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Creative Access & Penguin Random House launch new mentoring programme for 150 young people

  • Applications now open for mentoring programme for young people who are interested in a career in publishing or the creative industries
  • The programme follows Penguin Random House’s commitment to better support emerging creative talent from under-represented communities as part of its accelerated inclusivity action plan

Penguin Random House UK is partnering with Creative Access to launch a new mentoring programme which will see 150 senior leaders from the publisher each take on two mentees – one external and one internal – from under-represented groups in the publishing industry.

Through the programme, Creative Access will find and match 150 young people with senior leaders from across Penguin Random House. It will focus on young people (18+) from under-represented communities who are still at school, college or university who want to pursue a career in publishing, and those who have some work experience (in publishing or other creative industries) who want guidance on progressing their career. Also welcomed are applications from those currently not in education, employment or training. Alongside this, the Penguin Random House HR team will pair each of the 150 leaders with a second mentee from within the company to offer support and advice on career development and progression.

The programme will run as two six-month cohorts, over a 12-month period, so that mentors support one mentee at a time, meeting monthly.  The 150 mentors will comprise the entire Senior Leadership team (including CEO Tom Weldon) alongside a number of other Heads of Department across the company. To help set the new relationships up for success, Creative Access will offer training to both mentors and mentees.

This new programme follows Penguin Random House’s launch of its Books for Everyone, by Everyone action plan in July, which set out a renewed commitment to being a more inclusive company and publisher. It outlines a number of actions focused on removing barriers for entry and offering greater support for career progression and development for those in the company, including a commitment to match each Leadership team member with two mentees.

Josie Dobrin, CEO, Creative Access:

“Our first ever publishing trainees took part in year-long internships at Random House back in 2012, so it seems fitting that we are now partnering again with Penguin Random House on this exciting new mentoring scheme. There are so many young people from under-represented backgrounds who would love to enter the publishing industries but have no idea where to start, and many more who are already working in the industry but would welcome support to help progress to more senior levels. This opportunity will allow them to get one on one support to help make their dreams a reality – and more importantly help the book industries in time to better represent our society.”

Val Garside, HR Director at Penguin Random House:

“Creative Access run a number of brilliant programmes focused on making the creative industries truly reflective of our society, similar to our own ambition for the publishing industry – making them the perfect partner. Mentoring is a powerful tool, and we hope this programme will have a key role to play in supporting the next generation of creative talent. And it’s also a hugely valuable opportunity for senior leaders across our company to hear from this new generation, both inside and outside the company. We know that to make meaningful and long-term progress towards being a more inclusive publisher we need a culture of sustained learning – for everyone, across all levels of seniority. I’m very excited about what we can offer and learn through this partnership.”