Advocacy group for women in the broadcast media technology sector, Rise,  is launching the Rise Up UTC Mentoring Programme.

It will be the first mentoring programme for young women aged 16 to 18 years in partnership with University Technical Colleges (UTCs).

With a focus on STEM subjects and funded by Government, Rise is partnering with five UTCs supporting a total of 23 young women across England.

The Rise Up UTC Mentoring Programme will run from February 2021 until November 2021, providing a range of technical and support-orientated initiatives, including training programmes and industry networking with virtual and face-to-face mentoring.

Kate Ambrosi, Assistant Director of Education, Baker Dearing Educational Trust, said: “Baker Dearing and the UTCs are really excited to be working with Rise to offer mentoring to our aspirational young women who are preparing for a career in the broadcast media industry. Mentoring from these amazing industry professionals will give them the insight and support that they need to achieve their goals and make their mark across the sector.”

Funded and supported by BT Sport and ITV, the aim of the mentoring programme is to encourage these young women into the broadcast media technology sector, whether this is into related degrees, apprenticeships or straight into the industry.

Andy Beale, Head of Engineering and Innovation, BT Sport, said: “The drive toward greater diversity and inclusion in our industry is a fundamental objective of BT Sport and is a key pillar of BT Sport United, our bid to use our reach to be advocates for positive social change, in sport and in society. Today’s announcement builds on the successful launch of the BT Sport-backed Rise Up schools programme last year and we are proud to be working with Rise to extend the reach of this programme to inspire and educate girls in key stage 5 about opportunities in the broadcast industry. Rise Up is one of a number of ongoing BT Sport United initiatives in this area, such as our BT Sport Takeover and School 21 work, both of which provide more opportunity to local youngsters.”

Rob O’Brien, Senior Technical Manager, International & Labels, Technology and Platforms, ITV, said: “ITV is delighted to support the Rise Up UTC Mentoring Programme. The programme supports ITV’s on-going commitment to gender equality and we want ITV to represent all aspects of modern society both on screen and across our workforce.”  O’Brien added: “Inclusion is about working together to create an environment where everyone can thrive, where there are no barriers and everyone is valued for being their authentic, true and best self.”

Carrie Wootten, Managing Director, Rise said: “We are excited to be partnering with University Technical Colleges as we embark on this new mentoring series, supporting young women as they take their next step towards building a career in the media technology sector.”  Wootten added:  “I would like to thank BT Sport and ITV for their incredible support and generosity which has enabled us to launch this new UTC mentoring scheme this year.”

Jon Creamer