The National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) announces the Victorian Mentee Sponsorship Program as part of its national Mentoring Program in 2024.

Funded by the Victorian Office for Women, this program is focused on supporting and developing the careers of women working in the State’s manufacturing and energy sectors and is part of the Women in Manufacturing and Women in Energy Strategies.

“Over the last 10 years NAWO’s Mentoring Program has mentored more than 750 women and inspired them to pursue successful careers in operations,” says NAWO CEO Louise Weine.

“As NAWO’s reach and corporate membership grows, it’s very exciting to have this significant support from the Victorian Office for Women to provide sponsored places in 2024 for women in manufacturing and energy.”

The Office for Women, part of the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, continues to support the work of NAWO as part of the Victorian Government’s strategies to increase women’s participation in the manufacturing and energy sectors.

Since its introduction in 2010, NAWO’s flagship Mentoring Program has been increasing participants year on year. In 2024, the program will enhance and broaden its offering and delivery, reach and mentor more women in operations nationally, and better measure the program’s impact.

In addition, and for the first time, NAWO will be offering sponsored places for its Victorian cohort, specifically for women working in manufacturing and energy seeking mentorships.

This program includes both group and individual mentoring in the following streams:

Four mentor circles from both industries – 25 women mentees matched with five experienced operations leaders
One mentor circle for energy industry experience – women not currently working in energy but who are keen to
Five one to one mentoring opportunities for women in energy or manufacturing matched with five experienced operations leaders
The Victorian Mentee Sponsorship Program is available to all women working in Victorian manufacturing and energy, not just from NAWO’s 85 + member companies.

NAWO has previously worked with the Victorian Office for Women including on the Inclusion Habits for Operations Leaders pilot program in 2022 and this year’s Women in Energy & Manufacturing Case Studies Series.

In September 2022, the Victorian Government released the Inquiry into Economic Equity for Victorian Women, together with the government’s response.

To support Inquiry Recommendation 19 – develop new industry strategies to attract, recruit and retain women in majority-men industries – the Victorian Government announced it would deliver strategies for the energy and manufacturing sectors. The strategies will focus on supporting, upskilling and mentoring women, while removing barriers in these historically male-dominated workforces.

NAWO’s Mentoring Program supports this strategy and will now be able to specifically focus on women in energy and manufacturing, with the ability to offer sponsored mentee places for women working in these sectors in Victoria.

Further, NAWO will be able to provide sponsored places for women not currently working in these sectors, but who are interested to gain direct mentoring experience from energy and manufacturing operations leaders.

This article originally appeared on MHD magazine.

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