Frequently Asked Questions – for mentors

Q. Do I need to have previous mentoring experience?

A. No previous mentoring experience is required to participate in the Leadership & Mentoring program just a proven track record in your industry or profession and a willingness to work with, support and learn from an emerging Pacific woman leader.

Q. How are WLI mentors selected?

A. We are looking for mentors from a broad range of professions and sectors. Mentors are identified and matched to mentees according to the academic, professional and leadership interests, and ambitions of individual scholars. 

Where possible, we also try to match mentors and mentees who are living in the same city or region.

Q. I am a very busy person; how much time do I have to commit to the mentoring role? 

A. We ask all mentors for an initial 18-month commitment, with a minimum of one hour per month contact with their participant (mentee). Many mentoring pairs are likely to communicate more frequently however, so you should take this into account.

Each mentoring pair will take on its own unique character, frequency and format, based on the requirements, preferences and availability of the individual mentor and mentee.

You and your participant (mentee) discuss and agree to the terms of the mentoring relationship at the start of the program, and we respect that this is influenced by what else is going on in both women’s lives.

Q. I'm not in the same city, or even state, as my participant (mentee). Will this matter?

A. While we do our best to match pairs by geographic location, this is not always possible. And, as many participants will be returning to their home countries during the 18-month duration of the program, it is likely that many mentoring relationships will take place 'virtually' for at least some of this time.  

In these instances, mentoring can take place via phone, email or video conference.

Virtual mentoring can be challenging. However, the Women's Leadership Initiative team will be on hand to support pairs wherever possible.

Q. How will  I be supported as a WLI mentor? 

A. We provide mentoring materials and resources to you at the start of the program so that you are able to feel comfortable in this role.

We also offer an orientation session in Canberra, where you meet your participant (mentee) and our Women's Leadership Initiative coach. At this orientation session, you also meet other mentors from a wide range of sectors and locations. We cover the costs associated with your attendance at the orientation session.

Q. Am I reimbursed for my role? 

A. Mentoring roles are not paid positions, but we offer a set Australian dollar amount per contact hour (of up to an hour a month) for mentors who wish to claim a fee. We also cover travel and other costs associated with your participation.

Q. I am interested in being a mentor, but worry I may not do a good job.

A. Mentoring can be challenging, but support and advice is always close at hand. All mentors have access to our dedicated Women's Leadership Initiative coach throughout the 18 months of their initial mentoring commitment. Other members of the Women's Leadership Initiative team, and other mentors, are also a useful source of advice and support.