Follow the leader to success – Weekend Australian

McCarthy Mentoring’s Executive Director, Sophie McCarthy, alongside 2015 scholarship winner CEO, Sue Andrews and mentor, Marg O’Donnell AO are interviewed by the Weekend Australian on the value of mentoring, tips to get the most out of it and pitfalls to avoid.

Follow the leader to success by Verity Edwards, The Australian, 20 February 2016

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Your gender diversity strategy

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The latest findings by Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) show not much has changed with gender pay gap and leadership figures. They show women are earning 24% less than men in total remuneration for full time work. That represents $27,252 per year. It’s 35% if you work in financial or insurance services.

In terms of leadership, the data continues to paint a bleak picture – only 15.4% of CEOs are women.

The challenges of gender diversity within organisations can be broad and complex. The discussions are around quotas; culture; persistent bias; women’s lack of confidence in pay negotiations; reluctance to ask for promotions; lack of flexibility at the top (just 6.3% of management roles are part-time) and leaders who aren’t supporting women into the top jobs.

Yet there is a strong business case for gender diversity at senior levels and in positive news, there has been an increase in employers who have put strategies in place.  

What part does mentoring play in your gender diversity strategy?

Our experience and the research shows mentoring can be an important part of a successful gender diversity strategy.

WEGA has cited mentoring and sponsorship programs within its ‘Strategy Toolkit’ that provides advice to businesses wanting to achieve gender equality. Mentoring is seen as an important initiative in both building capability and developing a strong talent ‘pipeline to leadership’ that is gender diverse.

In addition, McKinsey (2010) found that organisations with the largest percentage of C-level women encourage or mandate senior executives to mentor women in lower-level jobs.

For the individual, we know that common outcomes of mentoring – such as increased confidence, performance, leadership skills, more strategic career plans as well as ability to take risks in their career – can all impact on career progression.

Recent outcomes from McCarthy Mentoring programs designed to support gender diversity strategies:

  • 63% of emerging female leaders selected to participate at a large ASX listed company were promoted during the program or within a year of participating
  • 67% of female participants at a global professional services firm were promoted to Partner since starting the program

Mentoring can be a powerful initiative to strengthen your gender diversity strategy.


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New initiative to support female museum leaders

McCarthy Mentoring is proud to have launched a new program to support 21 inspirational senior women become the next generation of leaders in our cultural institutions. Mentors of the inaugural Council of Australasian Museum Directors’ Executive Mentoring Program are some of the most well respected and experienced leaders in the sector.

The launch brought together the 21 mentees with Directors of Australian Museums participating in the program and included a stimulating and inspiring panel session with:

  • Rose Hiscock, Director, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
  • Kim McKay AO, Director and CEO, Australian Museum
  • Professor Suzanne Miller, Director and CEO, Queensland Museum Network

The three Directors candidly shared stories about their careers, aspirations and challenges they had faced on their path to leadership. Each gave valuable advice, guidance and insights on having a successful career in the cultural sector.

See full details and list of participants here

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Having a Working Mum is Good for You

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This month Harvard Business Review put out a media release announcing new research that looked at the outcomes for adults raised by working mothers. It found that women do better in the workplace if they had a mum who worked outside the home before they were 14 years old. Specifically, they performed better, earned more and had more powerful positions. Men didn’t change in that they were as likely as sons with stay-at-home mothers to hold supervisory positions and earn comparable salaries. They did however, contribute more at home.

The findings were based on a survey of 50,000 adults aged 18 to 60 in 25 nations worldwide in 2002 and 2012

Read full media release Having a Working Mother is Good for You, Harvard Business Review, 18 May 2015


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Indigenous health leader wins scholarship

The CEO of Gurriny Yealamucka Aboriginal community-controlled health service has won the 2015 McCarthy Mentoring Not for Profit Executive Scholarship which seeks to support and inspire a leader in the sector and help them achieve their goals.

Suzanne Connolly-Andrews has led Gurriny Yealamucka Health Services in Yarrabah, Northern Queensland since 2012 following the transition from government to community-controlled management of the service.

With 70 staff, the majority of which are local Yarrabah residents, Connolly-Andrews oversees the provision of Primary Health Care and Wellbeing services including women and men’s health, child and maternal health, social emotional and wellbeing, home medication review and chronic disease management. The key focus is preventative health care and early intervention.

Within the past year the service has seen significant improvements in the health of the community such as 87% immunisation rate and has succeeded in meeting and exceeding national health targets as it embeds the new model.

“It has been an exciting yet challenging time so it’s wonderful to have been given this mentoring opportunity. It will be invaluable to have an advisor, outside of my community, to offer new perspectives and help me reflect and build on my leadership skills.”

McCarthy Mentoring’s Executive Director, Sophie McCarthy said that they were delighted to offer this scholarship to Ms Connolly-Andrews.

“Sue is a passionate, talented leader who is keen to gain insights from someone who has extensive executive experience and can act as a sounding board to test ideas, guide through challenges and build further confidence in her role,” said Sophie McCarthy.

“We see the difference mentoring can make in the corporate and government sector – both personally and for the organisations – so we wanted to extend these benefits to a leader facing tough challenges and high demands in the NFP sector.”

Ms Connolly-Andrews’ mentor, Marg O’Donnell AO, will draw on her experience as an executive, board director and advisor to the State and Federal Government to support Ms Connolly-Andrews in her role as a CEO and offer insights into leadership and board dynamics in a confidential, independent forum.

Marg O’Donnell AO is currently Chair of Breast Cancer Network of Australia and the Visiting Committee, Griffith University Law School. She has been the Director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Division in the QLD Department of Justice and Attorney General and the Director-General of three QLD Government Departments including Aboriginal Affairs and the Office for Women.

McCarthy Mentoring received the highest number of applicants since launching the scholarship three years ago. The applications were from small to large social services, disability services, media, health, youth affairs and education organisations and demonstrated the high calibre of leadership in this sector.

“Yet, the executive face significant challenges and stress in creating sustainable funding models and responding to increasing stakeholder demand with limited resources while seeking to improve their own leadership and board management skills,” said Sophie McCarthy.

2013 scholarship winner, Karen Bevan received the scholarship for her work in advocacy for disadvantaged children and families at UnitingCare. Since then she has lead the submissions team on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has become the CEO of Playgroups NSW and is the Vice President and a Non Executive Director of the NSW Council of Social Service.

2014 scholarship winner, Brett Macdonald is the Co-Founder and Executive Director for national charity, Dry July Foundation and a Director at Clear Heads International. Brett has been instrumental in Dry July’s year-on-year success and growth. It has collectively raised more than $15 million, helping support 37 cancer services across Australia and NZ.

Gurriny Yealamucka Health Services – www.gyhsac.org.au

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