Ethical Performance
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Do we need more CR and sustainability mentors?

December 2014

Claudine Blamey, chair of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (ICRS) and head of stewardship at The Crown Estate, explains the institute's new mentoring scheme

The ICRS has launched a cross-sector mentoring programme to support all CRS professionals and to share learning across the profession.

According to the latest CR and Sustainability Salary Survey, exactly a third of CRS professionals work in teams of less than three people, and anecdotally we know that a large number work alone. Several companies only have a solitary CRS person. Working in isolation can be challenging at the best of times and impossible at the worst. Most people can’t reach their full potential without support, collaboration, cross-pollination of ideas, and learning from others.

The very nature of our work – often tackling complex environmental, social and ethical problems – requires people and organisations to work together.

Also, there are a large number of CRS professionals that don’t have a single person reporting into them – 45% according to the Salary Survey. Many of these individuals would like the opportunity to share their experiences with more junior employees.

We think there is a need, appetite, and huge potential in our sector for a sophisticated mentoring scheme which brings people together for shared learning. That is why the ICRS has set up the first formal mentoring programme for the profession. Mentoring can be powerful, rewarding, and fun for everybody involved. There is also evidence that mentoring creates – higher job satisfaction, higher retention, better performance, and even higher pay.

Our mentoring programme is bringing together people with complementing interests and experiences, to provide support, motivation, fresh ways of thinking, experience and knowledge sharing, and a sounding board to test ideas. There are a large number of people with a passion for helping others to be successful; we want to harness that passion.
It takes a flexible and light touch approach and our mentors or mentees will be supplied with a set of guidelines and resources to help them plan and make the most of their mentor-mentee relationship. Setting specific goals and objectives – and monitoring subsequent progress – are the responsibility of each mentor-mentee pair.

Each formal mentoring relationship will last 12 months, with a view to it continuing beyond this time on an informal basis.
The scheme formally launched on 13th November and is open to all ICRS members. Mentor-mentee matching will happen on a rolling basis as strong relationships are identified.

If you are keen to become a part of the community, why not consider joining us. ICRS membership will help you to develop your CRS career, give you recognition of your experience, and let you demonstrate your credentials to employers. It will also create a network for you to test ideas, make you part of a wider movement, and ensure that you stay on top of your game.

Joining the ICRS now gives you the opportunity to shape the organisation and set its direction of travel.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us at or call us on 020 7839 019


UK & NI Ireland | Leadership

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