Office for the Public Sector


EMPOWER – Sponsorship Program


Achieving gender parity amongst executives is a SMC Strategic Priority for 2017, and is the key focus of SMC’s Gender Equality in Leadership Strategy.

One of the agreed activities to support gender balance in leadership was the development of a sponsorship program for female leaders.

EMPOWER Women in Leadership Sponsorship Program was launched at the SMC sponsored event:  The Second Innings – Gender Equality in Leadership Summit.

The Office for the Public Sector is now seeking the names of both a sponsor and a protégé from your agency for the pilot program by COB Thursday 13th April 2017.  Additional pairings may also be considered.

What is EMPOWER 

The pilot EMPOWER program is a bold, exploratory, and results-driven program that pairs high performing women (protégés) with a sponsor from the executive group in order to advance the protégés career.  The initial pilot will be for 15 women and is scheduled to commence in May 2017, for a 7 month period.   For more detail please refer to the program outlines attached.

Selection Process

A well-considered selection process is vital to the success of programs that pair individuals together for a sustained period of time.  The selection of participants has been left to agency discretion – you may want to seek nominations, or utilise your existing talent management processes.   However, there are a few things that do need to be considered, which are outlined in the attached Selection document.

Protégés must be… High-achieving female leaders who are ready to rise to the next level of leadership.

Sponsors must… Believe in the potential of the protégé and be willing to advocate for gender equality in leadership on an ongoing basis, and be proactive in mitigating key biases and barriers experienced by women aspiring for senior leadership roles.

The Investment

The Office for the Public Sector is subsidising the pilot program, consequently the investment for this program is just $4200 + GST.

Please provide names of the sponsor and protégé to the OPS Leadership Team – [email protected] by COB Thursday 13th April 2017.  For further information, please contact Helen Brown on 8226 2951.​

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