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FAQs - my mentor: Courageous Woman

What is the my mentor: Courageous Woman program?

my mentor: Courageous Woman is a pragmatic ‘push’ strategy that supports the building of your female leadership pipeline. With proven success it gets results that are measurable with the added benefit of many heartfelt personal challenges conquered!

The program is a practical ‘how to’ guide for career success, and consists of practical tips, strategies and actions that women can implement, through audio, video and workbook content, as well as the setup of peer support group networks.

What results will I see from the program?

The my mentor results are measureable and we have seen some phenomenal results including high promotion rates, increased engagement, higher performance scores, movement across divisions and many heartfelt personal challenges conquered.

Our philosophy is that particularly for women, you can’t just focus on career in isolation – because women have multi – faceted lives – and it’s the other stuff which usually causes our career clashes.

How many participants have completed the program?

We are proud to say that we have mentored over 25,000 women with our award winning my mentor program over 10 years.

Does each participant get a mentor?

The my mentor program provides mentoring in a number of formats:

  1. Participants are mentored by the program’s creator – Maureen Frank who guides and encourages women through the program.
  2. Participants are also mentored by 40+ senior men and women throughout the module topics by video

In addition participants are encouraged to draw their own conclusions through the workbook exercises.

Can we just use the content of the program?

No. Our courses are based on staged learning and action learning principles. We know that one off workshops don’t work and our courses are split into 12 intentional modules over 12 weeks.

Can we just use a few modules?

No. Our courses are based on staged learning and action learning principles. We know that one off workshops don’t work and our courses are split into 12 intentional modules over 12 weeks.

Why do organisations still need a women’s only program?

Our hypothesis when we started 10 years ago was that the buttons you push to support women in accelerating their careers are DIFFERENT to those you push for men. Over the last 10 years we have been able to prove this hypothesis true – our sample size being 25,000 participants.

Why can’t men and women do the same program?

my mentor: Courageous Woman has been designed based on the rules of marketing to women. There is a whole science on the subject.
Think about it. How does a woman typically react to receiving a bunch of flowers? How does a man react typically? Is it different?
My mentor: Courageous Woman is not about FIXING women! It’s about giving them the tools they need to navigate their lives and careers – because GUESS WHAT – men and women are DIFFERENT!

Why should we try the my mentor program?

The my mentor program has been undertaken by 25,000 women worldwide and had won global awards. The program has had phenomenal measurable results including high promotion rates, increased engagement and higher performance scores as well as many heartfelt personal challenges that have been conquered.

The program is also designed for under resources and busy HR teams to be as simple as possible and is ideal for companies that have geographic spread in terms of employees.

My mentor was also created with critical mass in mind which is why it is inexpensive per person (and even cheaper with mass), and it has been created with the busy woman in mind – enabling participants to do the course whilst on the move i.e. listening/watching material whilst at the gym, travelling.

What content does the my mentor program cover?

My mentor: Courageous Woman consists of 12 comprehensive modules:

  1. Feminine Leadership
  2. Stop procrastinating – It’s time for action
  3. Personal Branding – Understanding what you’re selling
  4. Build a Plan – Your strategy for your life and career
  5. Taking calculated risks – Shift your mindset
  6. Raising visibility and selling yourself
  7. The power of networking
  8. Communicate to be heard
  9. Understanding make and female style differences
  10. Influence and negotiate win-win outcomes
  11. Striking the balance
  12. Go for the KNOCKOUT and make it happen

Is the first module – Feminine Leadership about teaching women to lead more like men?

Is the first module – Feminine Leadership about teaching women to lead more like men?

Does the program cover personal brand?

Yes. Our third module – Personal Branding encourages participants to look at themselves in a way they may never have done before. They will truly be able to answer ‘who are you?’ and know how to use it to their advantage.

Does the program cover building self confidence?

Yes. Module 5 – taking calculated risks – Shift your mindset relives the joy that participants have felt when they have taken a big risk, and teaches how to use that to benefit their career and personal life.

Does the program cover raising visibility?

Yes. In module 5 – Raising visibility and selling yourself participants will learn how to sing their own praises without even having to beat their own chest which is the key to raising their visibility and to successfully sell themselves.

Does the program cover networking?

In our 7th module participants are given step-by-step strategies to show just how easy it is to harness the power of networking.

