• Overview
  • Benefits
  • Partners
  • FAQ

  • Every year, The Women's Foundation's best-in-class Mentoring Programme for Women Leaders matches 50 high potential protégés with seasoned female mentors drawn from Hong Kong's most successful businesswomen, entrepreneurs, women in media, NGO leaders and academics.

    Throughout the year-long Programme, participants benefit from personal and professional development through a one-on-one mentoring journey, peer-to-peer learning, inspirational talks, panel discussions, skills enhancement workshops, mentoring circles and networking events.

    Since 2009, over 450 women have participated in thProgramme which combines innovative leadership development concepts and global best practice with key learnings and feedback from former participants.


    • Build leadership skills
    • Enhance self-confidence particularly for protégés
    • Enhance mentoring and coaching skills for mentors
    • Gain and share insights to tackle challenges in the workplace
    • Build a strong and supportive network


    One-on-One Mentoring
    Mentors and protégés are matched according to profession, interests and motivations. Mentoring pairs typically meet at least six times throughout the programme year, utilising TWF's guidance on appropriate discussion topics and effective communication. Participants are also encouraged to personalise their experience according to individual objectives.

    Speaker Series: Participants will be exposed to a series of inspirational talks by prominent business and civic leaders in Hong Kong.

    Skills Workshops: TWF will arrange for participants to receive training on presentation and communications skills , effective networking specially tailored for women, organisational power-mapping and other essential skills for career advancement.

    Mentoring Circles:
    A new and exciting phenomenon in the field of mentoring, mentoring circles enable circle members to leverage multiple perspectives from several mentors and protégées in a small group setting, thereby allowing enhanced peer to peer learning and sharing. Programme participants have the option of participating in a professionally facilitated mentoring circle comprising several mentors and protégés to discuss topics selected by circle members. 

    Informal Social & Networking Events: Participants will also enjoy social and networking events that bring together Programme participants in convivial and stylish settings.

    Outstanding past guest speakers include Debra Walton - Managing Director of Enterprise Content at Thomson Reuters, Desiree Au - Publisher of Time Out Hong Kong, Kristie Lu Stout - Anchor & Correspondent of CNN International, Simon Heaton - Managing Director, Global Executive Recruiting of Walmart Asia, Susan Yuen - CEO of ANZ Hong Kong, as well as senior representatives from executive coaching firms, and mentors and protégés from the Programme.

    Community Involvement
    TWF strongly encourages the business and professional community to support disadvantaged women and girls in Hong Kong through volunteering work. Mentors and protégés will have the opportunity to meet and connect with TWF's grassroots NGO partners as part of the Programme.

  • Out of HKEx-listed companies, only 2% of CEOs and 10.7% of company directors are women1, with 40% of HKEx-listed companies having no women on their board at all2. Meanwhile women's pay in HK lags behind their male counterparts by an average of 20%3.

    At a time when women are significantly under-represented in leadership roles across industry and professional sectors, mentoring is widely regarded as playing a key role in helping women to achieve their full potential.

    The Benefits of Mentoring
    According to a recent Catalyst survey4 which tracked the professional success of 4,000 MBA alumni from prestigious business schools worldwide over the course of two years:

    • Women with a mentor increased their odds of being promoted to mid-manager or above by 56% over women without a mentor while 65% of women in mentoring relationships earned promotions overall
    • Women who had active mentors achieved 27% higher salary growth than women without a mentor

    Mentoring vs. Sponsoring

    Mentoring and sponsorship speak to different professional needs, working hand-in-hand to promote women's advancement to leadership positions.

    Sponsorship typically focuses on career progression within an organisation with senior-ranking team members advocating for their protégé's advancement by ensuring the protégé is visible and considered for career-advancing assignments.

    Mentoring relationships complement sponsorship and generally extend beyond the sponsorship remit. Mentoring relationships often have a more holistic focus on both professional and personal fulfillment. Mentors can help protégés with specific short-term issues or longer all-encompassing journeys, and can be colleagues or family members or indeed, anyone within the community. While sponsorship is clearly important and can be very impactful for career advancement, the multiple benefits of mentoring are generally deeper and wider but at the same time, may be less apparent.

    'I thoroughly enjoyed having a protégé and believe I helped to boost her self-confidence and encourage her aspirations. One of the unexpected benefits of the Programme was that it led me to revisit many of my own issues relating to career and personal fulfillment and to recalibrate my own planning and priorities. I can't recommend the Programme highly enough.'
    --- Judith Rawnsley, Head of Investment Banking Compliance, CLSA Equity Capital Markets Limited (Mentor)

    'It has been amazing watching my protégé blossom and succeed in her job - being a source of encouragement and support for her, and being appreciated for it, has been really really fulfilling.'
    --- Christina Gaw, Managing Principal, Gaw Capital (Mentor)

    'I was extremely impressed by the tremendous calendar of events - all the featured speakers were passionate and authoritative, the topics were interesting, and the receptions afterwards provided great professional and personal networking opportunities with some truly remarkable women.'
    --- Mary Attard, Manager, Business Performance, National Australia Bank (Protégé)

    'The TWF Mentoring Programme is professionally run and well managed by women dedicated to the well-being of young working women in Hong Kong.'
    --- Ariel Leung, Associate, MayerBrown JSM (Protégé)

    [1] Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Consultation Paper, 2012.
    [2] Standard Chartered Bank Women on Boards: Hang Seng Index 2012, March 2012.
    [3] Hong Kong Census and Statistics Bureau. ''Median Monthly Employment Earnings by Age Group and Sex." Key Statistics 2011 Edition.
    [4] Nancy M. Carter and Christine Silva. ''Mentoring: Necessary But Insufficient for Advancement," Catalyst Incorporated, December 2010.

