Women in Rail Pilot Mentoring Program 2019

About the program
The ARA Women in Rail Pilot Mentoring Program is a six-month program designed to support, guide and retain women currently employed in the rail industry through career and leadership development and advancing professional knowledge. 
Mentoring is a key activity of the ARA Women in Rail Strategy aimed to provide an opportunity for information sharing and staff development. The ‘e-mentoring’ format enables mentors and mentees to communicate online at their convenience and across time zones and will lead to great opportunities for expanding networks and the cross-fertilisation of ideas throughout industry, benefiting rail as a whole. Hence mentees won’t necessarily be matched with a mentor in their city or even state.
Benefits of the program

For Mentees:

  • Experienced guidance and support in the rail profession
  • Excellent networking opportunities
  • Receiving feedback and developmental guidance
  • Identifying professional growth opportunities
  • Support with career planning in the rail industry
  • Enhancing capability
  • Goal setting
  • Gaining new perspectives

For Mentors:

  • Satisfaction in helping others
  • Contributing back to the profession
  • Supporting industry future leaders
  • Staying abreast of emerging issues relevant to the profession
  • Further development of mentoring skills such as listening, asking questions, guiding, providing feedback, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Gaining new perspectives
  • Developing business networks
  • Engaging with mentees in different organisations, sectors of the industry and locations around Australia and New Zealand.

Please note: The program is not aimed at directly securing job opportunities for mentees, however will aim to facilitate longer term career progression as an indirect result.

Pilot program capacity

Up to 30 pairs will be selected for the pilot round of the program. 

Indication of the time commitment for mentors and mentees:
Activity Approx. length
Training, reading, webinars and a final event About 3 days in total
Preparation and time spent in mentoring conversations & follow-ups 1-2 hours per month
Program surveys 1/2 hours in total
Attendance at the Program Close event Approx. 4 hours plus travel


Key dates:


Approx. date

Program Launch

21 March 2019

Applications Open

30 April 2019

Applications Close

29 May 2019

Matching Pairs, Confirmation to Participants

Early June 2019

Program Launch Webinar

Mid-June 2019

Program Progress Review Webinar

Mid-September 2019

Completion of the Program

Early December 2019

Program Close event to be held alongside AusRAIL 2019

3-5 December 2019

Who can participate as a Mentee?
  • For the pilot round, the program will be open to females who have been employed by an ARA member organisation for not less than 24 months 
  • Mentee nominations will be sought through ARA member organisations only; this will secure endorsement from their employers to participate. 
  • Mentees would be required to get approval from their employers to participate in the Mentoring Program and the Program Close Event. A brief letter of approval signed by the mentee employer should be provided to the ARA by email programs@ara.net.au as a part of the submission process. Employers are asked to cover the cost of their nominated mentee at $440 (incl. GST) as well as their travel expenses where required. Registration to attend AusRAIL PLUS is not included in the cost. 
  • Interested candidates will need to submit an application specifying area of interest/potential outcomes as well as responses to other questions for consideration by the ARA and Women in Rail Advisory Committee (WiRAC), due to limited numbers
  • The selection committee will seek to ensure a spread of mentees from a variety of ARA member companies.
Who can participate as a Mentor?
  • Either gender
  • Career experience should be greater than 15 years (this includes rail and non-rail experience)
  • Employment with the ARA member organisation is mandatory
  • Champions of diversity
  • Good reputation for values and behaviour as well as outcomes/actions
  • Proven excellent communication skills, with an ability to challenge and encourage mentees and enhance their professional development
  • A passion to see people reach their full potential
  • Any location across Australia and New Zealand
  • Capacity to commit time and attend the Program Close event at AusRAIL Plus 2019 in person.
Application Process

Mentees and mentors will be asked to complete a short application form to assess their eligibility for the program and to collect details about what they are looking for in a mentoring partner. To ensure quality and integrity of the program, applications will be reviewed by the ARA Women in Rail Advisory Committee and selected applicants will progress to the matching process.