The idea of the “mentor” comes from the character Mentor in Homer’s Odyssey. When Odysseus departed to fight in the Trojan War, he requested that his trusted friend, Mentor, look after and teach his son, Telemachus while he was away. The term mentor now refers to an individual who guides and teaches, sharing their wisdom and providing support to someone who would benefit from their expertise.

Mentoring is a powerful tool and a key component of how NAWO works to support and amplify women in operations-based industries. Mentoring involves the facilitating of regular contact between mentors and mentees to encourage sharing and learning opportunities that support career progression, success and personal growth.

It has been found that mentoring fosters significant positive outcomes for individuals and organisations alike. Retention is improved within companies that embrace mentoring, and the interpersonal rewards for mentors and mentees is an ongoing testament to the success of mentoring programs.

Think about a time in your own life when a meaningful, supportive relationship dynamic helped you navigate challenging circumstances and you’ll have a sense of the relational power of mentoring. Mentoring is really about creating a community of uplifting individuals, working toward common goals, to support individuals in reaching their career and life vision. Mentors support their mentees to grow in areas that they might not yet be confident in.

Mentoring power stats:

  • 84% of Fortune 500 companies offer mentoring opportunities.
  • 100% of Fortune 50 companies embrace mentoring.
  • Of employees with a mentor, 97% say they are valuable.
  • 89% of employees who have been mentored will go on to return this gift to others.

Growth certainly isn’t always linear, personally or within the workplace. We often don’t step cleanly from one stage of our career to the next, and professional challenges can lead to unexpected responses or internal roadblocks. However, we do know that if employees can access supportive relationships as a constant feature of their professional journey, then outcomes are better across the board. Mentors maintain a steady, nurturing gaze through the stages of growth that we all go through and the longer the mentoring relationship can continue, the better for career outcomes.

NAWO is always seeking to strengthen the support networks available to women in operations roles and with that in mind we are incredibly excited to announce our new Mentoring Alumni Network. This network has been designed to reinforce the incentives to stay within the mentoring journey and maximise the rewarding outcomes for all involved and is sponsored and supported by Amazon Australia.

Our Alumni Network will provide members with long term connection and engagement with NAWO and each other through the following framework:

  1. Fostering Alumni participation in NAWO more broadly via opportunities to attend NAWO events and contribute as subject matter experts. There will also be the option to take part in additional NAWO opportunities such as being on our committees and advisory boards.
  2. Nurturing members via exclusive Alumni only opportunities such as Alumni connection events, online development opportunities (such as TED Talk style coaching), plus coaching and development sessions with high profile NAWO figures. We’ll also be providing digital badging and member profiling via our NAWO portal.
  3. Measuring the impact of the NAWO Mentoring Program on participants via the Alumni Network – we will run a project to map the career trajectories of NAWO Alumni since the inception of the Mentoring program, building metrics into an annual outcomes measurement framework which will be included in our Annual Report.

Head to our Mentoring Alumni Network page to learn more about the benefits it delivers.

Key events and touch points throughout the year for the Alumni include our digital launch event with Dominic Price co-hosted by Mindy Espidio-Garcia and Louise Weine, an active LinkedIn Alumni Community, quarterly in person connections around the country, case studies featuring Mentor Alumni career stories, and an end of year celebration, with the opportunity to apply to be coached to present TED style talks at this event.

We hope this extra layer of opportunity will encourage our incredibly valuable mentors to stay engaged with NAWO and the NAWO network for many years to come.