Women Lead Australia Mentoring Summary

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Women Lead Australia Mentoring Summary

Mentee Name: Allira Hudson-Gofers

Session 1: Date: Friday 13 March 2015

Goals: what was the goal/area of focus of this mentoring conversation? 1. Share background and experiences.

2. Clarification of goals and formulation of proposed actions – in particular, discuss achievable goals to complete during the current program.

3. Confirm approach to scheduling mentoring sessions

Reality: what was uncovered in relation to the issue or goal being addressed?

1. Common interest in day to day variety of tasks and problem solving rather than maintenance. Discussion around current position and future direction, growth by engaging in a variety of activities. Recognition of different types of managers.

2. Developing a plan for influencing diversity within an organisation is an achievable goal for the program duration.

3. Unknowns due to upcoming arrival of Allira’s baby and impact upon finalising scheduled meeting dates/times/locations.

Options: what options were generated?

1. Volunteer for activities that are of interest. Consider manager type.

2. Generally, identify appropriate sponsor for diversity and discuss views of diversity; find like-minded men and women to form a committee; be open and honest with intentions. Essential to have CEO and board level engagement as well as wider company, for example, via intranet, emails. Data is necessary as is inclusion in management performance objectives.

3. Tentatively scheduled next meeting for the beginning of April. Future meetings to be scheduled at this time.

Wrap Up: what is committed to act on and by when?

1. No specific actions associated with sharing background/experiences.

2. Allira to prepare a briefing document for next session covering thoughts and plan (3month, 6 month, 1 year) for influencing to achieve diversity within organisation.

3. Allira to confirm details of next meeting (and let Peter know when the baby is born!)

What were your key takeaways from the discussion? What did it confirm you already knew? What was new and helpful?

Diversity of experience. At first, this might happen by chance, but it is also useful to identify roles/projects/etc that provide broad and diverse experiences. This provides employability benefits but also more interesting roles with day to day variety. Volunteering for activities that interest you is one way to achieve this.

Importance of CEO/board level/HR engagement and capturing relevant data if any diversity measures are to succeed. It was helpful to discuss how I can influence this engagement within an organisation. It was also very useful to highlight potential pitfalls, such as focusing on gender equity rather than diversity or having active involvement viewed as trying to find an easy way to get ahead instead of progressing due to competency and ability to lead.

Is there anything else I need to know about the session, anything you wanted to say but didn’t, is there anything you need more or less of for the next session? No, I was very happy with the

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Session 2: Date: Tuesday 14 April 2015 Goals: what was the goal/area of focus of this mentoring conversation?

1. Further discussion and develop actions regarding influencing diversity at Cochlear. 2. Discuss career planning work completed by Allira since last meeting and discuss next

actions/development of career plan.

Reality: what was uncovered in relation to the issue or goal being addressed?

1. Need to uncover more information in relation to what is currently in place at Cochlear. Also identify sponsors of various initiatives and determine why they are involved/their attitudes to improving diversity.

2. Following discussion of interests/kills/attributes /values, Peter identified product management as a field that may suit me. This was one of the potential options that I had identified in my pre-meeting work (namely, stay in current role, look into product management, look at potential new role in market access, longer term role of moving into general management). Discussion focused on the potential role in market access (collaboration between regulatory, clinical, marketing, design and development). Timing is difficult with leave but important to stay involved with the discussions around this role and make interest clear.

Options: what options were generated?

1. Important that I make it clear why I want to be involved in advocating change. Following information gathering we can review if the company is receptive to improving diversity and identify next steps. Option for Peter or colleague from ANSTO to speak with Cochlear sponsors regarding program options.

2. Confirm status of the new role – where is incorporation of the market access strategy up to, under which department does this responsibility fall, is there a project team. Important to indicate interest, even while on leave, and to get involved in the project and play a part in developing the role/responsibilities. Also ensure that manager is aware of interest, there should be support from manager but also be aware that this may clash with manager priorities and requirements for my time. Timing of this discussion to coincide with discussion for return to work (ie start of May) so that ideally two maternity leave replacements are integrated/up to speed and option for me to pursue these interests is better received.

Wrap Up: what is committed to act on and by when?

1. Allira to obtain background information on diversity initiatives at Cochlear at provide to Peter prior to next session. (HR contacted, waiting for response).

2. Allira to follow up on status of potential position at Cochlear regarding market access with view to becoming involved in project team.

What were your key takeaways from the discussion? What did it confirm you already knew? What was new and helpful?