  • Corporate Partners 2014-15

    We would like to thank our corporate partners because of whom this programme is possible. 

    Summary of corporate partner benefits

    Corporate Branding: Corporate logo on all marketing collateral associated with the programme

    Guaranteed Place on the Programme for One Participant:
     Guaranteed place for one female employee to participate either as a mentor or a protégé

    Learning Opportunity Additional Staff:
     Priority for other staff members to attend selected talks, workshops and networking events from the Mentoring Programme's busy calendar

    Showcase Your Organisation: The option to host a talk, workshop or networking event, showcasing your corporation's commitment to diversity and talent development

     'At Thomson Reuters, diversity is one of our core beliefs; achieving diversity means achieving success. An important part of pursuing our diversity goal is giving continuous support to organisations such as The Women's Foundation and their energetic and successful team in Hong Kong. We have seen the Foundation grow into an institution with a strong reputation at the heart of Hong Kong's financial and business community, making a big difference to many women and girls thanks to their programmes. We are proud to be a corporate partner of TWF's Mentoring Programme for the second year in a row, and we look forward to helping the Foundation succeed in its mission in the years ahead.'

    ---- Kasandra Vaccaro, Regional Business Manager (Asia), Eikon, Thomson Reuters, Mentoring Programme corporate sponsor, 2013-2014


    To find out more about how to become a corporate partner, please contact Amy Russell, Mentoring Programme Manager, at [email protected].


  • Below are answers to some of the more common questions we receive. 


    What are we looking for in our participants?

    The ideal protégé has at least 5 years’ working experience. We are looking for candidates who are motivated to improve themselves and eager to learn and share.  Our mentors have typically attained professional success from spending at least 10 years in a senior/ leadership position. We are looking for mentors who are motivated by a strong desire to see the next generation of women achieve their full potential.


    In general, we are looking for women who can demonstrate a strong commitment to the Programme, through actively engaging with their mentor/protégé and with the other Programme participants, participating in Programme events and providing regular feedback to TWF. We are also looking for candidates who expect to be based in Hong Kong for at least the next 18 months. 

    How can I apply to be in the Programme?

    The application period for the 2014-2015 cycle is now closed.

    Every year, we start recruiting participants for the next cycle in late August/September. Applicants are required to attend an Information Session, fill out an application form and provide their CV and photo before the application deadline in late September in order to be considered for an interview. 


    What if I can’t attend any of the Information Sessions in September? Can I still apply?

    As we would like all applicants to be well informed as to the nature of the Programme and the commitment it requires before they apply, attendance at one of the Information Sessions is mandatory for applicants.


    What’s the time commitment required for the Programme?

    The Programme lasts for one year from October to September. To facilitate the pairing process, mentors and protégés are required to attend the majority (at least half) of the ice-breakers that take place in November. We reserve the right to withdraw individuals from the Programme in the event that this requirement is not met.


    Each mentoring pair is responsible for setting up their own meeting schedule. We suggest that mentoring pairs meet once a month during the year. Throughout the course of the Programme, TWF organises around two or three group events per month for Programme participants and alumni.  We highly encourage both mentors and protégés to attend as many group events as possible.


    What is an “ice-breaker”?

    Before participants are paired up in December, TWF will hold a series of Ice-breaker events in November to allow everyone an opportunity to meet and identify their respective protégé or mentor. The Ice-breakers include a personal branding workshop, an open mic session and a speed-dating event. They are an opportunity for participants to network while practising their presentation skills.


    How are mentors and protégés paired up?

    One of our priorities for the Mentoring Programme is to create compatible matchings between individual mentors and protégés. To facilitate the pairing process, the Programme kicks off with a series of Ice-breaker sessions that provide an initial opportunity for participants to self-select their mentor or protégé. Taking these personal preferences into account, the Steering Committee will then pair participants based on their interests, professional and life experiences, motivations and affinities.

    Can I join half way through the Programme?

    No, candidates cannot join mid-way through the cycle due to the highly structured nature of the Programme. Interested individuals will have to wait to apply for the next cycle (i.e. Sept next year).

    In what language is the Programme conducted?

    The Programme is conducted in English.


    Is there any cost involved in joining the Programme?

    The Programme is completely free of charge to both mentors and protégés thanks to the generous support of our corporate partners.



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