29 February, 2020

Applications open for Inclusive Leadership Program

Applications open for Inclusive Leadership Program

The Drinks Association's Inclusive Leadership Program is seeking applications for 2019.

Formerly the Women in Drinks Mentoring Program, the initiative will again be facilitated by Serendis Leadership Consulting.

This cross-industry leadership and mentoring program aims to enhance a culture of inclusion across the drinks sector while supporting a diversity of talented, aspiring leaders to progress their career. Participants also have the opportunity to enhance their inclusive leadership capabilities to bring back to their own teams, organisations and the broader sector. 

This year, for the first time, both men and women will be accepted as mentees, recognising the importance of providing all emerging leaders the opportunity to develop inclusive leadership skills and experience the benefits of this impactful program.

The Inclusive Leadership Program will also run in Sydney and Melbourne if it reaches a minimum cohort of 12 pairs in each location.

We spoke to Bianca Havas at Serendis (above right, with Serendis founding director Maude Lindley) about what participants can expect in 2019.

What were some of the key insights from the 2018 program

It is exciting to see the sector committed to and actively integrating inclusion into their business practices. Given that companies within the drinks industry are at different levels of maturity when it comes to integrating diversity and inclusion into their businesses, I see there is an enormous opportunity for businesses to support each other in terms of sharing best practice and what they have learned along the way to influence the whole sector.

How has the program evolved over the past two years?

The program continues to focus on building the inclusive leadership capabilities of participants while also helping aspiring leaders to progress their career with clarity and confidence. We have changed the name of the program to The Drinks Association Inclusive Leadership Program as we are ultimately aiming to build a culture of inclusion within the sector by equipping leaders with these inclusive leadership capabilities.

The method by which we deliver this is through group workshops and one-one-one mentoring conversations. This provides support to mentees to progress their careers in an authentic way while also providing mentors with a different perspective from their mentee, allowing them to reflect on and learn about their own leadership.

Have the needs of mentors and mentees also evolved?

With so many external factors influencing how we do business, I see the increasing importance of learning to lead in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. The capabilities of inclusive leadership are an intrinsic part of this so we continue to offer this through the program. 

The program will include male mentees this year. How will this be managed and what was the thinking behind it?

Yes we will be including male mentees on the program this year. We want to offer the opportunity to all aspiring leaders to learn about leading inclusively as these emerging leaders will shape the culture of sector in the future. We will still prioritise places for aspiring female mentees to ensure we see more diversity in the leadership pipeline, however we are excited to welcome men onto the program as well.

Are there any other new additions to the program?

We have extended some of the sessions based on feedback from the past years’ participants who felt they wanted more time to work through the content in the formal group sessions. We will also be adding more content around goal setting for mentees and advanced mentoring skills for mentors. This will further enhance the quality and impact of the mentoring conversations.

What do you enjoy most about being involved with the drinks industry

I enjoy the people in this sector. There is a genuine appetite from participants in the program to learn and grow which makes my job so enjoyable.

When do applications close?

Applications close March 29, with the official program kicking off on May 9. 

Mentees and mentors interested in taking part should contact their HR director. Companies requiring further information should contact The Drinks Association on (02) 9415 1199 to receive an Inclusive Leadership Program 2019 flyer.