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Christchurch, 3 May 2022: Senior and diverse Christchurch female leaders will ‘walk and talk’ with aspiring female leaders when Mentor Walks launches its first New Zealand event in Christchurch on Thursday 19 May.

Mentor Walks is a simple idea designed to have a big impact on women’s careers – a one hour walk and conversation with an exceptional female leader – to help women get clarity on career and business challenges and opportunities and build networks.
Christchurch is the first city to launch a Mentor Walks programme in New Zealand, with the support and partnership of Christchurch-headquartered global software company Seequent.

Lisa Wall, Chief People Officer at Seequent, said: “When one of our team members reached out about Mentor Walks, we jumped at the opportunity to partner with them.

“We want to provide our aspiring women with the opportunity to connect with local experienced female leaders who share their experiences, encourage new ways of thinking, and help foster confident future female leaders. The high-impact programme that Mentor Walks has developed is a great way to do this both for our people and all aspiring women locally. We’re proud that Seequent has helped make this a reality in New Zealand.”

Six Mentor Walks events will be run in Christchurch over the next 12 months, with mentors matched with leading female CEOs, Directors, Executives and Founders from business to the public service.

Narmadhaa Palanisamy, Product Owner at Seequent shares her passion for the mentoring initiative with Lisa Wall, Chief People Officer.

Started in Sydney in 2016 by entrepreneurs Bobbi Mahlab and Adina Jacobs, Mentor Walks, a not-for-profit career-building initiative, already operates in seven cities across Australia. More than 5000 women have walked since the programme launched in 2016, with over 400 mentors volunteering their time and wisdom.

Bobbi Mahlab, Co-founder of Mentor Walks, said: “Mentor Walks provides women with the opportunity to workshop ideas, gain insight and discuss challenges with some of Australia’s, and now New Zealand’s, most successful female leaders. These conversations are vital in helping women take the next step in their careers and ultimately developing the next generation of feminist leaders.

“We’re excited to be expanding the Mentor Walks programme internationally – so that we can have an even greater impact by helping New Zealand women achieve their career aspirations.”

Mentors provide aspiring female leaders with advice on challenges they’re facing, such as getting a promotion, asking for a pay rise, influencing executive teams, managing up, getting buy-in from investors, securing new customers, or more minor day-to-day challenges.

Jo Pennycuick, Founder and MD, Redesign Group, said: “I am thrilled to be a part of Mentor Walks to assist fellow women in business to develop their skills and gain knowledge to achieve greatness in their field. There are many challenges in business that as a mentor we can encourage growth and provide sound advice on how to progress. Sharing experiences, learning and making long term connections can assist with the progression of a successful business.”

Charlotte Walshe, Chief Executive of Jade Software, says she’s looking forward to paying it forward as a Mentor Walks mentor: “I’ve had some great mentors along the way, people who helped me see things differently, reframe a problem, recognise my skills or someone else’s differently, and it made a big difference to my career journey and self-belief, so it’s great to have the opportunity to give back, and in such a novel way through walks.”

Mentees are matched with a mentor before the event based on their pre-submitted career or business question. Then, the mentor and two or three mentees collectively discuss the questions as they walk for the hour.

Mentors volunteering for Mentor Walks Christchurch include:

  • Alison Adams, CEO, ChristchurchNZ
  • Amy Carter, CEO, The Christchurch Foundation
  • Andi Fear-Ross, General Manager, Pivot & Pace
  • Charlotte Walshe, CEO, Jade Software
  • Di Murphy, Strategic Advisor, Pivot & Pace
  • Di Humphries, Director and Executive Consultant
  • Emma Johns, Partner, Deloitte
  • Erin Black, Board Member, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce
  • Jenni Callaghan, Associate Director, EY
  • Jo Pennycuick, Founder and MD, Redesign Group
  • Leeann Watson, CEO, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce
  • Lisa Wall, Chief People Officer, Seequent
  • Peri Drysdale MBE, Founder and CEO of Untouched World

Mentor Walks – First Christchurch event:

Date: Thursday 19 May 2022
Time: 7:00am for 7:10am kick-off. Walk ends at 8.15am
Who: professional/ working women
Venue: Next to Hagley Park Netball Centre
Booking: Tickets and more information: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/292786631697
Cost: $33 NZD for a one hour walk with a mentor

Mentor Walks is supported in Christchurch by software company Seequent.