about us

Our Mission

Only 1.5% of managers, directors and senior officials in the UK are black. Even less are Black women. 33% of men said they had a mentor now or in the past, compared with only 28% of women. We know that even less are Black women. This is even before we take into effect the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Black Women. This is all outside of Covid -19 and the 

lollipop wants to address the inequity and lack of black female representation in leadership roles and create an equal playing field where Black women can register to gain access to mentors and sponsors from range of different backgrounds.

lollipop seeks to put Black women in touch with experienced mentors who have lived experience or are firm allies who are committed to seeing real actionable change.

measurement

lollipop will be surveying mentors and mentees to see how effective our mentoring initiative has been. Our aim is to make measurable and visible change whether it be in satisfaction / well being or career progression.

Maria McDowell
founder

Maria started her career as a digital delivery consultant working with a vast array of digital agencies and brands spanning the past 20 years. She has spent her career managing, building and nurturing teams and departments.

Cultivating teams over the years led Maria to develop a deep passion for mentoring and coaching. She is a member of the BIMA mentoring council and is also Head of Mentorship for Brixton Finishing School.

“I know what it is like to stall in my career,  be labelled and not to be championed. I also know what it is like to have an advocate and how a true mentor and sponsor can change not only the direction of your career, but also your life.

I want to ensure that Black women have access to individuals who can help to get them to the next level. I want them to know that they are not alone, there is help.”

Leontine West
delivery consultant

Leontine looks after our delivery programme. She has a breadth of experience delivering full service global campaigns in some of London’s top Advertising Agencies over the past 13 years.

Leontine has a natural problem solving approach to career related obstacles and has always been a champion for personal development, making her a great fit for Lollipop Mentoring.

“I have worked with Maria twice in my career. Both in a professional and personal capacity, she has always rooted for me, offering practical advice and instilling confidence in me to manoeuvre outside of my comfort zone.

It is for this reason that I am thrilled to be on board with an initiative that’s purpose is to provide positive support and council which will impact others in the same way it did for me”.