Be Inclusive Hospitality is set to launch a mentorship scheme this autumn designed to support the career development of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees within the hospitality sector.
The scheme includes mentors such as chef James Cochran, writer Rukmini Iyer, food critic Jimi Famurewa and chef Nokx Majozi. The group is calling on mentors from diverse backgrounds and mentees from BAME backgrounds to get in touch.
Procurement specialist Lorraine Copes set up not-for-profit organisation Be Inclusive Hospitality last year to address the lack of Black, Asian and other minority professionals in leadership positions in the industry.
The UK BAME population is 14%, and hospitality representation in 2011/2012 was 16.78% and in 2018/2019 17.83%. Despite these numbers there is a lack of diversity in positions of influence, including head chef, managerial and leadership positions. BAME in Hospitality is conducting a series of polls to provide insight on the current challenges.
Copes said: "I felt compelled to take action as throughout my 18 years within the sector I have always been the only person of colour around any decision-making table, and there is a very visible barrier for career progression for people of Black, Asian and other minorities within the hospitality sector, which needs to be confronted and addressed."
The organisation's mission is to advance learning throughout the sector, beginning with a focus on its members and providing them with mentoring, coaching and sponsored learning initiatives. This will be accompanied by partnering with organisations and businesses, and providing access to tools and resources.