Empowerment, support and development were the themes of the Lucy Mentoring Program Launch, an industry event kick starting a semester-long partnership of creativity and professional development between current female Engineering and IT students, and females in senior management and technical roles from some of Australia’s largest organisations.
The Program Launch, held at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) headquarters at Darling Park on Wednesday 23 May, saw a record forty four students matched with mentors from twenty four private and public organisations, including IBM, Roads and Maritime Services NSW, Railcorp and event host CBA. With an excitement akin to starting a new role or walking into their first ever university lecture, students were matched with senior professional women who will mentor them throughout the program and share their insights, life experience and expertise.
Students were treated to an official welcome by Executive General Manager Steve McGregor, a self-confessed “Male Champion of Change” from Wealth Management IT at CBA. His welcome extended to the students chosen for the program as well as the mentors who volunteered to take part, thanking all responsible for the Lucy Program at UTS. His final words to the students, “Accept this invitation presented to you tonight – you are the generation of female talent we are proud to encourage, support and develop.”
There was a line-up of inspiring female speakers from a range of academic and corporate backgrounds. Nur Oyman, General Manager of CBA, spoke about the importance of mentoring in her career. Her golden advice to the mentees was to “be present, and have presence”, drawing on her experience of how confidence is a woman’s secret weapon in the corporate world. PhD Graduate, Minoo Masihpour, echoed the same tune. With a background in research in wireless communication networks, her academic studies gave her the confidence “never to surrender”.
The Lucy Mentoring Program is an innovative leadership program with the aim to inspire, motivate and educate young females about the opportunities available in senior corporate and public sector roles. Both mentors and mentees benefit from the mutually beneficial relationship, with Sabina Bhuiyan, Test Manager at IBM, calling it a “win-win” situation. Her mentee, Michelle Whye, a 4th year Bachelor of Science in IT student, could not agree more. “I feel very privileged to be participating in the Lucy Mentoring Program. It is very encouraging to have contact with women in senior engineering and IT positions because they inspire us students to join these non-traditional female fields with confidence.”