Our Team

We are committed to developing others so that they can reach their goals.

Our team brings extensive experience from our combined careers in research, communications, marketing, organisational development and human resources. We have worked in large complex organisations from top ASX listed companies to large government departments and national NFPs. We have consulted to global iconic businesses and served on multiple advisory boards.

Together and individually, we have led teams, sat at the executive table and implemented high-impact strategic initiatives. We bring real-life experience alongside extensive leadership development specialist expertise.

As certified facilitators, accredited organisational coaches, and Hogan coaches we love what we do, and we love seeing the difference it makes.

Sophie McCarthy

Chief Executive Officer

Sophie McCarthy is the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of McCarthy Mentoring. The company works globally with organisations to inspire and develop their emerging and current leaders.  Established in 1998, McCarthy Mentoring offers a suite of mentoring, coaching and leadership programs for senior executives and high potential employees.

McCarthy Mentoring’s programs drive change, engage people and develop leaders. We partner with leading companies across the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors.

We proudly measure our success through client retention, engagement and the promotion of and career successes of participants.

Full Bio

Over the past decade Sophie has overseen the company’s growth and expansion into regional markets to meet the needs of global clients. She works closely with CEOs and HR Directors in diverse industries including power and energy, museums and performing arts, as well as mental health services to plan and deliver mentoring and leadership programs for their executive teams and future leaders.

Sophie is a coach and mentor and has a strong commitment to diversity and the community.  McCarthy Mentoring has developed many successful Women’s Leadership programs at Qantas, Allens Linklaters, Calibre, AWE Ltd and with the Council of Australasian Museum Directors where up to 60% of participants are promoted within a year.  Additionally, she has established partnerships with schools and community groups assisting them to establish mentoring programs for students, graduates, refugees and newly arrived Australians. This work was done in a pro bono capacity.

Prior to this Sophie worked for a decade in communications and project management roles with the NSW Ministry of Science and Medical Research, consulting firms and overseas aid& development agency, Plan International. In this role she worked and travelled to India, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines. Her first career was in research and policy in museums and then in public health.


  • Chair, McCarthy Mentoring, 2012 – present
  • Advisory Committee Member, Sydney Community Foundation & Sydney Women’s Fund, 2017 – present
  • Non – Executive Director, Parry Street Garage, Newcastle 2015 – present
  • Ambassador, Get Flexible Campaign, Diversity Council of Australia. 2012
  • Deputy Chair, Griffin Theatre Company 2009 – 2016
  • President, Family Planning Association of NSW Foundation 1999 – 2008

Qualifications & Awards

  • Accredited Organisational Coach with the Institute of Executive Coaching & Leadership, IECL 2020
  • Hogan Leadership Assessment Certification 2017
  • Fellowship, Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Program, 1999 Master of Public Health, University of Sydney, 1993
  • Bachelor of Arts (politics and history), ANU 1989


  • One2One: Power, Politics and My Career, Australian Executive Mentoring Stories, 2012
  • Women’s Leadership in Science, ARC and NSW Ministry of Science & Medical Research, 2008
  • Shattered Lives: Report on Domestic Violence Services for Non-English-speaking women in Queanbeyan, Southern Area Health Service, NSW, 1997
  • Report on Postnatal Depression Services for Non-English-Speaking Women in NSW, NSW Dept Health, 1996.
  • Risks of HIV Testing for the low risk population, Department of Public Health, University of Sydney, 1993 Technical Report on the World War Two Shipwrecks in Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory Museum of Arts & Sciences, 1992.


  • The McCarthy Mentoring Executive Scholarship established in 2013 funds an annual program for a community leader.
  • Sydney Opera House Idealist  –  Member of the Atelier Group, Art Gallery of NSW  – Griffin Theatre Studio Supporter – Sydney Women’s Fund.

Tessa Sexton

Director, Leadership & Coaching

Tessa Sexton designs and delivers leadership development programs that enable change and improve performance.

Tess develops and supports executive teams and talented staff to become agile, effective leaders. In doing so, she works closely with CEOs and HR Directors across the corporate, government and not for profit sectors. Tessa is an organisational coach, a trained facilitator and has demonstrated expertise in all aspects of executive mentoring and leadership development. In delivering high end value for clients, Tess draws on extensive experience in stakeholder communications, brand strategy and business development.

Full Bio

Tessa Sexton has worked at McCarthy Mentoring for 10 years, designing and delivering leadership development programs that motivate, engage and drive change. She partners with clients across the corporate, government and not for profit sectors to develop and support senior executives and talented managers to become agile, effective leaders. She is passionate about helping them find their voice, achieve their goals and perform at their best.

Tessa is a mentor, accredited coach and experienced facilitator where she is able to motivate and engage stakeholders towards a common goal. She has also been responsible for the business brand and marketing.

Prior to McCarthy Mentoring, Tessa was a marketing & communications specialist for 16 years, during which time she held senior management roles including leading the national marketing team at The Leukemia Foundation of Australia. She has also worked as a communications consultant to high profile brands in Australia and the UK, providing strategic advice on crisis communication, change strategies and stakeholder relations. Clients were prominent local and global companies including British Airways at which she was the media agency lead for the airline in this region.

Tessa holds a Bachelor of Arts (Tourism Marketing) from the University of Technology, Sydney, is an accredited Level 2 Organisational Coach with the Institute of Executive Coaching & Leadership (IECL), and is a certified coach in the Hogan 360 & Leadership Forecast Assessment Tool. Using this tool, Tessa helps clients to build self-awareness and a deeper understanding into their leadership strengths, behaviours, challenges and drivers.

Savannah Nichols

Manager, Client & Corporate Services

Savannah is responsible for the management of external and internal stakeholders, client relationships, developing evaluations and reports, accounting, organising events and workshops, and assisting in the delivery of marketing and communications initiatives.

Full Bio

Savannah Nichols has completed an Internship at the NSW Department of Premier & Cabinet. In this capacity she worked with external and internal stakeholders to implement imperative policies towards achieving the Premier’s priorities.

Recently, she had the opportunity to develop, edit and write a manuscript for an upcoming memoir. This experience strengthened her excellent writing and project management abilities. She also gained strong customer service and client relationship management skills following three years in the retail fashion industry.

Savannah holds a Bachelor of International & Global Studies and a Masters in International Law from the University of Sydney.  She completed a semester of study abroad in Paris at Sciences Po University and was awarded the Global Citizenship Award in 2019 at the University of Sydney.

Andrea Doney

Marketing & Communications Manager

Andrea is an experienced and creative marketing and communications specialist, well-versed in all facets of internal and external marketing communications.

Full Bio

Andrea is a senior marketing communications specialist with proven experience across a broad range of sectors. These include the performing arts, small business, NFPs, and membership organisations. She joined the McCarthy team in a part-time capacity in October 2022.