IMAA's Female Leaders of Tomorrow returning for 2024

By AdNews | 6 May 2024
Wendy Gower

The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) has announced the 2024-25 program of its Female Leaders of Tomorrow initiative laucnhed last year.

Spearheaded by IMAA DE&I chair and AFFINITY CEO, Angela Smith, and executive trainer and coach from We Grow, Wendy Gower, the initiative saw 16 selected mentees benefit from a structured six month mentoring program, including online and face-to-face sessions, training and meet ups with mentors.

The purpose was for participants to gain industry and personal insights and lessons, skills, and professional networking opportunities from their mentors to set them up for future success in the industry.

The program, which launched in August last year, matched media industry leaders with up-and-coming talent for coaching, mentoring and advice. The six-month program aimed to create a support network between senior media staff and their mentees, matching mentors with future talent from the nation’s indie media agencies for online and face-to-face sessions.

The pilot program saw 100% of mentees recording an uplift in their leadership ability and 100% recording improvement in their ability to actively applying their new leadership capabilities to their roles. 86% of mentees felt more confident to use their leadership skills in more difficult situations and “put themselves out there”.

Smith said the outcomes of this programme exceeded IMAA's expectations.

"It was important to us to ensure this programme was so much more than feel-good rhetoric and had some baseline measures to determine its impact on the mentees," she said.

"Based on their responses, every participant told us the programme had helped them move into a more proactive phase of leadership, and they were already applying new skills and perspectives in their day-to-day roles. This fundamental shift underscores the effectiveness of mentorship in fostering continuous learning."

Gower said the scope and depth of learning gained through the programme has been nothing short of inspirational.

"Without exception, these women have all grown and discovered practical ways to build on their already great potential," she said.

"They have learned about the power of vulnerability, how to be themselves in difficult circumstances and how to effectively address imposter syndrome - an outsized problem for most women in leadership.”

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