The association for the people and businesses of Sheffield's digital industries.

talent 23, a year of talent and skills

a year of talent and skills

The Sheffield Digital mentoring scheme

The Sheffield Digital mentoring scheme was launched in March 2021 and has been a great success. Managed by Sarah Lister, the scheme is designed to provide individual members and people running start-ups and “micro” companies with support and guidance to help grow their careers and businesses. That support is provided by experienced members of the Sheffield Digital community who are keen to share their experiences and knowledge.

Why mentoring?

After consulting with our Individual Members about what they wanted from their membership, we could see there was demand to create a scheme where people could develop themselves and work towards a career goal.

And what better way to do that than tapping into the wealth of knowledge and experience that exists among the great people in Sheffield’s digital industries?

Through the scheme, mentees can benefit from linking up with someone who has experience and insight, and has been in your position before.

Your mentor can cast a knowledgeable eye over your work, answer questions and offer advice on progression and career options, and share knowledge of the tech and digital sectors in Sheffield and beyond. You’ll grow in confidence and meet new people through the networking opportunities that are a key part of the scheme.

As a mentor, you won’t just benefit from the satisfaction that comes from ‘giving something back’; you will develop your own confidence and self-esteem as you become aware of knowledge you didn’t even know you had! You’ll be able to swap and explore new ideas, develop your network by meeting new talented industry professionals, and improve in your own area of work.

Who is it for?

The aim of the scheme is to provide direct benefits to our Individual Members, supporting you to work towards career goals and personal growth.

To take part as a mentee, you need to be an Individual Member of Sheffield Digital (this costs £5 a month and helps us to cover the costs of running the scheme). If you’re not one yet, it’s easy to sign up via our website. As soon as you’ve signed up you can register to take part in the scheme.

Places for mentors are open to all, regardless of member status. This is so that our mentees have access to as broad a range of support as possible.

Whether you’re a mentor or mentee, you will benefit from the scheme, growing and gaining in confidence, contacts, ideas and knowledge.

How does it work?

Once signed up, mentors are matched up with mentees who are looking to develop in the areas that mentors have skills and experience in. We then provide the introduction for mentor-mentee pairings, along with resources to help you track progress, and ongoing support to all those taking part. We’ll also send you a feedback form to complete so that we can continue to build on this work and improve the scheme.

Participants can also use the dedicated Slack channels for mentors and mentees; a place to celebrate successes, share thoughts and ideas, and network with others taking part in the scheme.

We’ve also recently introduced in-person meetup for mentors to offer each other peer support, to discuss challenges and to network, plus social events for mentees to meet other people in our individual membership community who are changing careers or learning new skills, for example. Individual members who are thinking about joining the scheme can also attend so that they can find out more about it by asking questions and listening to others’ experiences.

Thank yous

We would like to say a big thank you to Ben Atha of The Developer Academy for his great insight and direction, and to the Sheffield Creative Guild for letting us use their own mentoring scheme’s outline and guidelines to help build ours. Finally, to Sheffield Women in Tech for their feedback and help in structuring the resources we provide to participants. This input has been invaluable and is greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions about the scheme, please email or contact Sarah Lister on the Sheffield Digital Slack.