As an alumni of the Prague Global Leadership Program, Madeline Price went on to create the One Woman Project.
Madeline Price is the National Director and Founder of the One Woman Project, one of Australia’s fastest growing, youth-led, non-for-profit organisations. Founded in 2013, the One Woman Project consists of a team of 32 volunteers across three states (Queensland, South Australia and Victoria), a National Team and two international bases (India and Tanzania) who provide quality educational seminars to young people, biannual conferences/festivals, public seminars, engagement events and state-wide campaigns, covering various topics of global gender inequality.
For her work with the One Woman Project, she was lucky enough to be nominated and shortlisted as one of five finalists for the 2016 Young People’s Human Rights Medal awarded by the Human Rights Commission, shortlisted as one of four finalists for the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year Award, awarded the triple J Annual’s 2015 25 Under 25 award, and present a talk for TEDxUQ on workplace gender certification.
Below is what she has learned about mentoring.
“Back in mid 2013, when I first wanted to do something in the field of global gender equality, to start something, to take action, I was utterly stumped; how does one start an organisation? What kind of organisation should I start? Does an organisation like the One Woman Project already exist (the answer: no)? How do you get free email addresses for your volunteers? What kind of chips best suit gluten intolerant seminar participants?
All the important questions were floating around my head, threatening to drown me and my passion.
So I did the only thing I could think of in that situation; I contacted someone who had done it all before. I contacted someone whose organisation was ahead of where I wanted mine to be, who had jumped through all the red tape and hurdles that I was about to jump through, and had survived. In this case, it was the fierce, phenomenal and passionate Ayesha Lutschini from Meri Toksave.
Ayesha was one of the first official and professional mentors I was privileged enough to have and it was her guidance, wisdom and humour that taught me the power of mentorship in personal and professional development.
Why do you need a mentor?
One of the most important reasons why you need a mentor – and, for me, this was the reason that pushed me into finding a mentor – is that you can learn so much from someone who has been through what you are about to go through, who knows how to do it all, and literally ‘walks the walk’. You will be learning, engaging with and in contact with someone who is where you want to be in your professional pathway. They do not necessarily have to be where you want to stay for your career, but they are where you want to be in the short-term future (it is totally fine to adjust your mentors as your career pathway adjusts).
Mentors can build your confidence in both yourself and in the professional pathway you want to follow. They are able to provide you with the basics of resume-building and writing, why you should use LinkedIn and interview skills, as well as give you the nitty-gritty of the industry you want to enter – what it is actually like to work, day-by-day, in this area. Many a young person, upon finding a mentor, have then discovered that working in that field is not exactly what they have envisioned it to be, so it is important to know that early!
But be aware of the difference between a mentor and a consultant. If you are genuinely passionate and interested in their career progression, their experiences, their knowledge and their learnings, then they are a brilliant mentor! If you just want advice on your business model but are not interested in hearing about how they go to where they are, you just need a consultant (and they charge $$$).
What makes a good mentor?
A good mentor is a number of things; a motivator, a realist, honest, accomplished and professional. A good mentor will bring out your strengths, but also highlight your weaknesses in order to alter your perspective on them (you are not ‘bad’ at something, it is simply a skill you need to work on). A good mentor will metaphorically slap you on the back of the head if you aren’t being a realist – mentors worth their salt will tell you when you are wrong (constructively) and get you back on track. Good mentors will hold you accountable – if you promise your mentor that you will apply to be an Incorporated Association or send out 100 resumes by your next meeting, a good mentor will hold you to that promise.
And a good mentor is someone that you could use as a friend, a colleague, or a resource for life.
Read more about how to get a mentor: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-mentor-why-you-need-one-madeline-price/
Learn about the Leadership exCHANGE program Madeline Price went on: https://www.leadershipexchange.co/prague