AICD Awards Wendy McCarthy AO Life Fellowship

Very proud Wendy McCarthy AO has been given the Australian Institute of Company Directors highest honour – the Life Fellow Achievement Award that recognises her outstanding contribution to the Australian governance community. She continues to lead, support, validate, ask questions, fight for women and children’s rights and closer to home, mentor and inspire us @ McCarthy Mentoring since founding the business nearly 20 years ago.

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Extraordinary women

McCarthy Mentoring is proud to work alongside extraordinary women from all sectors to support them in their successful transition to leadership. From museums, law, mental health, community services, insurance, mining and the arts, the women we work with are delivering outstanding work in remarkable roles.

On International Women’s Day we salute the powerful contribution they are making to the community and thank those already at the top of their fields who work with us to inspire and support them.


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Saluting Sydney Women: tribute to Wendy McCarthy AO

Proud to be part of the Sydney Women’s Fund special event honouring Wendy McCarthy AO, our business founder, educator, change-agent, company director, “disrupter” and mentor to many.

Close friend the Hon Dame Quentin Bryce led the tributes, warmly describing Wendy as a evangelist, promoter and persuader – one who has fought hard for women’s and children’s rights, shaken the status-quo and has supported so many in their careers and lives.

Continuing to inspire, Wendy discussed the power of friendships and passion, the importance of saying yes to opportunities and the critical role of education in lifting women out of poverty and disadvantage – “it’s the one thing that no one can ever take away”.




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11 surefire ways to get power and make a ton of money

Cindy Gallop, former Chairman of ad agency BBH, risk-taker, TED speaker and plain-speaking champion for women’s rights shares her top tips for women in business:

  1. The only person who can make things happen for you is you. People can help you (i.e., champions), but you need to make it happen. 
  2. You’ll never own the future if you care what other people think.The fear of what other people will think is the single most paralyzing dynamic in business and life.
  3. Don’t just look for mentors but for champions as well
  4. Never give anything away for free
  5. Manage your own mind. Mind management tip: of all the things that stress you out every day, pick one thing and address only that one stress that day.
  6. Be totally unashamed of wanting to make a ton of money
  7. One of the quickest ways for women to make a money is to invest
  8. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with your own money
  9. Social sharing can help make sh*t happen for women
  10. If you are working at a place that does not welcome and celebrate your talent, somewhere that does not allow you to disrupt and innovate in the way that you want to, get out, get another job.
  11. There is always a way over, around, under or through every obstacle. You just need to be creative about what that is. Take micro-actions.

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How mentoring delivers leadership diversity

If you plan to be a leading organisation in 2017 with diversity of thinking at the executive level and a strong pipeline for growth, now is the time to implement change to make it happen.

The research is clear. The business case has been made. Yet according to the latest research by EY Australia, only 20% of companies reviewed have set up structured programs to increase numbers of women at the top.

Mentoring is one of the strategies that can change the figures and drive cultural change. Effective programs successfully retain and develop talented aspiring female leaders.

For example, 67% of women in a formal mentoring program at a top tier law firm were promoted to partner. 63% at an ASX listed company on a gender diversity mentoring program for senior women were promoted.[1] While the NRL has seen a substantial shift in numbers of female staff and team executives through its mentoring initiatives.

The latest Harvard Business Review report on programs to boost diversity in the workplace also sites mentoring as one of the top initiatives that can strengthen the pipeline. It says the programs that work don’t ‘teach or train’ but engage. They get active involvement from the top and encourage social accountability to be part of the solution.

Mentoring works because it allows emerging leaders to test ideas, gain fresh perspectives and seek experienced counsel on leadership, career and performance.  It helps promote women by boosting confidence, exposing emerging talented to senior executives and encouraging them to take risks with their careers and responsibility for their own progression.

Jetstar’s Chief Pilot Captain Georgina Sutton – only the second female chief pilot in the world – was selected for a mentoring program in her role as a senior Qantas Captain and says her mentor was invaluable in increasing her confidence and providing honest, candid advice to help her progress. She now strongly advocates the support of programs for women to enter leadership, particularly if they haven’t envisaged it for themselves.

Another senior manager on our program agreed, “mentoring gave me the courage and confidence to challenge the status quo and take risks and achieve beyond my wildest dreams”

They are not alone. Many business leaders, including our female mentors now sitting on some of Australia’s top company’s executive and board tables, advocate the value of mentoring to get ahead.

For maximum impact, a structured program with careful planning, good design and clarity of purpose is recommended.

In our experience, the program should be positioned as an initiative to support talented female participants. It should be championed from the top, matches carefully considered and clear parameters set to encourage engagement and commitment.

Formally connecting the mentee/mentor can also be an important part of its success. Women are statistically less inclined to approach potential mentors on their own and the recent Harvard Business Review’s research report suggests male executives feel uncomfortable reaching out informally to young women, yet are eager to mentor formally assigned protégés, whoever they may be.

In addition, connecting select women with experienced mentors within a program not only demonstrates the value the organisation places on them but validates the importance of focusing on their own career progression. It also creates a professional relationship that adds accountability and the required commitment to learn and grow.

Of course, other factors such as sponsorship, cultural change, increased flexibility and unconscious bias are all important parts of long term change.

Mentoring is certainly not the only solution but it can be an effective, cost-effective piece of the puzzle. It’s great to see all the discussions taking place but the figures make it clear we need to take action and implement the right initiatives to make it happen.

Don’t just hope it happens organically. It won’t.

 1] Results from McCarthy Mentoring Emerging Leader 12 month programs

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