Why walk in the footsteps of leaders for inspiration when you can walk beside them? This is the fresh thinking behind a leadership mentoring business called Mentor Walks. The idea is to match aspiring women leaders with senior women leaders across businesses, government and community groups for one-hour walks in picturesque surroundings.
The shared walks, in small groups, offer the chance to walk and talk about a range of leadership issues in a relaxed, friendly environment, according to Bobbi Mahlab, Co-founder of Mentor Walks. “Since the program launch in Sydney in 2016 and Melbourne in 2017, more than 1700 women and 245 mentors have participated in this unique mentoring opportunity,” says Bobbi.
“Good women help good women, and that’s what Mentor Walks is all about,” she adds. The cost to join a walk is $25 per person and includes a mix of women from all walks of life. “When a woman enrols, we ask her to outline a career issue she’d like to discuss with a leader on the walk and try to match them with the leader we think best placed to help them,” adds Bobbi.
“The issues covered include anything from thinking of starting a business and not being sure how to go about it, to juggling career and family, and taking the next career step. After the walk, we follow up with each person to check whether the high-level advice and mentoring they receive has helped reach their career goals,” says Bobbi.
Participants say the program has been instrumental in helping them towards a successful career. A common sentiment is that sharing a walk in the open air in a beautiful environment relaxes everyone and helps them build an immediate level of trust and bond that promotes good discussion.
Mentor Walks is currently available in Geelong and Warragul, as well as Melbourne following Victorian Government sponsorship. Bobbi and co-partner Adina Jacobs hope to roll out further walks across the state soon.
Pictured: A group of women begin a mentor walk at the launch in Geelong