Embracing diversity at Sheffield Hallam University UK
Jill Nanson 
Background to the project
Our mentoring initiative was funded by Yorkshire Forward, the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Development Agency, an organization which strives to make a positive difference to our people, our business and our environment (http://www.yorkshire-forward.com). Aiming to prepare students for graduate employment, our objectives reflected Sheffield Hallam University s ongoing commitment to enhancing its students employability. We hoped to achieve this by charging our mentors with sharing their knowledge, skills and experience with our students, and by doing this to equip their mentees with the confidence and ability to secure suitable jobs. By focusing on promoting the under-utilized employment opportunities in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs an SME is an organization that employs fewer than 250 people), so enabling graduates to work in the local area, the project also supported the university s role in promoting sustainable regional development.
The stages of our programme
The project, which had around sixty participants, began in September 1999 and formally concluded with an award ceremony and evaluation event in June 2000. The project team worked with a consultant to design the programme, with the intention of building capacity within our department. During the autumn, publicity material and application forms were sent out to potential participants and preparation took place to provide induction and support, and to carry out monitoring and evaluation. In January 2000 the selection and matching processes were carried out, prior to an induction workshop at the end of...