Mandala Programme

The Mandala Programme is an innovative, evidence based and paradigm-shifting programme that supports the career and personal development of Black, Minority Ethnic (BME) staff seeking to progress in their career at Royal Holloway.

"This has been the best course throughout my career and the impact has been immense. Thank you!"  2019 participant


The ultimate aim of Mandala is to increase the number of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds that successfully apply for more senior positions.

The programme, which has a strong practical component, is not about ‘fixing internal shortcomings’. There is established evidence that racial inequality exists in HE with colleagues having to navigate through cultural and institutional racism. Mandala explores “How to become even more impactful through ‘being you skilfully’ ”. 

Participants will explore

  • Career aspirations and options;
  • How to think strategically about creating and accessing opportunities;
  • The strength, resilience and power in participants’ personal history and what this means for career development;
  • The participants’ authority and presence as a leader;
  • How to influence others and develop effective and meaningful relationships in the workplace;
  • Future career and personal development as a leader and strategies for achieving success.

Programme dates 2020

The course runs over 5 full days. You must be able to attend all the following dates for participation in the 2019/20 cohort:

  • Tuesday, 11th February 2020
  • Tuesday, 10th March 2020
  • Monday, 2oth  April 2020
  • Tuesday, 2nd June 2020
  • Tuesday, 7th July 2020

How to apply

Please fill in the application form and email it to orgdev@rhul.ac.uk. Please note that application closing date is Friday 10th January 2020.

Departments are expected to contribute £400 towards the course. Therefore it is important that perspective applicants discuss participation with their line manager prior to applying.

For further information on the course please email equality@rhul.ac.uk

The impact of Mandala?

Staff have actively developed their professional portfolios since joining the Mandala programme. This includes applying for:

  • Promotions, job appointments
  • Sabbaticals
  • Professional development training.

Quotes from 2019 participants

"Wow! What an amazing experience. I am so lucky to have experienced this and would further encourage other BAME staff to do so."

"Mandala has been exceptional in helping me to grow in confidence, especially due to being in a group of colleagues where everyone is able to share their experiences openly."

"All five sessions were incredibly beneficial. Spending time sharing our journeys, dreams and exploring how to get there has been helpful."

"Mandala has been a truly valuable course and has given me so much more confidence in approaching difficult situations."

"I feel as though I have found my voice and have already implemented this in meetings at work." 

Who carries out the training?

Mandala is carried out by People Opportunities Limited, an external Leadership Development Consultancy with a global track record in delivering effective strategic, career and personal development for leaders and organisations across all sectors. They are thought leaders in relation to the development of BAME leadership and a premier provider of learning for BAME staff