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Mentoring for Diversity

Bring your diversity of ideas, perspectives and experience to the board table.

looking up at white wavy building

Mentoring for Diversity is for board-ready applicants looking for non-executive board appointments at large and NZX companies. The programme aims to improve participants’ governance knowledge and suitability for selection. It links participants with mentors who are leading and established chairs and directors from large and NZX company level.

We invite applications on the basis of diversity of gender, ethnicity, Māori whakapapa, LGBTI affinity, age, culture, disability, background, and experience.

We invite your application if you:

  • have a solid track record as an executive or board adviser
  • have some experience on boards
  • believe your diversity can contribute to board performance
  • are ready to take governance positions at large and NZX companies.

Applying for the programme

To apply for Mentoring for Diversity, you should be able to accept the time and travel commitments of:

  • new board appointments at large and NZX companies
  • six to eight mentoring sessions
  • up to four programme events in Auckland.

You should also:

  • be looking for non-executive board appointments at large and NZX companies
  • not already be on the board of more than one large or NZX company.

Large and NZX companies look for board members with specific, specialist skills, supported by more generic skills, knowledge, and experience. In your application for this programme, you should demonstrate the specified:

Technical and operational skills

You should have at least five years’ experience with boards in a senior role:

  • a senior executive or manager in a medium, large, or NZX company
  • a senior professional adviser to boards of large organisations – commercial, not-for-profit, or public sector – or NZX companies
  • a senior leader in a not-for-profit or public sector organisation, working with boards
  • a businessperson with commercial expertise and governance experience in their own company.
Knowledge and understanding

You should understand:

  • the roles and responsibilities of directors under the Companies Act 1993
  • the role of the board
  • the distinction between governance and management.
Financial literacy

You should be able to understand the financial position of a company by interpreting financial statements and reports.

General attributes

You should have:

  • independence of mind
  • confidence to ask questions
  • a well-developed critical faculty
  • the ability to work in a team
  • the ability to evaluate your own performance with the aim of continuous improvement.
Experience

You should have at least three years’ governance experience, preferably on the board of a significant organisation. You may also be in a position advising or reporting to a board of a significant organisation.

How to apply

Applications for this programme in 2020-21 open in April 2020.

  1. Complete the Mentoring for Diversity application form (link available April 2020)
  2. Send the completed form with your governance CV to mentoring@iod.org.nz

Demonstrate your governance professionalism and competencies in a dedicated CV. See our governance CV guide 

Selection for the programme

An IoD internal selection panel shortlists applicants for the programme. Our board diversity panel makes the final selection of mentees. This panel is made up of our chief executive and selected IoD council members.

If you are not selected for the programme, you can apply for it in future years.

Doing the programme

Mentoring for Diversity runs for 12 months. Mentees pay for their own travel and cover their own costs participating in the programme.

We hold a briefing session with the mentees at the start of the programme. At this session we give our expectations about the roles of mentee and mentor, and advice on how to get the most out of the programme.

We hold two mentee knowledge-sharing events during the programme, which we expect mentees to attend. Mentees also commit to providing feedback when requested through the programme.

We hold a final sharing session and graduation at the end of the programme.

We expect that mentees and mentors meet for at least an hour every two months, at times convenient to both. We recommend that mentees and mentors keep the scheduling and format of their meetings formal.

Find out more

How is the Mentoring for Diversity programme progressing? (2019)

Rachel Farrant discusses her experiences on the Mentoring for Diversity programme

The Mentoring for Diversity programme made me appreciate the benefits of a diverse board in terms of robust decision making
- Mentee, 2015-2016 cohort