Industry members have banded together to create a free mentorship programme for “juniors in need of support” after claims that a young strategist was charged for mentorship.
1/2— Zoe Scaman (@zoescaman) February 16, 2021
I just heard from a junior strat that another mid-weight strat has been charging them for mentoring
I am horrified
Mentoring is NOT paid, it's a pay-it-forward gesture that we give to young strats to support them, to be a sounding board, to share what we've been given.
The claim caused an outcry on Twitter with some calling for the senior strategist to be named and shamed.
Unveiled via a collaborative Google Doc, the programme invites mentors from a range of specialist areas to leave their contact details for those in search of industry experience.
The document reads: “Mentoring should always be a pay-it-forward offering that advertising veterans give to juniors who are in need of support, a sounding board, a form of accountability or just a shoulder to cry on (because this industry can be fucking brutal).
“You should never, ever pay for a mentor, full stop.”
The mentorship program was the brainchild of Robyn Frost, senior creative at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, and Zoe Scaman, founder of strategic agency Bodacious.
It was launched after Scaman learned that a mid-weight strategist was mentoring a junior planner for money.
I haven’t publicly stated who was charging for mentoring & I won’t because it doesn’t matter, not interested in name calling & nastiness— Zoe Scaman (@zoescaman) February 17, 2021
Instead, let’s focus on the tremendous response to the mentoring doc, which is mind blowing
Look at what we can achieve when we come together
So far, the Google doc (which is 66 pages at the time of writing and still growing) has received support from staff at businesses including Edelman, Instagram, VCCP, Digitas and McCann Worldgroup.
The program has since been joined by a Twitter list – created by Matthew Gerrard, creative strategist at Twitter – which features 128 industry members who are offering free mentorship.