Mentorship Program

WFA Alltech Mentorship Program

The WFA Mentorship Program, in partnership with Alltech, connects women from across the agri-food industry with mentors to offer career support and guidance. Helping to shape the next generation of leaders in the industry, the mentorship program encourages meaningful bonds, honest conversations and mutual support while providing a valuable networking experience.

Applications are currently closed, but keep an eye out for our next cohort.

To see who was involved in our first cohorts of mentors and mentees check out our infographic below:

Why is mentorship vital in food and agriculture?

Every year findings from the annual WFA survey tells us that our industry’s lack of mentors is a significant barrier to gender diversity. In 2021 we learnt that 63% of over 3000 respondents believe a lack of mentors is a barrier faced by women in our industry and knew we had to do something to address this. The Women in Food & Agriculture Mentorship Program seeks to tackle this issue head on by converting this insight into action.

The 2021 Mentorship Program

In February 2021, WFA matched 120 mentors and mentees to support women seeking to develop their careers within the food and agriculture sector. From farmers to CEOs, and scientists to ag-tech innovators, participants were matched with counterparts that complemented their aims and work experience.

The feedback from our initial cohort has been overwhelmingly positive and informs the way forward as we continue to provide an enriching mentorship experience for all participants.

Testimonials from our 2021 participants…

“I am so grateful to be a part of this program and meeting my mentee. It was the perfect match up and I’m so incredibly proud of [my mentee]!”

“It’s been an amazing success so far with great new relationships forming!”

“I’ve already connected with my mentee and think she’s FABULOUS. I’m really looking forward to this new adventure”

“I have to say, it’s really worthwhile and it’s going exceptionally well so far. I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to be a mentor and to be able to give something back to women.”

What to look forward to in the second cohort of 2022?

In 2022 with Alltech’s support, we want to take the initiative to the next level including:

  • Facilitating more mentorship pairings across the globe and with an inclusive range of backgrounds and sub-sectors.
  • Providing additional educational and supportive sessions to guide the pairings through the year.
  • A mentor and mentee directory to aid networking amongst all participants.

How to apply?

Applications are now closed. We will keep you updated on this website and on our social media when the next round of applications is open. 

How does it work?

Matchmaking takes place after applications close. You will receive information about your counterpart once all pairings have been arranged. You’ll then receive information about your first virtual meeting and introductory sessions.

We provide suggestions and guidance for conducting your monthly mentorship sessions.

In fact, you’ll benefit from WFA support and coaching for the rest of the year to make the most of this experience! Quarterly discussion sessions and roundtables offer another opportunity to engage with the wider group of participants and receive support throughout the mentorship program.

Please bear in mind that we have limited capacity in our virtual meeting platform, so we might not be able to match everyone during this round.

We hope the pairing will also get to meet at our next WFA event.

How much time should I allot for mentorship meetings?

We suggest that you meet with your counterpart each month for a 30–60-minute virtual discussion. You and your counterpart are free to discuss a schedule that suits both your schedules.

WFA will conduct quarterly meetings of about an hour to support our mentors and mentees.

What you need to know

Be the change you want to see by supporting women in our industry and championing their career progression. You’ll be able to:

  • Develop your skills in the area of coaching and managing
  • Take the opportunity to reflect on your own development and growth
  • Build your own confidence and self-esteem by providing support to others
  • Grow connections in our industry
  • Experience rewarding interactions and get to know the next generation of leaders of food and ag
  • Establish new industry contacts
  • Know a perspectives different to your own

You do not have to be a senior-level executive (or a woman)! We are looking for people at all levels and backgrounds to provide insights and guidance, and we will ensure that you have more experience than your mentee.

Mentor applicants should:

  • Be a good listener
  • Be an honest and open person who is willing to share your expertise
  • Have at least one year of experience in the food and ag sector
  • Be someone who can dedicate 1 hour per month to connect with your counterpart
  • Ideally possess some leadership or management experience

 

For meaningful change to be possible, the conversation itself must be inclusive. We therefore welcome men to apply as mentors and become advocates for workplace equity.

As a mentee, you’ll be paired with a mentor who will provide you with advice and support to develop your career. When submitting your application, you are able to select mentor preferences. You should apply to become a mentee if you would like to:

  • Gain the support of those who have overcome the same challenges that you face
  • Get advice on career progression and how to promote yourself
  • Explore new ideas and identify opportunities for yourself
  • Build connections in our industry

Mentees are comprised of women who are working within agri-food or exploring a career within the industry.

We welcome people of all career and education levels, and we will ensure that your mentor has the experience to provide you with insightful guidance.

Mentee applicants should be:

  • A good listener
  • An honest and open person who is willing to accept feedback
  • Someone who would benefit from help and support from a senior person in our industry
  • Someone who can dedicate 1 hour per month to meeting with a mentor

With the support of Alltech, we are providing this program at no cost to participants.