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Case Study

Free coaching /mentoring sessions

In Autumn 2020 Maya Productions in association with Stage Sight offered a series of free coaching /mentoring sessions for five arts industry professionals from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds. The aim of the programme was to support career progression through coaching and mentoring, and we invited participants  Stuart Thomson, Annette Corbett, Sarah Sayeed, Inayah Thomas and Chateelah Green onto the programme.

Over a series of five hour long one to one sessions, the participants had the opportunity to be supported by industry professionals including Suzanne Gorman Artistic Director of Maya Productions, Sound Designer and Stage Sight Committee Member Tony Gayle, Doreen Foster ( Warwick Arts Centre), Keith Saha ( 20 Stories High), Roshni Savjani (Birmingham Stage Company) and Alison Holder (Talawa) to explore their career goals, ambitions and pathways through the sector. We invited mentors who reflected diversity within the arts, supporting our aim to champion ethnically diverse role models in the industry. 

We were pleased to see that the programme had a real impact on the participants:-.

  • 100% reported an increased confidence in identifying career goals and ambitions
  • 100% reported an increased confidence in setting out next steps & plotting a pathway through the industry
  • 100% reported an increased confidence in presenting their skills and experience 
  • 100% would recommend the programme to someone else 
  • 83% reported an increased awareness of their strengths and areas for development
  • 83% reported an increased confidence in networking and establishing new working relationships
  • 83% reported an increase in confidence in communication skills 
  • 67% felt a sense of increased connection within the industry and identified training opportunities they are planning to undertake   

Here are some participant testimonials:

“I feel connected to others and realised how much I needed this space as a way toovercome fears and  insecurities.” 

“I think this is an invaluable process to all artists and arts professionals at all stages of their career.” 

“I feel a better sense of professionalism – a good idea of how to network and establish a professional working relationship, as well as the confidence to feel like I belong in this industry. A more achievable career path, goal, and plan, and a better sense of calm in terms of establishing myself in Yorkshire.”

Here are some mentor testimonials:

“I felt we made great progress and that she has some good work opportunities in place moving forward.”

“It was great reconnecting… we identified that although 3 formal sessions were great, I could also offer future mentoring informally if needed.”

“It was my first time [mentoring] and I learnt how satisfying it is to pass on knowledge that I had in order to help someone else!”

It was valuable to be able to offer this programme in a time of such uncertainty in the arts. Maya Productions looks forward to developing and testing an Online Diversity Toolkit in 2021. This will support more individuals and organisations, and work towards increasing workforce diversity and enabling racial justice in the arts.

To find our more about the project and our work go to

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