As part of creating a diverse leadership team that reflects the customers we serve, Hastings Direct participates in the 30% Club Mentoring programme. The programme supports women and colleagues from an ethnic minority background by matching them with a senior leader mentor from another organisation to develop their career. Similarly, many of our senior Leaders also act as mentors to support mentees from other organisations participating in the programme.

Hear from Matt and Catherine – Matt is our Anti-Fraud Director and his mentee is Catherine, Direct Sales Tactical Manager in Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK, responsible for developing and managing tactical campaigns and working on transformation strategy. In this article she shares what she has gained from her mentoring relationship with Matt.

Matt - proud to be a mentor 
“I am very proud to be a mentor with the 30% Club and am honoured to be a part of this global initiative to increase gender diversity at board and executive levels. Greater diversity is not only fairer but, I believe, creates better thinking, better performance and better business outcomes. I hope to mentor for many years to come!

“The ‘matching’ of mentor and mentee is a crucially important part of the mentoring process so that both get the very best out of the relationship. When I first met Catherine, I realised that the pairing had worked well for us. It seemed that some of my career experiences were incredibly relevant to some of the things that Catherine was working through at that time. Our first meeting back in December 2022 was great. Of course, there were some logistics to get through: how often should we talk, where is best to meet and so on. But it was really about establishing what we both wanted to get out of mentoring and, importantly, where Catherine wanted to get to. 

Sharing experiences and tips
“Over the course of our mentoring sessions, we discussed a range of different topics and challenges. I was able to share some of my experiences from being in similar circumstances and provided some tips (hopefully useful ones!) to help navigate them.  

“I would recommend the 30% Club mentoring programme to both mentors and mentees. One of the things I have learned from Catherine is that often a mentee will know the answer to a challenge or which way to turn next, but sometimes needs to hear it from someone independent so they can act with confidence and know that a decision is OK to make. Or, hearing that a behaviour observed in someone else is not OK and needs to be challenged in the right way.

“Overall, I feel like our mentoring relationship has worked really very well. I will definitely be available for Catherine to use as an ongoing ‘sounding board’ after this phase of the programme has ended. Catherine is going to have a fantastic career and if I have helped even in the slightest of ways, then it is all worth it!”

Catherine – fresh perspective and developing skills
“I wanted to get a fresh perspective from someone outside of my business and was hoping to develop my communication and leadership skills. The first meeting was really about getting to know each other, our career journeys, the businesses we worked in and working out what we wanted to get out of the programme (and how we were going to achieve this!).

“I could not have asked for a more supportive mentor! Matt and I had really honest and open conversations. He listened and wanted to genuinely try and help where he could, sometimes just by providing a different perspective and challenging my thinking, or sometimes by giving sound advice which I took on board, implemented and saw real positive change from. We’d discuss an idea and how to approach it and then we’d catch up again once I’d done it to review how it went. I hope we can continue to keep in touch.

Gaining confidence and getting great feedback
“The programme gives you the structure to focus on your personal development, meaning that you make time in your diary for these really useful conversations. I’ve seen some great changes already. We talked a lot about leadership skills, something that I am focused on developing further. And with Matt’s help, I’ve implemented lots of new things and have elevated how I lead the INSPIRE team which is part of the Volkswagen Group’s DE&I programme. Mentoring has also given me more confidence in my current job role and some things I’ve introduced have made my whole team more effective. I’ve also got great feedback from my colleagues who have benefitted from these changes – it’s been really useful.

“I’d recommend it to anyone looking for support with their personal development and career. The conversations we’ve had as part of this mentoring process have genuinely improved my communication and leadership styles and it’s been really rewarding. Thank you Matt!” 

Join us: If you’d like to be part of a company that supports you to grow your career, take a look at our opportunities and apply!