Mentoring for Diversity

The Mentoring for Diversity programme is for experienced directors who have the goal of achieving a non-executive director role on a large private company or public sector board, a NZX listed board or a Trustee for a large not-for-profit organisation. 

Green paint strokes
  • Do you want to improve your governance capability with mentoring from one of New Zealand’s top directors?
  • Do you want an opportunity to contribute to the governance of a large organisation?
  • Can you bring fresh perspectives to the board table – but need help defining your value?


The IoD’s Mentoring for Diversity programme was launched in 2011 to link experienced female directors (mentees) with chairs and senior directors (mentors) from NZX and large company boards.

The programme was expanded in 2015 to promote board diversity in its wider sense, and we welcome applications on the basis of diversity including gender, ethnicity, LGBTI affinity, age, culture, disability, background, sector and experience.

The programme aims to:

  • increase mentees’ understanding of how boards of large organisations work
  • enhance the connections between senior directors, adding to the diversity of the director pool and making board-ready talent more visible
  • assist mentees to gain knowledge and skills to help them achieve director appointments, particularly in large companies or organisations.


Successful applicants are matched with a senior director for a year-long programme of one-to-one mentoring (usually 6-8 sessions).

The coaching and advice will help you:

  • build a deeper understanding of governance practices
  • understand the expectations on boards of a significant sized entity
  • assist in identifying where you may have skill gaps
  • help you develop your unique value proposition as a director.

Cohort workshops and networking

During the year-long programme we hold four networking and knowledge-sharing events. This is an opportunity to connect with other mentees and hear from governance experts.

Application information

Applications are now closed. Mentees for the 2022 programme will be announced in June.

What you will need to apply

A governance CV including:

  • your governance and executive experience
  • your record of education and training 
  • a minimum of two referees, one being the chair of a board you serve on, who will be contacted if you are shortlisted.

 A cover letter describing (preferably in the order outlined below):

  1. your motivation for applying for the programme and your governance ambitions
  2. the benefit and value your diverse identity, perspective or experience can bring to a board
  3. highlights of your governance experience including reporting to or advising boards, committees, or executive management
  4. the areas you would most like the programme and your mentor to help you develop in, if successful.


For any queries regarding the Mentoring for Diversity programme, please contact:

Jill Steffert
027 403 0148

Hear from past participants

Mel Templeton - past mentee

Amanda Santos - past mentee