Mentor walks help women take career steps

Posted 7 Mar 2019

Story by Her Canberra

A who’s who of businesswomen and senior women from the public sector will be hitting the streets of Canberra with mentor walks.

Mentor Walks is a unique mentoring initiative that pairs senior female leaders with aspiring women for a ‘walk and talk’ mentoring session. Started in Sydney by entrepreneurs Bobbi Mahlab and Adina Jacobson, Mentor Walks is now operating in five cities across the country.

Its launch in Canberra is in partnership with The Australian National University (ANU). ANU Pro Chancellor, Naomi Flutter and the deans of  Engineering, Arts and Social Science will attend the launch event, alongside Dr Anne Summers and senior female leaders from the public and private sectors who are participating in the walk as mentors. Frances Adamson, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be opening the walk.

“Mentor Walks is a fantastic, Canberra-wide initiative that provides women with the opportunity to workshop ideas, gain insight and discuss challenges with some of Australia’s most successful female leaders,” said Adina Jacobs, co-Founder of Mentor Walks.

“These conversations are an important part of helping women take the next step in their career and ultimately developing the next generation of female leaders.”

Mentees are matched with a mentor and a fellow mentee to keep the walks casual, purposeful and personal.  Each mentee is asked to come armed with a “challenge” or “career question” to be discussed on the walk.

Co-founder Bobbi Mahlab said more than 1250 women have walked since the program launched in 2016.

“Career women have issues big and small and often it is hard to find impartial people to go to advice. Mentor Walks gives women access to experienced people that can help them workshop issues and move forward.

“Our mentors provide these aspiring female leaders with advice on challenges they’re facing now, such as asking for a pay rise, influencing executive teams, managing up or getting buy-in from investors. It’s fantastic to see the impact the program is having,” she said.

Canberra mentors include:

Dr Anne Summers

Gai Brodtmann, MP

Dr Stephanie Fahey, CEO Austrade

Nadine White, Director HR, ANU

Elanor Huntington, Dean of Engineering & Computer Science, ANU

Jane Dahlstrom, Director ACT Pathology

Jennifer Wyborn, Partner Clayton Utz

Michelle Melbourne, Co-founder intelledox

Leanne Joyce, Head of Government Relations, Australian Red Cross

Rae Frances, Dean, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU

Catherine Carter, Director Catherine Carter Consulting

Deb Bowden, COO, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Molly Henmann, Peoplescope

Naomi Flutter, Pro Chancellor, ANU.

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