The Inclusive Leadership Program wraps up

The Inclusive Leadership Program wraps up

November 24, 2022

The sixth annual Drinks Association Inclusive Leadership Program has come to a close with the program returning to its in-person format this year and 21 mentors and mentees completing the six month program facilitated by Serendis.

Serendis Leadership’s Julie Thompson runs the program with Bianca Havas. She said, “Participants have welcomed the opportunity to network face to face with great enthusiasm. They have recognised the opportunity and benefit to deliberately curating their network and nurturing relationships as a strategic career benefit as well as a way of making friends in the industry.”

Every year, the program brings together mentors and mentees from across the industry to support a diversity of talented individuals to develop their readiness for leadership roles and to enhance the inclusive leadership capabilities of current and emerging leaders within the sector.

Talent Director Margherita Maini from Lion was on the closing panel of the program. She says that the Inclusive Leadership Program is invaluable in supporting professional development and education.

“I think we would be naïve to think that one organisation can help their people address all of their development needs. We work in an industry where this beautiful cross-pollination happens and I can think of nothing better than with my talent director hat on to say, ‘Go forth and go out there and meet and speak to many different people’.

“I certainly don't have the right over line people as to who they can and can't talk to. And the last thing I would want is for people to be that narrow in their thinking because we know that career development opportunities are much bigger than an organisation. So, this program has been so invaluable for us because people are really learning from others' experience.”

In the feedback shared by mentees at the close of the program, some said it was an opportunity to reflect deeply, clarify their purpose and align their work to their strengths, for others an opportunity to plot a pathway to achieving their goals and a way to develop their leadership skills.

One mentee said, “Now that we are able to see the future a little more clearly than the last couple of years, the program has reminded me of the importance of having a longer-term vision for my career and I have now been able to create this. As a result, I am more deliberate in my actions towards building this future and taking ownership for my career.”

The program also proves to be a successful and rewarding experience for mentors, some of whom have returned a number of times. Maini has been involved in the program since 2017.

She said: “I've seen so many of our leaders grow and change and respond to the mentees that they have year after year, and that's been tremendous."

Participants will be presenting their feedback to the Embrace Difference Council next week. A photo gallery of the closing night event is available here.


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