Mentoring project a success

Tania Dickie. Photo: ODT files
Tania Dickie. Photo: ODT files
When Tania Dickie applied for the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) mentoring for diversity programme, her aim was to ‘‘unlock real value’’ she could add around the board table.

Ms Dickie was the only Otago participant in the year-long programme’s latest cohort of 16 who graduate in June.

The programme was for experienced directors with the goal of achieving a non-executive board appointment to an NZX-listed or large company board.

Since the programme launched in 2012, 74% of past mentees had secured a role on a large board.

Successful applicants were matched with a senior director or board chairperson for one-to-one mentoring.

Participants met four times a year and the IoD provided a programme of work, including guest speakers and activities.

Ms Dickie, who was chief executive of Credit Union South, is on the board of the Otago Chamber of Commerce and finished as a board member of iD Fashion in December last year.

The timing was right for her to apply for the mentoring for diversity programme, she said.

Once assigned a mentor, the pair worked out a programme for what the participant was trying to achieve and what value the mentor could add to that.

It was about making the most of the time with the mentor and benefiting from their skills and advice, she said.

The networking aspect with other participants had also been very interesting.

Everyone came from a different background and had a different story. Some had defined boards they wanted to get on while others were broadening their skills so they could seek new opportunities .

Ms Dickie was looking at broadening her experience. Her mentor encouraged her to do some training around health and safety, an important issue for board members.

She had met with some government agencies to understand how they worked and what they were looking for and she had made a list of entities she felt she would like to be part of.

Applications for the next programme close on April 22 and Ms Dickie encouraged people to apply. It had built on her existing skills and allowed her to see and obtain new governance opportunities.

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