Background: Mentoring is a critical component of career development and job satisfaction leading to a healthier workforce and more productive outputs. However, there are limited data on mentorship models in regional areas and in particular for women aspiring to leadership positions. Mentorship programs that leverage off experienced mentors from diverse disciplines have the potential to foster the transfer of knowledge and to positively influence job satisfaction and build capacity within the context of workforce shortage.
Methods: This study describes a dual-mentorship model of professional development for women working in health in regional and rural Australia. We present the framework and describe the evaluation findings from a 12-month pilot program.
Results: Both academic and corporate mentors provided diverse perspectives to the mentees during the 12-month period. On average, corporate mentors met with mentees more often, and focused these discussions on strategy and leadership skills whilst academic mentors provided more technical advice regarding academic growth. Mentees reported an improvement in workplace interconnectedness and confidence at the completion of the program.
Conclusion: We developed a framework for establishing a professional mentorship program that matches women working in regional health with mentors from diverse sectors including business, government, philanthropy and health, to provide a holistic approach to improving career satisfaction, institutional productivity and supporting a diverse workforce in regional or resource-poor settings.