Having the right sponsor is essential, as is making the purpose of any diversity initiative clear. Before we can achieve improvement, we need to confirm whether the organisation is committed to

achieving diversity and the attitudes of the program sponsors. This will set the guidelines for the type of initiatives that will be appropriate and successful for the company at the present time.

Not to let timing affect opportunities. Can still be involved/stay in touch while on maternity leave.

Is there anything else I need to know about the session, anything you wanted to say but didn’t, is there anything you need more or less of for the next session? No.

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Women Lead Australia Mentoring Summary

Mentee Name: Allira Hudson-Gofers

Session 3: Date: Tuesday 28th April 2015

Goals: what was the goal/area of focus of this mentoring conversation?

Discuss results of investigation into diversity initiatives at Cochlear and potential options for influencing.

Further discussion on career progression, including potential market access position and more generally.

Reality: what was uncovered in relation to the issue or goal being addressed?

WiL and the Leadership Presence program (extension of WiL) are the only initiatives specifically dedicated to women. Ongoing role of these programs is largely focused on networking and career development seminars to keep women actively involved in their career development.

More generally, Cochlear aims to create a great environment for everyone and to eliminate discrimination in any form. These general initiatives include training, leadership programs and a focus on ensuring managers have a suitable skill set to help make Cochlear an inclusive environment. This aims to provide support to growing people in their careers.

Closest thing that Cochlear has to targets is activities around planning of capability for future roles. Senior leaders must identify top ten talents and there is a requirement to include a number of females and for senior leaders to think about top female leaders. There is no specific target number to be achieved. Cochlear also regularly reviews remuneration equality and addresses discrepancies. No information received in response to request regarding market access strategy progress or related potential position.

Regarding career development more generally, Peter recommended looking at state/federal government positions or multinational companies and also to consider the make-up of the board/executive. Possibly in an operations role or services company.

Look at the market place, do a lot of due diligence on next role. At a good age to define career direction.

Discussion around formal programs as well as informal means – options to connect with SVP, Team Leader, Manager regarding development. Consider how to approach, whether to discuss with manager or go over her head. Manager’s experience is largely in regulatory so it is unclear how much advice she would be able to provide, however will likely discuss with her to highlight that I intend to discuss with Team Leader and SVP.

Options: what options were generated?

Currently, the only obvious avenue for influencing diversity is through my current activities with Women in Engineering and the Cochlear Women in Leadership group. Given the general focus of Cochlear’s development initiatives and my current position in the hierarchy of the organisation, it seems very difficult for me to influence diversity in any other manner at this stage without potential adverse effect to my career. Discussion will continue in our next session – this may include possible avenues to consider at Cochlear and general strategies for influencing diversity within an

organisation.

Discussion within Cochlear: SVP– strategy may include discussing that interest lie more broadly than regulatory and asking for some career advice; Team Leader/Manager – discuss career development and highlight that I want to do something more. Don’t want to be in your role in 20 years.

Look into Australian Institute of Directors – training, look at getting onto boards. Look into market, no rush. Over next 6-12 months.

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Allira to get information on Australian Institute of Directors for next session.

Allira to schedule discussion with manager – foreshadow with manager in meeting regarding return to work in mid May, more complete career development discussion (with additional parties) likely to occur after return, i.e. in June.

What were your key takeaways from the discussion? What did it confirm you already knew? What was new and helpful?

Consider current view of company and personal position in hierarchy when looking to influence/create change.

Next position in career is critical in defining career direction, ensure due diligence is conducted. There is time research and plan.

Technical is a safe fall back for me. Take risks to develop. Look at operational role, services company, government, multinational. Identify training for such a transition.

Is there anything else I need to know about the session, anything you wanted to say but didn’t, is there anything you need more or less of for the next session? No

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Women Lead Australia Mentoring Summary

Mentee Name: Allira Hudson-Gofers

Session 4: Date: Friday 8th May 2015

Goals: what was the goal/area of focus of this mentoring conversation? Discuss:

Options/opportunities at Cochlear – look at roles in strategy/operations/products Options/opportunities after Cochlear

Influencing diversity generally.

Reality: what was uncovered in relation to the issue or goal being addressed?

Think about secondment at Cochlear, AKA learn and leap. This option can be included in discussion with manager/SVP, possibly look at moving into corporate strategy. For Cochlear this may be strategy around R&D and new product lines or moving into an operations role.

Utilise professional development tools to highlight ideal career direction.

