International Mentoring Day.

Jaspreet Bhogal


Jan 17, 2023

Did you know that mentees are promoted 5 times more often than those without mentors? What about the fact that mentors themselves are 6 times more likely to be promoted, and that employees who are part of mentoring programmes are also more likely to secure a salary increase?

As recruitment experts, we’ve seen first-hand how mentoring programmes benefit employees, so we were especially shocked to learn that the majority of women (63%) had never had a formal mentor.

Knowing all too well about how the gender pay gap and gender bias effects women in the workplace, we knew this needed to change.

63% of women have never had a formal mentor

Leading From the Front.

At the end of 2021, our very own Jaspreet Bhogal (Jas) made it her mission to ensure women were given the opportunity to both mentor and be guided by someone else within their industry.

Drawing on her 14 years’ experience within the recruitment industry, and leaning on the relationships she’s built with women within the public sector and beyond, Jas began her mission:

‘When I decided to explore the idea of the mentoring programme 12 months ago, I really wasn’t sure what the uptake would be. “Why is this recruiter calling?”, “There are lots of other programmes that do the same”, “I’m too busy” – just some of the responses I was convinced I would hear.’

‘Instead, I was overwhelmed by the positivity, the excitement, and genuine interest in wanting to support other women and get involved. I naturally reached out to my network of Women in Housing, but I also connected with Oysters community of Women in the Public Sector as a whole - and as they say, the rest is history.’

‘A year later, 35 pairings of mentors and mentees, 3 events, and an ever-growing network of Women wanting to get involved, we are showing no signs of slowing down! I’m so grateful to all of those that have taken part, passed on our details, and really embraced programme.’

‘I’ve certainly learned a lot from just speaking to those involved, and I know from hearing the success stories of those taking part that it’s working.’

Meet our mentors:

Receiving positive feedback and hearing about success stories so early on in the process has been immensely encouraging; Hony Premlal, one of the first mentors to join the programme, has worked closely with Jas and Oyster for years, and is currently a Managing Director within a Housing Association:

‘I had a fantastic time participating in the 'Leading from Front mentoring programme as a Mentor. The initiative found a brilliant mentee, and after some amazing sessions, I was delighted to hear that they had secured a senior position in the housing sector, and had also become a Board Member, which was her aspiration!’

‘The mentorship session was a wonderful opportunity for me to listen and learn while building a friendship. I want to thank Jas for giving us this opportunity, and I wholeheartedly encourage other mentors and mentees to sign up for the programme.’

Mandy Dunstan is another of our incredible mentors; Mandy and Jas have known each other for years, and when Jas was thinking of who to get involved with her empowering project, she couldn’t think of anyone better. Currently the Director of Operations for a Housing Association, Mandy is passionate about helping women to progress within their field:

‘Along my own journey, I have benefitted from the support of many inspirational women, who all gave me their time, knowledge, and support. As such, I always promised myself that I would offer this, and more, to women who need this support.’

‘Being part of Leading from the Front has been really rewarding for me; my first mentee is already growing in confidence and progressing her career, we are forming a strong relationship, and I take great pleasure in watching her succeed.’

‘The events also bring together a wide variety of women from across a variety sectors, which really enables great networking. As the programme continues to grow, so does its’ positive influence and the realisation that giving back empowers us all. It’s such a strong environment of confidence, ambition, and passion, and it never ceases to amaze me just how many women juggle home and work so successfully.’

‘Leading From the Front gives all women the opportunity to be involved in a fulfilling, informative, and inspiring project, with the potential to influence people’s lives for the better, creating future leaders in numerous sectors. If you just take this first step, the possibilities really are endless.’

There are so many benefits to being a part of a mentoring programme, both as a mentor and a mentee. We’re grateful to all those that have graciously volunteered their time and helped shape the lives of countless women.

We can’t wait to see what’s next.

Please do reach out if you’d also like to join our community of Women in the Public Sector – it might just be the start of something great.

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Jaspreet Bhogal

Having worked in recruitment since 2009, and with Oyster since 2011, Jas is renowned for her exceptional organisational skills. Jas loves proving people wrong, and is relentless in offering something different and better to the industries she recruits into. Whether through training residents, mentoring programmes or supporting D&I, Jas is proud to have built successful relationships with the people and the sectors she works with.

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