Nicky Bryson And Youngbloods Launch New Cross-Industry Mentoring Initiative

Nicky Bryson And Youngbloods Launch New Cross-Industry Mentoring Initiative
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A new cross-industry mentoring initiative has formed in a bid to help those facing increased pressure and exposure alongside the effects of a ‘longer deliverables, shorter deadlines, fewer resources, smaller budgets, “evolve or die” culture’.

Spearheaded by former TBWA head of strategy, Nicky Bryson (featured image, left), and developed in consultation and partnership with Youngbloods, The Trenches is the first industry-wide, free and inclusive mentoring initiative aimed to empower and support young talent professionally and personally.

With research conducted via the Youngbloods database revealing that 96 per cent of under 30-year-olds in the industry lack access to mentors or a mentoring program independent of their organisation, The Trenches aims to fill a much-needed gap in the market.

The research revealed the need for independent, objective and honest advice on the difficult to discuss topics from those who had experienced it or can give breadth of industry perspective.

The top four things young people find currently most challenging being (1) negotiating pay rises and promotions, (2) maintaining boundaries and saying no (3) mental stress and anxiety, and (4) managing workload and burnout.

After being hospitalised with severe burnout earlier this year Bryson found herself approached by others wanting to share their stories, challenges and journeys, but it was young people in particular who felt fear around where they were now, and where they were going.

Bryson said: “I believe hearing about others’ experiences and challenges can be a catalyst of change in yourself.

“Be it general career advice or progression, navigating politics or real personal struggles, nothing is off limits, our mentors have signed up to a vacuum of vulnerability.

“Seeing how leaders have gone through similar situations removes the stigma of guilt and failure or the inertia to empower positive action.

“This is why The Trenches is about experience sharing as much as advice giving.”

The Trenches is available for anyone in the Media, Creative, Marketing, Consulting or Technology sectors, with over 50 big name mentors already signed up across Sydney and Melbourne.

There are no age barriers, and mentee’s gain access to up to 5 mentors over a 6-8 month period.

Byrson continued: “We often get siloed in our bubbles and there is a lot to learn from the different perspectives and disciplines across the industry.

“Maybe the grass isn’t greener on the other side, maybe it is.

“Our research showed a hunger for a less competitive, more collaborative industry.

“We have a tiny hope that by opening up access to a broader view, particularly for the next-generation of leaders, we could make some movement toward this.”

Youngbloods national chairman, Matt Gardener said: “A key focus for us this year is to encourage our peers to be more honest and vulnerable with themselves and each other in order to create a more open and empowered industry.

“The Trenches is a massive step towards this.

“This program will reduce the barriers in genuinely connecting, being vulnerable and feeling comfortable in discussing the topics that affect us – resulting in a healthier, happier, stronger industry.

He added: “We hope that breaking down these existing silos and internal feedback loops will also result in a bit of industry cross pollination and stimulate growth or at the very least more expansive thinking.”

The Trenches mentors include (in no particular order):

Anshika Grover – Director, Product development and transformation, Optus

Nicole Bardsley – Head of Brand and Strategy, Westpac

Ian Edwards – Managing Director, Wavemaker

Adam Slattery – Head of Brand and Communications, Vodafone

Paul Everson – Marketing and Advertising Executive

Chiquita King – Founder & Managing Director, Cocoa Coffee Gunpowder

TC Miles – Director CMO Advisory, PwC

Jane King – Group Director of Marketing, Val Morgan

Anthony Dever – Editor and Researcher, Fanbloodytastic

Brooke Tierney – Founder, The Sister Consulting

Henry Innis – CSO / Founder, Mutiny

Mike McKeown – Managing Director, Shareablee Inc APAC

Alex Conomos – Senior Marketing Manager, Audible, Amazon

Mitch Parkins – Founder, Nanna’s Little Secret

Alex Light – Head of Brand Partnerships, VIRTUE

Jane Merrick – General Manager Marketing & Distribution, World Nomads

Myriam Conrie – Director of Marketing, Sofitel

Paul Den – Partner & Co-Founder at Banter

Anna College – Agency Director, Ikon

Ali Tilling – Chief Strategy Officer, VMLY&R

Tracy Hall – Marketing Director, Go Daddy

Genevieve Reynolds – Manager, CMO Advisory PwC

Michaela Futcher – Head of Strategy, The Royals

Yash Gandhi – Head of Marketing, Baiada

Jemma White – Marketing & Communications Manager, MontBlanc

James Boardman – National Strategy Director, Bohemia

Cally Scivetti – Brand Solution Strategist, Google

Paul Connell – GM & Marketing Director, Unilever

Hannah Sturrock – Managing Partner, The Hallway

Lucio Ribeiro – Lucio Ribeiro AI

Martin Cutris – Head of performance agencies, Google

Adam Ross – Content Lead, Coca-Cola

Sarah Murdoch – Global Marketing Director

Kate Smither – Founder, The Tall Planner

Kammeron Cran – Executive Coach, Director, Red Nose

Laura Johnson – Chief Marketing Officer, PASS Technology Group

Carly Du Toit – Marketing & Communications Manager, ACRF

Richard Woods – Group Account Director, Naked/BMF

Sarah Knox – Director, Res Publica

Sean Hall – Founder and Chief Energist, Energex

Katrina White – SMB Strategy, Microsoft

Ben Shepherd – Chief Media Officer, CHE Proximity

Kate Gamble – General Manager – Resolution Media

Sarah Palmer – Head of Talent, Leo Burnett Australia

Susie Bayes – Head of Partnerships & Philanthropy, The Guardian

Evonne Williams – Marketing Manager, Simplot

Kelly Tagalan – Holiday Club Manager, Camp Australia

Joel Pearson – Executive Strategy Director, RGA

Renee Garner – COO RevTech Media

Amy Lee-Hopkins – Head of Marketing, Southern Queensland Anglicare

Justin Carew – Creative Director, McCann

Iggy Rodriguez – Creative Director, McCann

Melissa Webber – Founder & MD, Holy Cow Creative

Cameron Brown – Senior Copywriter, McCaan

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