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    IMAA celebrates Female Leaders of Tomorrow graduates

    Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) has celebrated the success of its inaugural Female Leaders of Tomorrow programme with events in Sydney and Melbourne and announced its new 2024-25 programme.

    To mark the success of the 2023-24 programme, the 16 mentees and mentors, along with mentee leaders, IMAA directors, and the IMAA leadership team, came together at oOh!media’s offices in Sydney on 29 April and in Melbourne on 2 May.

    Led by Angela Smith, IMAA DE&I Chair and AFFINITY CEO, and Wendy Gower, executive trainer and coach from We Grow, the initiative saw 16 selected mentees benefit from a structured six-month mentoring programme that included online and face-to-face sessions, training, and meet-ups with mentors.

    Mentor and oOh!media CEO, Cathy O’Connor, said: “The way the IMAA Female Leaders of Tomorrow programme has been designed and its ability to give back to everyone involved is invaluable to the future of our industry and the next generation of female leaders.

    “Through my involvement as a mentor, I’ve discovered there is a new generation who have found their voices more confidently than when I was starting out, and I’m incredibly encouraged by this development.

    The purpose of the programme was for participants to gain valuable industry and personal insights, lessons, skills, and professional networking opportunities from their mentors.

    The six-month programme aimed to create a support network between senior media staff and their mentees, matching mentors with future talent from the nation’s indie media agencies for both online and face-to-face sessions.

    IMAA celebrates Female Leaders of Tomorrow graduates

    All the participants described the programme as “life-changing” and acquired new leadership skills, and 86% said they felt more confident to use their leadership skills in more difficult situations and “put themselves out there.”

    One mentee said: “The dedicated time spent with my mentor has been transformative for my leadership journey, significantly enhancing my ability to navigate challenging situations and foster a team environment.”

    IMAA - Wendy Gower and Angela Smith

    Wendy Gower and Angela Smith

    Angela Smith, IMAA DE&I chair, said the outcomes of the program “exceeded expectations.”

    “It was important to us to ensure this programme was so much more than feel-good rhetoric and had some baseline measures to determine its impact on the mentees,” she said.

    “Based on their responses, every participant told us the programme had helped them move into a more proactive phase of leadership, and they were already applying new skills and perspectives in their day-to-day roles.

    “This fundamental shift underscores the effectiveness of mentorship in fostering continuous learning. The results were a resounding validation of the role this programme has played will continue to play in the development of these women’s careers and beyond.” 

    Female Leaders of Tomorrow Programme facilitator, Wendy Gower, added: “The scope and depth of learning gained through the programme has been nothing short of inspirational. Without exception, these women have all grown and discovered practical ways to build on their already great potential.

    “They have learned about the power of vulnerability, how to be themselves in difficult circumstances and how to effectively address imposter syndrome – an outsized problem for most women in leadership.”

    IMAA - oOhMedia! Cathy O'Connor

    Cathy O’Connor

    The 16 IMAA Female Leaders of Tomorrow mentee graduates include Zoe Amos from Kaimera, Angela Brand and Hayley Clarke from Hotglue, Sue Cant and Elly Catchlove from Half Dome, Denize D’Silva from Media Republic, Eleni Endt from Adenium, Lenka Kleinova and Kimberley Leopoldo from Hatched, Sally Lawrence from Enigma, Erienne Lette from Slingshot, Annie Marendaz from The Media Store, Jana Mehrtens from Admatic, Mattie Mould from Apparent, Samantha Murphy from Assembled Media, and Olivia Scott.

    In Sydney, the 2023/24 mentors were Cathy O’Connor (CEO at oOh!media), Lauren Joyce (chief strategy and connections officer at ARN), Nikki Rooke (Sydney sales director at Nine), Lara Brownlow (head of channel sales APAC at LinkedIn), Mark FairhurstMelinda Petrunoff (country manager at Pinterest) and Gaye Steel (marketing and content director consultant and academic lecturer at Torrens University Australia).

    In Melbourne, mentors included Andrea Salmon (Nine director of sales – Melbourne), Peter Whitehead (chief commercial officer at ARN), Natalie Warren-Smith (general manager – brand and channel at Stockland), Emma Fulford (head of marketing at Smiggle), Rachel Page (network digital sales director at the Seven Network), Amanda Connors (global chief marketing officer at Total Beauty Network), Karl Winther (chief marketing officer at Kogan), and Andrew Will (commercial director and market lead at NOVA Entertainment).

    IMAA - Melbourne mentors and Mentees

    Melbourne mentors and Mentees

    The Female Leaders of Tomorrow programme is exclusively available to IMAA members and designed for people who currently hold manager or director positions, with a minimum five years’ experience in any media agency discipline. Applications for the new programme intake will be announced soon.

    See also: IMAA Female Leaders of Tomorrow Mentors: Nova’s Andrew Will

    Top image: Sydney Mentees and Mentors Board

    The post IMAA celebrates Female Leaders of Tomorrow graduates appeared first on Mediaweek.

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