Does the program cover communication styles?

Yes. In module 8 - Communicate to be heard - participants are shown how to to ensure they are using their communication in the most effective way possible. In addition in module 9 – Understanding male and female style differences shows just how important it is for both sexes to understand their differences and know how to communicate effectively depending on the audience and situation.

Does the program cover influencing and negotiating?

Yes. In module 10 this is when it is time for the participant to become a master influencer. Through learning the skills of influence and negotiation – the world will be their oyster.

Does the program cover work life balance?

Yes. Work live balance is covered in module 11- striking the balance. The module gives participants practical strategies to learn what works for them and to give them a sense of overall success.

Why have you called the program Courageous Woman?

Because it is all about the courage to be a confident women, the courage to step up and the courage to throw your hat into the ring!

Why have large organisations used the program year after year?

We have worked with hundreds of companies who have been happy to share with us what some of the benefits of the program have been to them:

  1. Enables critical mass
  2. Inexpensive per person
  3. Great versatility of use
  4. Easy to roll out
  5. Clear program ROI
  6. Advancement of women (within 3 months)
  7. Increased engagement
  8. Alignment with ‘employer of choice for women’ brand

What results have clients achieved?

Here are some examples of what our clients achieved by using the my mentor: Courageous Woman program:

Telstra – moved the number of women in senior management from 5-31% in 2 years and won a global Catalyst award.

Commonwealth Bank – moved the number of women in senior management from 25% - 35% in 2 years and won a global Catalyst award.

Bank of Queensland – moved the number of women in senior management from 11-22% in 2 years.

Have organisations actually shifted the dial using this program?

We have many tangible results that we’ve helped some major companies achieve (in combination with our PULL strategy).

What do leaders say about the program?

Australia Post

Improving gender diversity is a strategic priority for Australia Post.

The my mentor program is an important part of our gender strategy which helps to build our talent pipeline and equips our female employees to take ownership of their careers. Almost 800 women at Australia Post have participated in the my mentor program, supported by trained mentors.

Evaluation of each program over the past 2 years, indicates over 55% of participants of my mentor have been promoted, undertaken higher duties or accepted more challenging tasks in the workplace.

A recent survey of my mentor shows: • 94% of participants would recommend the program to other women • 100% of our line managers recommend the program • 96% of our mentors would participate again

I had two participants this year. They have both shown improvement in self-confidence and work commitment. Great program!

– Australia Post Manager. Diane Utatao National Diversity & Inclusion Business Partner, Australia Post

Transpacific Industries Group Ltd

Wow factor- it works! As a consequence of the my mentor program guidance, we discovered the usefulness of development game-plans built around knocking over hurdles such as confidence challenges, going from tentative operating styles to “why not tackle that and beat it” modes

Peter Isdale
Group Manager – Research & Innovation, Transpacific Industries Group Ltd

Bank of Queensland

BOQ wants to be different to other financial services institutions and diversity in all its forms is one of the key ways we can demonstrate that difference. In terms of gender diversity we’ve increased the number of female senior managers from 11% in November last year to 22% currently, a result we’re delighted about achieving in less than a year although we still have more work to do. Programs like ‘my mentor’, which aim to give women more confidence in the workplace, will help us get there and we’re committed to doing everything we can to make sure we’re providing an environment where women can thrive.

Stuart Grimshaw
CEO, Bank of Queensland


I personally witnessed some impressive results from the participants involved in our my mentor program rollout in terms of increased performance, productivity, promotions and level of engagement. We really involved the managers of the participants in the process and this was a key to our success. Ultimately, this provided the managers with some great guidance on how to support their whole team to be more effective – in fact the flow on effect was increased productivity across the whole department because of the new skills built.

Gabrielle Curtin
Executive Manager People Operations

Commonwealth Bank

My observation is that women who do the my mentor program bring more of themselves to work -- and I don't mean in terms of time commitment, I mean in terms of level of engagement, level of confidence and commitment.

Grahame Petersen
Group Executive, Business and Private Banking

Is it going to involve a lot of work by us?

Rolling out my mentor is easy:

  • Minimal face time
  • Easy for HR
  • Tried and tested models
  • Cost effective per person
  • Caters for geographic spread

What are the steps to get my mentor: Courageous Woman up and running?

