Following a highly successful launch program, Women in Drinks and Serendis will officially launch their second Mentoring Program next week.
Women in drinks Chair Jennifer Collins said: "The council of WID regards the mentoring program as an integral part of our strategy to inspire, support and educate our industry as we strive to drive greater gender balance by attracting retaining and developing female talent.
"It's a fantastic endorsement of the value of the program that many businesses have re-signed for the second year and new businesses are joining.
"The program is important not only in the value it adds to mentees, but also to mentors in gaining that one-to-one understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing women in our industry. We are looking forward to working with Serendis again in 2018."
HR departments of participating companies, interested companies and those responsible for selecting participants for the program will meet with The Drinks Association, Serendis and Women in Drinks councillors on February 23 to launch the second year of the program.
Applications to take part in the program are due by March 29, with the matching process taking part in April and the initial mentee workshop scheduled for May 10.
Serendis was chosen as Women in Drinks partner in the Mentoring Program as it is the leading provider of structured, sophisticated and successful mentoring programs in Australia.
We spoke to Bianca Havas (pictured above right, with Maud Lindley), Senior Consultant & Facilitator at Serendis, about plans for 2018.
Is Serendis looking forward to another year of drinks mentoring?
After a successful and incredibly rewarding inaugural Women in Drinks Mentoring Program, we are excited to work with a new cohort of participants on this year’s edition. With an excellent diversity of participating companies, including a number of new organisations joining for the first time, It looks like it’s going to be a valuable and insightful experience for mentees and mentors.
Will there be any changes to the Serendis program this year?
The structure of the program will remain the same though we have a number of new companies participating this year so there will be greater diversity with the matching of mentees and mentors. There has been quite some interest in the program from companies based in Melbourne and we would like to extend the offering to those in Melbourne however we need a minimum of five Melbourne based companies to create a program and we are still seeking further companies to make a quorum.
What were some of the highlights of last year’s program?
There were so many highlights from the 2017 program. The first highlight was the high level of industry support and engagement in the program and in the issue of inclusive leadership more broadly. Participants were keen to really understand what the benefits of diversity and inclusion mean for the drinks industry.
Another highlight was the grand finale in October last year when we celebrated the achievements of all the participants from their six months on the program. So many people spoke about their insights or a-ha moments and how they are now doing things differently as result of the program.
Hearing leaders say that they have gone back to their own companies and are asking different questions or approaching their leadership differently is incredibly rewarding. Equally, hearing from mentees who now feel more equipped to drive their career and more confident in their leadership was also a highlight.
Are there aspects that differentiate the drinks industry from other industries?
We observed how important networks and relationships are to this sector. A highly connected industry can provide enormous benefits for career progression and for cultural change, particularly with respect to the creation a more diverse and inclusive industry.
What was the feedback like from last year’s program?
The feedback was very positive with most people completing the program with significant insights into their leadership and making changes in their approach. Just some examples of the feedback:
>> "The program has allowed me to shift my career view longer term. I have overcome the challenges I was facing in leading my team and have more confidence in my approach. It has been wonderful network within the industry while creating time for me to focus on my own leadership and career."
>> "I have learnt more about myself and what I want out of my career and I think my mentor has also learnt a lot. The program has delivered over and above my expectations. I enjoyed my mentoring sessions and the Serendis leadership development sessions."
>> "I have found the program really beneficial, the Serendis modules have been very relevant and helpful with leadership development. I have really enjoyed spending time with my mentor, the different perspective provided has enriched my thinking and career plans prompting positive changes. I have found it very valuable to share and learn from someone not directly involved in my business but with a solid understanding of dynamics and industry."