceal your identity or sexual orientation can have a major impact on one's ability to have a productive and fulfilling career. Research conducted by Stonewall[1] demonstrates that people perform better when they can be themselves. They will be more productive, feel able to build better relationships with their colleagues and ultimately better serve the needs of their clients and service users. Promoting greater LGBT+ inclusion is therefore not only the right thing to do, it also makes business sense too.

Demonstrating the impact of this scheme, over 80 per cent of the student ambassadors who took part in the pilot year felt able to start their first job openly LGBT+, which is double the national average for LGBT+ graduates entering the workplace.

For this second year, 25 mentors selected by Travers Smith will be working with LGBT+ university students from across the country, giving them the skills and advice to guide them through a period of significant change and start their first job confident in being themselves.

The mentors come from diverse backgrounds within the LGBT+ community and are drawn from a wide range of industries and professions. We are pleased to be welcoming back a number of mentors from the pilot year including Brian Bickell, CEO Shaftesbury; Amy Lamé, The Mayor of London's 'Night Tsar'; former RAF pilot Ayla Holdom, as well as Travers Smith Partner Daniel Gerring and Head of HR Carly Hubbard.

 We are also delighted to be joined by a number of new mentors including This Morning's resident doctor, Dr Ranj Singh, composer Raymond Yiu, and tech entrepreneur Barry Whyte. 

 Speaking about the new programme, Travers Smith Partner and Chair of its LGBT+ Group, Daniel Gerring, who is also on the Trustee Board of JLU, said: "The feedback we have received from the pilot year of this exciting mentoring programme has been fantastic and we are delighted to be working with Just Like Us, together with a fantastic group of mentors and mentees, for year two. The fact that over 80 per cent of the student ambassadors felt confident to start their first job openly LGBT+ highlights the role this scheme can play in supporting our future LGBT+ leaders, as well as some of the remaining challenges".

 Tim Ramsey, CEO of Just Like Us, added: "Most of the year our ambassadors are dedicating to supporting students growing up LGBT+. This programme is an amazing way for us to give something back these courageous ambassadors, enabling them to build confidence in their identity and bring their whole self to everything they do."

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