Adland’s LGBT+ advocacy group Outvertising has launched what it says is the industry’s first mentoring programme aimed specifically at LGBT+ talent.
The initiative aims to help LGBT+ individuals through regular meetings with volunteering senior-level mentors comprising community members and allies.
"I’m incredibly proud and excited that Outvertising has launched this industry-first LGBT+ mentoring programme," Alex Barber, business director at Iris and director of training and development at Outvertising, said.
The programme comes in light of research from Campaign and Creative Equals that found up to 86% of LGBT+ respondents had suffered from mental-health issues during the coronavirus pandemic.
Likewise, Karmarama’s LGBT+ survey in partnership with Gay Times found that less than two-thirds (65%) of Britain’s LGBT+ community feel representation in ads has been positive.
Barber continued: "Now, more than ever, we must work tirelessly to help build and establish the infrastructure of support and create roadmaps to success for new talent and the LGBT+ community in the advertising and marketing industries.
"The team at Outvertising is raring to go and can’t wait to meet the programme’s first-year alumni."
Open to applicants from Monday (13 July), Outvertising’s programme will run from September until March 2021 and is set to continue in six-month blocks moving forward.
The initiative is open to LGBT+ people who have less than five years' experience in the advertising and marketing industry. The application process closes on 28 August.
Outvertising has also put out a call for prospective mentors. The organisation said: "Our mentors are all experienced figures in the advertising and marketing industries, bringing with them strong leadership experience and long tenures in the industry. The majority of our mentors are also LGBTQ+ community members or straight allies."