Generation Change: Mentoring

Guiding the next generation of women in food & fibre

The future of our food and fibre sector will be shaped by the talent, commitment and hard work of those coming after us. Let’s support them to grow.

‘Generation Change: Mentoring’ is a pilot project matching women and men established in the sector with a young women embarking on a career in food and fibre.

In partnership with Rural Leaders New Zealand and New Zealand Young Farmers, the mentoring pilot will follow Generation Change – a one-day workshop where young women in tertiary study or training will explore their values, strengths, purpose and potential career pathways. As a mentor, you’ll support one of these young women with advice and feedback as she starts to put her career plans into action.

‘Generation Change: Mentoring’ is your chance to actively give back to the sector – helping our young women to picture their future, connect with others and learn from someone further along the journey.

We are using an online platform to run the project efficiently for mentors and mentees. Learning from this pilot will guide the potential for a wider mentoring initiative.

If you’re open to sharing your story and inspiring and connecting a young woman in her search for meaningful work with impact, please email

Generation Change: Mentoring Q&A

Who can be a mentor?

The Generation Change: Mentoring project is open to women and men who are established in New Zealand’s food and fibre sector. We are looking for mentors across a range of roles and experiences – the key criteria is a willingness to guide and support a young primary sector woman.

I have never mentored before, am I qualified?
Mentoring is relatively straightforward. It focusses on being a good listener, sharing advice, supporting goal setting and generally encouraging your mentee through their first career steps. Throughout the project, we’ll also provide tips and guidance to help you navigate your role as a mentor – like this how to be a great mentor checklist and this infographic on the impact of mentoring.

How will the project work?
Once we have received your registration of interest, we’ll ask you to sign-up to our mentor matchmaking platform. There, you’ll answer a few brief questions about your experience and supply a photograph. Following the Generation Change workshops, mentees will likewise load up a profile and then request to pair with you. On your agreement, mentees will then contact you to arrange your first mentoring session.

What is the time commitment?
Each mentoring pair will complete at least two sessions using agendas, tips and notes that AWDT will provide to help you get started. From there, it is up to you and your mentee to continue the mentorship if you both choose. You can mentor multiple people or remove yourself from the project at any time. We will be running four Generation Change programmes across 2022-2023. Your mentoring commitment could roughly follow the event schedule. It may drop off in between events or equally, the mentoring relationships may be sustained over time. The pilot will teach us about this.

What will we cover in the first two sessions?
The Generation Change: Mentoring project is designed to build on several self-reflection exercises mentees will have completed during the one-day workshop. In your first session, you’ll get to know each other and discuss the ‘career brief’ developed by the mentee at the workshop. You might help your mentee by sharing some relevant experience, describing roles that might fit their interests, actively connecting them with other people in the sector or recommending some tangible first steps. In your second session, you’ll reflect on your first session, hear the results of any post-session actions, support your mentee to make further plans and decide if you would like to carry on with further mentoring.




Strategic Partners

Programme Partners