Australian Institute of Company Directors – opportunity to meet a lot of people through

membership and courses. First director role possibly at start up, small company, non for profit, tech companies. Bank and Govt require more experience from directors. This would also be beneficial for current directorship of Ranview (member’s lodge). Any directorship in addition to day job, need approval from Cochlear under employment contract.

Search firms – useful way to find new executive and board opportunities. They have researchers and look into background. Possible options – Watermark, Boomerang (govt), Egon Zehnder, Korn Ferry. Peter can also get me in touch with his researcher when I am ready.

Management Consultant is an appealing career option that I have thought about. Look at going in as an experienced hire in areas of either strategy or process or combined. Competitive environment but good variety of work and clients.

Influencing diversity was only briefly touched upon. Currently limited avenue for involvement through Women in Leadership at Cochlear and Women in Engineering with Engineers Australia. Both groups are largely focused on networking and educational activities.

Options: what options were generated?

Craft perfect job, put into PD and have prepared to talk to SVP. This will require some homework about existing areas/departments at Cochlear. Present areas of interest, identify likely outcomes and discuss Cochlear interest in this. Peter suggested looking at roles in strategy, operations, product. Focus on next 12 months at Cochlear. Look at leap and learn opportunities. This may give a lead into more senior roles. Biggest challenge is getting to be known, focus on stakeholder management. Join AICD and complete a few courses.

Study – executive MBA is preferred, look into transferring from MBA (Technology).

CELM (Centre of Engineering Leadership and Management – Engineers Australia) may be a more beneficial committee to be part of for both influencing and networking. Allira has previously spoken to the chair about joining after maternity leave.

Wrap Up: what is committed to act on and by when?

Allira to discuss “perfect role” with direct line manager before next session, discussion with SVP Design & Development, Clinical and Regulatory upon return to work.

Alllira to consider study options, look into potential transfer before next meeting. Allira to contact chair of CELM to discuss attendance at committee meetings.

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Lots of different options. Focus on the next 12 months at Cochlear, including learn and leap

opportunities and think about stakeholder engagement. Directorship courses and opportunities are something that can proceed in parallel.

Management consultancy, operations, strategy are potential future pathways.

Discussion about search firms was helpful, I wasn’t aware of the significant difference between researchers at search firms and general recruitment firms.

Is there anything else I need to know about the session, anything you wanted to say but didn’t, is there anything you need more or less of for the next session? No

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Women Lead Australia Mentoring Summary

Mentee Name: Allira Hudson-Gofers

Session 5: Date: Monday 25th May 2015

Goals: what was the goal/area of focus of this mentoring conversation? Discuss updates on career development plan and next steps.

Wrap up discussion regarding influencing diversity.

Reality: what was uncovered in relation to the issue or goal being addressed? As discussed last session, Allira has transferred to the executive MBA at UNSW.

A manager role in operations has been advertised in the regulatory team, Allira has applied and will keep Peter up to date. This is one option for pursuing such a role, it’s important to keep options open. Don’t have all eggs in one basket, stay aware of options and keep active.

Stakeholder management is key – ensure to keep in touch over career. Put hand up and be willing to step outside of comfort zone.

Must have an open discussion with manager about next steps – this will include what I want and what manager envisages. Clear expectations from both sides. Ask manager what are my prospects over next 3-4 years. Management need to identify career paths, then it is up to me to indicate whether I am interested.

Stay involved and become involved in diversity groups, like WIE. At this stage, my ability to influence an organisation will be limited so ties to external organisations more important.

Options: what options were generated?

AICD – take company directors course, look at membership and possible directorship opportunities. Start with not for profit, pick up a few smaller gigs. Need experience to move onto bigger

companies.

Networking – like minded groups, WIE, CELM, WLA. Takes a long time. Research next company, ensure good diversity program.

Model on mentors – mimic good actions and be aware of mistakes. Look into assisting with setting up mentoring program at Cochlear. Wrap Up: what is committed to act on and by when?

Ask Mary Beth about informal mentoring. Involvement in CELM mentoring program.

Pursue directorship, start with membership and courses, look at small companies. Consider operations and strategy type role, do research on company.

What were your key takeaways from the discussion? What did it confirm you already knew? What was new and helpful?

Networking and stakeholder management is key. Important to spend time actively looking after this. Always keep options open and be aware of the possibilities.

Is there anything else I need to know about the session, anything you wanted to say but didn’t, is there anything you need more or less of for the next session? No.

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