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Mentoring

Mentoring involves sharing knowledge, skills and life experience to guide another woman towards reaching her full potential.

On this page you can learn more about mentoring and how to find or be a mentor.

Watch the Australian Network on Disability video (external website) about its program, 'Positive Action towards Career Engagement (PACE) Mentoring':

Tip: Click the subtitles button in the bottom right hand corner of the video to turn closed captions on and off.

About mentoring

A mentor is someone with experience or knowledge in a particular area who provides advice and guidance to a younger or less experienced person.

Mentoring relationships usually take place in organisations like workplaces or universities, but they can also be set up in community settings, like interest groups and advocacy organisations.

There are many benefits to having a mentor. As well as learning from a mentor’s experience, having a mentor can help you:

  • make decisions for yourself
  • develop professional skills
  • identify and achieve career goals
  • increase your confidence
  • gain insight into a different perspective
  • develop leadership skills
  • become a mentor yourself.  

Finding a mentor

There is no particular way to find a mentor. Sometimes finding a mentor happens by accident, sometimes it happens by approaching and asking a person to mentor you and sometimes it happens through a mentoring program.

A mentor should be a person you trust and respect, like:

  • someone you work or volunteer with
  • a teacher or lecturer
  • someone you know through friends, family, or community groups.

Some things you can do to find a mentor include:

  • follow the work and achievements of people you admire or want to be like
  • build your network by joining groups and attending events
  • check if your workplace or education institution has a mentoring program.
Tip: You can download our Fact Sheet: What is Mentoring? to learn more.

Mentoring and leadership programs

If you find it hard to network, or you can’t find a mentor, there are programs that can help you gain confidence, learn leadership skills and find a mentor.

Most mentoring programs are locally based, so it is best to look around in your area. There are also some national organisations in Australia that run mentoring programs. Some examples are:

Important Resources

Publications
WWDA Position Statement 3: The Right to Participation
Information from WWDA on the right of all women and girls with disability to take part in all areas of life.
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Guides
Our Site Fact Sheet: What is Mentoring
A fact sheet about what mentoring is and how to find a mentor.
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Zoom Meetings
Zoom is a program that allows you to run or join a meeting online. This document explains how to download Zoom, create an account, host a meeting and join a meeting.
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WDV: Easy English Guide to Skype
An Easy English guide to using Skype written by Women With Disabilities Victoria.
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Where to next:

External website
Australian Network on Disability Australian Network on Disability Positive Action towards Career Engagement (PACE) Mentoring
PACE Mentoring connects jobseekers with disability to mentors from leading Australian businesses.
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Facebook
Disability Leadership Institute (DLI) Facebook Group
A Facebook group for leaders in the disability sector.
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Disability Leadership Institute (DLI)
A professional hub that offers coaching, training and leadership opportunities to people with disability. These all have a cost.
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Raise
Raise Foundation is a registered Australian charity that provides mentoring programs for young people in high schools and in the community.
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The Australian Youth Mentoring Network
The Australian Youth Mentoring Network is a national organisation that works with youth mentoring organisations and practitioners to develop and run high quality mentoring programs for young people in Australia
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Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a national organisation that supports and runs mentoring programs for young people.
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YWCA: Aboriginal Women's Leadership Program
Run by, with and for Aboriginal women, YWCA’s Aboriginal Women’s Leadership Program assists participants to build leadership capacity.
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YWCA: YConnect
The YWCA Y Connect program aims to create a community; offering workshops, events, social and mentoring opportunities for women with disability.
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