Leading professional women’s network, Bloom UK announces that The Exchange program is once again opening its doors as the only communications industry wide co-mentoring program focused on the gender divide. Now in its fourth year, The Exchange, which was first piloted in 2019, has so far paired up more than 300 senior men and women industry leaders for mutual mentoring.
Bloom UK has been working to tackle gender equality in the communications industry since its inception 12 years ago. The network aims to make positive, lasting change in the industry by supporting and developing initiatives and working with leaders and allies – male, female or non-binary – to address barriers.
The Exchange was set up with the objective of engaging more men in the gender debate. Male and non-binary applicants are paired with a female Bloom member through a careful matching process, and given industry-leading training before the pairs embark on a six month co-mentoring programme, meeting monthly to engage in frank and honest conversations on the issues that matter and will drive change.
The Exchange is founded on the principle that both women and men’s voices are valuable when it comes to discussing gender divides in the industry. Based on last year’s results, there has been an extraordinary increase of 493% in men’s clarity on which actions will positively impact the gender divide in the workplace and a 257% increase in women’s clarity.
Aeron Corrigan, Head of The Exchange at Bloom UK, says:“One of Bloom’s core values is spearheading industry change. The Exchange was launched to do exactly that; we knew there was a gender communications gap, and sought to address it with our co-mentoring programme that encourages radically candid conversations to help all genders better understand the issues they face in the workplace. The six month programme is proven to bridge divides and spark action. We’re excited to be running the programme again in 2022 to further its impact. It’s clear that the only way to create true change is for men and women to do it together.”
The Exchange was co-founded in 2019 by two Bloom members, Victoria Brooks and Shiv Brunwin after recognising the #metoo movement, while having significant global impact, was also driving a bigger divide between the sexes, with many male managers feeling uncomfortable mentoring or working alone with women.
Victoria Brooks, Co-founder of The Exchange, says:“What started in 2019 as an experiment opening up honest conversation between 23 pairs of men and women bridging the gender divide, has grown to impact over 300 leaders in our industry over the last three years.
This program develops a truly equal, two-way mentoring relationship between senior leaders, building deep empathy and a safe place to explore our own blind spots. We are excited to welcome the 2022 Exchange applicants, and offer more leaders the opportunity to accelerate gender equity in our industry through this groundbreaking program.”
Applications for The Exchange are open until 9th May 2022.