RAPP launches The Table Makers to support underrepresented talent


Leading customer experience agency RAPP is launching The Table Makers, a major new career sponsorship programme that will invest in, cultivate and progress high-performing and high-potential talent within the group as a part of its succession planning strategy.

Facing into the unacceptable lag in progressing underrepresented talent in the higher ranks of the industry, the first cohort is reserved for high-performing and high potential talent of BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of colour) makeup.

The Table Makers programme

The programme launch will offer intentional, structured and formalised career sponsorship and advocacy to high-performing and high-potential talent, who currently do not see themselves reflected at leadership level.

As a sponsorship programme rather than a mentoring scheme, sponsors will be expected to actively include and promote their sponsees in their professional network to help grow their careers, while proactively seeking out exposure opportunities for their sponsees – be it via networking events, training or important meetings and speaking opportunities.

Supporting and advocating for sponsees to achieve and progress to the next level in their careers is an explicit goal of the programme.

Carolyn Stebbings, Chief Operations and Inclusion Officer at RAPP UK, said: “We know that career sponsorship happens all the time – no one progresses their career without it.

“That said, in our industry is has historically been more incidental than intentional.

“For RAPP to become more equitable, diverse and inclusive, we need to continue to dismantle barriers of entry to leadership positions for under-represented groups. This is the genuine aim of The Table Makers.

“For this first cohort, the leadership team felt it was imperative to focus on our BIPOC talent, as the representation from these groups at leadership level and in general across RAPP has room for improvement.”

RAPP will track and act against feedback by Sponsees and Sponsors on a continual basis. To ensure everyone is continually supported in this journey, Sponsees and Sponsors will be offered closed fortnightly drop-in sessions with the DE&I team.

Quarterly mixed sessions will provide a forum in which partnerships can share with one another about where they are on their journey and anything they’ve found especially helpful, interesting or inspiring.

Additional training will also be offered as a part of the programme to Sponsees and Sponsors.

The Table Makers is expected to roll out globally in the future and will sit alongside RAPP’s existing personal and professional development opportunities.

These include Sayge Coaching, which offers holistic support globally to colleagues as they develop professionally; the Kim Merrill Mentorship Programme in the US, designed to connect talent with similar areas of interest or expertise; and Omnicom University, focused on leadership and management.