Mentoring for Diversity

The Institute of Directors established Mentoring for Diversity in 2012 originally as a way of increasing the number of women on boards. Since that time the programme has evolved outside of just gender, and diversity is now used in its widest sense to include race, ethnicity, age, skills and experience.   Each year around April we invite applications from members who have solid experience around a board table, are looking to step up to larger or NZX listed company roles, and who believe their diversity can contribute to board performance. Since its inception, over 100 mentees have had the remarkable opportunity of being mentored by one of New Zealand’s top chairs and directors for a year, which has helped them progress their governance journeys significantly.

If you’re successful in being selected as a mentee, this programme will help you:

  • enhance your governance knowledge and skills to potentially achieve director appointments, particularly in large company environments
  • increase your understanding of how listed and large company boards work
  • understand the requirements of directorships and what it takes to become a professional director
  • develop connections between senior directors and chairs, adding to the diversity of the director pool and making board-ready talent more visible.

To apply you should:

  • have a solid track record in executive management/board advisory roles plus board experience
  • be currently seeking NZX or large company board appointments (is a current aspiration)
  • have the capability and capacity to be offered a place on the board of a NZX company or organisation of similar size
  • be flexible with your time in order to prepare for and commit to meetings with your mentor throughout the year
  • be prepared to attend and share your learnings at group sessions arranged by IoD for your cohort a few times a year (dates to be advised)
  • not already be a director on the board of two or more NZX or large companies
  • not have participated in a previous year’s IoD Mentoring for Diversity programme.

Applications for the 2019-20 programme are now closed.

Paula Jackson" I am thoroughly enjoying the mentor programme experience  working with David Pilkington has been a pleasure. We have had several productive sessions, worked on my governance CV and met with board recruiters. I am overwhelmed at how generous David has been with his time, encouraging of me, and introducing me to his networks. It has been a wonderful opportunity, so thank you to the IoD for making it possible." – Paula Jackson, 2017/18 Mentee


About the programme

Established in 2012, the first three years of the Mentoring for Diversity programme linked experienced women directors (mentees) with chairmen and senior directors (mentors) from NZX and large company boards for a 12 month period. The focus was on women because there was such an obvious imbalance on boards. However the IoD has always believed that diversity of thought does not only stem from a better gender balance on boards, so in 2015 the programme widened its focus. Research has shown that a board of directors who can offer different perspectives are more likely to consider a wider range of alternatives.


Lists of the mentees who have taken part in the programme can be found below.

2019 Mentees

Catherine Abel-Pattinson
Bayden Barber
Elaine Cook
Jane Davel
Jan Early
Aliesia Gartrell
Marina Hirst-Tristram
Sarah Judkins
Nic Kennedy
Raewyn Kirkman
Victoria MacLennan
Bindi Norwell
Alison Posa
Barbara Robertson
Renae Smart
Julia Steenson
Lana Stockman
Sunil Surujpal
Bella Takiari-Brame
Wendy Venter
Franky Wang

2018 Mentees

Elle Archer
Pamela Bell
Tracey Bridges
Angela Bull
Joanna Davidson
Toni Ferrier
Dean Fraser
Jo Goodhew
Michelle Henderson
Sarah Park
Cathy Parker
Jignasha Patel
Hilary Poole
Jana Rangooni
Amanda Santos
Scott Tambisari
Melanie Templeton
Judith Thompson
David Tse
Louise Ward

2017 Mentees

Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau
Monique Cairns
Kirsty Campbell
Suneil Connor
Joanne Conroy
Jacqueline Farman
Mary Gardiner
Kim Gordon
Toni Grant
Natasha Harvey
Paula Jackson
Erica Jenkin
Mere Kingi
Nettles Lamont
Hilary Lewis
Sam Lotu-Liga
Kathy Meads
Jodi Mitchell
Mark Rogers
Katherine Sandford
Daniel Shore
Kim Skelton
Digna Toresen
Helen Waterworth

2016 Mentees

Anna Adams
Joanna Allan
Zoe Attwood
Kenina Court
Claire Evans
Sally Gardiner
Agnieszka Grudzinska
Keiran Horne
Mei Fern Johnson
Anita Killeen
Edie Moke
Ana Morrison
Stana Pezic
Aaron Rink
Alex Skinner
Kylie van Heerden
Kate Wareham 

2015 Mentees

Jeremy Banks
Eugene Berryman-Kamp
Deion Campbell
Lucy Chang-Lorinczi
Kaila Colbin
Stephen Davies Howard
Mary Gordon
David Johnston
Simon Lockwood
Ashok Magan
Jan-Paul Mowat
Baden Ngan Kee
Janette O'Neill
Tracey Phelan
Kelly Smith
Belinda Storey
Catherine Thompson
Gabrielle Thompson
Anne Walsh

2014 Mentees

Vikki Brannagan
Judi Burgess
Suzanne Carter
Melissa Clark-Reynolds
Mary-Jane Daly
Monica Davis
Louise Edwards
Virginia Hope
Elizabeth Hopkins
Marise James
Jennifer Kerr
Jackie Lloyd
Dianne McAteer
Maxine Moana-Tuwhangai
Clare Morgan
Fiona Oliver
Sheryl Smail
Catherine Taylor
Riria Te Kanawa
Rachel Walker

2013 - 2012 Mentees

Carol Bellette
Denise Bovaird
Teresa Ciprian
Robyn Clements
Rachel Farrant
Janice Fredric
Shenagh Gleisner
Kathy Grant
Sheena Henderson
Debbie Hewitt
Emma Hill
Julia Hoare
Rangimarie Hunia
Susie Johnstone
Joanne Keestra
Jane Lancaster
Lyn Lim
Raewyn Lovett
Shelley Major
Jane Mitchell
Tureti Moxon
Jane Nees
Pam Roa
Susan Robinson-Derus
Linda Sanders
Samantha Sharif
Sarah-Jane Weir 

Helen Anderson
Alison Andrew
Marie Bismark
Jo Brosnahan
Margot Buick
Debbie Chin
Denise Church
Annabel Cotton
Kura Denness
Carole Durbin
Abby Foote
Simone Iles
Dianne Kidd
Lee Mathias
Sue McCormack
Giselle McLachlan
Karen Price
Susan Putt
Linda Robertson
Helen Robinson
Suzanne Snively
Robyn Stent
Cecilia Tarrant
Elena Trout
Lorraine Witten
Gillian Wratt
Adrienne Young-Cooper