Helping mentees unleash their true potential

By Jasmine Leone, Consultant Obstetrician Midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Race matters Leadership

Imposter syndrome, discrimination, racism and lack of inclusion in the workplace can be barriers to success for Black and Asian staff and those of mixed heritage. That’s why mentoring is so important to help with career development and the acquisition of lifelong skills. such as. It is harder to speak up when there is a lack of role models to identify with. There is also perception that these groups have to work 10 times harder in order to succeed. Mentoring is a key way to provide positive role modelling, encourage networking and unleash true potential.

I have been a Consultant Obstetrician for over 10 years and a Clinical Director since 2015. As someone of Black Caribbean ethnicity. I have seen the benefits of mentoring throughout my career, both as a mentee as well as a mentor. To my mentees, I can bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, and expertise, including in leadership, change management, quality improvement and human factors. I also have experience of interview skills, conducting appraisals, coaching, and building inclusive teams – all really useful skills if you’re looking to build and develop your career.

In my role, I work closely with the midwifery team, from the shop floor all the way to the senior team. To me, forging meaningful relationships in the workplace should be built on capability and not limited by race. . With disparities so evident for ethnic minorities during COVID, I created an ethnic minority group in maternity to ensure that staff felt supported.

I am a certified mentor and hold a governance role in the One2One mentoring network, and I’m also a mentor for SAS doctors and consultants in my Trust. We’re all aware of the potential for burnout as we emerge from the pandemic, so I support my teams in strategies to reduce it and promote self-care with positive work-life balance.  I have a non-judgmental approach to mentorship,  using my own career path as an opportunity for learning. I also wish to learn from my mentee as the relationship is a symbiotic one.

I hope the mentoring experience will give midwives and MSWs of colour the opportunity to maximise and unleash their true potential. I want them to realise that equal opportunities can exist and help them to overcome any barriers to success.

Find out more about the mentorship scheme and how to apply here