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The Investment Association in collaboration with #TalkAboutBlack (part of the Diversity Project) have developed  a cross-industry Black leaders mentoring and reverse mentoring programme. Acknowledging the barriers to advancement that Black professionals can face, the purpose of this is to support the progression of senior Black leader to C-Suite.

Now in our third year, this programme enhances an inclusive industry culture. Black leaders are supported with the tools and networks to achieve their professional goals as mentees through our programme. In addition, mentors benefit directly through reverse mentoring gaining first-hand lived experience insights of a Black professional's journey.


“My relationship with my mentor has been brilliant, and it has been refreshing sharing some of the challenges of being a senior Black professional in the industry, but also having really good discussions on career development and how I can broaden my horizons.”
Image of black leaders mentees gathered together at The IA

The Programme

Through a 12-month programme, mentors and mentees meet regularly to connect and discuss ways to successfully navigate the investment management industry.  The participants exchange ideas on strategies and career development that will aid both the mentors and mentees to build a more inclusive industry going forward.

Opposite: 2023 Black Leaders Programme mentees with Marie-Laure Humbert, Senior Strategist Executive Director at Goldman Sachs and Shrena Fraser Johnson, Culture, Talent & Inclusion Specialist at The Investment Association.

Mentee names in order of left to right are: Elliott Coleman, Andrea Davidson, Mariam Akanbi, Arif Saad, Nneka Orji, Cyprian Njamma, Hannah Smith, Mary Ampah


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How does it work?

One-to-one match between a C-suite executive within an IA member firm and a senior Black professional within a member firm. 

An effective mentoring relationship takes time to develop.  As participants will often discuss complex and potentially sensitive topics, it is important to establish a level of trust and comfort between the mentor and mentee.  As such the mentoring programme lasts for twelve (12) months. The expectation is that mentors and mentees will meet every 6 to 8 weeks throughout the year.

A plan for the mentoring relationship should be agreed during the first meeting. Mentors and mentees work closely with a facilitator during the programme to ensure that they are both achieving the goals they have set out for the mentorship.  

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Who is this programme for?

  • People of African descent, with an eye on intersectionality, including but not limited to gender, social-economic background, sexual orientation and disability
  • Investment Management professionals that are, or could be on a path to C-suite roles
  • Candidates should have at least ten (10) years of industry experience 
  • The individuals should display leadership qualities that would allow them to become ambassadors for the wider investment management industry in the future