My mentor: Courageous Woman is one program with multiple ways to use it. Getting started is easy – all you need to do is:

Step 1: Decide your preferred way of running your program and let us know.
Click through to see how easy it is to get started. LINK TO GETTING STARTED INFOGRAPHIC

What tools do you have to guide mentors and to guide group facilitators?

We have created a supporting guide for mentors, managers or facilitators to be used alongside the my mentor programs called my mentor MENTOR.

Click here to read more details about the program and the tools available. (LINK TO MY MENTOR MENTOR INFO below)

The my mentor MENTOR program is designed to be used within structured mentoring programs as a toolkit for the mentor of a my mentor Courageous Woman participant, or a my mentor mentoring circle (1-2 mentors for a groups). The content includes:

  • Mentoring skills
  • Understanding mentoring and the difference between mentor and manager
  • The phases of mentoring
  • Style difference in mentoring
  • Mentoring: partnership in learning
  • Setting goals and confidentiality
  • Unconscious bias and mentoring
  • What is a mentoring circle and how to manage mentoring circles
  • The backdrop to the my mentor program
  • The role of a mentor in the my mentor program
  • An outline of the content of the my mentor program with examples
  • An outline of the agenda items for each meeting between mentor and mentee

What tools do you have to guide mentors and to guide group facilitators?

It is really simple to start a PILOT of my mentor: Courageous Woman within your organization in 5 quick steps:

  • Mentoring skills
  • Decide on the pilot target group.
  • Set a start date and invite the participants (or call for nominations) – if having an event, or call and invite leaders.
  • Provide emberin with the names of the participants or order the hard copy kits.
  • Sign off on the communications plan, reporting, timeline and rollout schedule with emberin so that this happens automatically.
  • Get rolling! We have done all the work for you!

Can we change the way the program is rolled out?

The design is intentional and has been specifically created in a way to reach critical mass first and foremost as well as with flexibility and value for money.

The program is flexible and so is the way that it can be run and administered. There are no set, hard-fast rules on how to deliver the program, however some structure is recommended. Success requires connectivity and a sense of team. We will give you some ideas and suggestions from years of successful rollouts, my mentor participant and client feedback.

We recommend that in determining the best rollout structure for your organization that you look to create a cost effective program by using your own internal resources and little bit of innovation! Why? So that this program can reach a critical mass in your organization and tap into your hidden female talent.

Can we give participants more than 12 weeks?

There is a lot of material however, we find that if the course is extended for too long past the 12 weeks, participants lose momentum. Our strongest results come from rollouts of 12 weeks.

What are the models of rollouts used by other organisations?

We advise organisations that we work with to decide on the model that works best for you. Remember the my mentor program is a tool within many frameworks. Watch the video below which describes our my mentor program rollout options. CHECK VIDEO AS WE HAVE A LEAFLET WHICH IS ABOUT THE SAME THING.

What have other organisations done to get good results?

There are a couple of key things that will ensure the program is a success and it is critical that you keep these in mind when developing your internal my mentor framework:

  • Solid communications about the program before, during and after. It is imperative that you communicate to all stakeholders involved about what is going on, and particularly the participants to keep them motivated and on track (participants and mentor communication is built in automatically to our online version).
  • Senior leadership endorsement. If senior leaders are behind this program and the strategy that it supports, you will have more engaged participants and managers, and will see greater results. This means getting senior men involved in being gender diversity champions and senior women to be role models.
  • Manager engagement. It is particularly important for the participants to have their immediate manager/supervisor involved in their journey and empathetic to their challenge
  • Peer discussion. Countless women who have done the progam all agree that forming a peer mentoring group and having discusions is very valuable. This can be face to face, via teleconference or online forums.
  • We would recommend that you survey participants post rollout to determine what the success factors have been for your cohort. You may also want to think about other measurements before you start – engagement, performance ratings, manager feedback etc (reports and surveys are included automatically in our online version).

How do we decide the target group for the program?

In our experience the my mentor program works for women at all levels. For example PwC had all the female partners and directors complete the program. The feedback we received from these senior women was phenomenal.

But I am so busy! How do I make it easy?

The program is designed with busy HR departments and employees in mind. Watch the video below to see how easy it is to run my mentor: Courageous Woman.

How do I work out a budget for the program?

Many organisations need to gain approval to run the program as a per person cost, and to do this they need to understand the full costs. A key advantage to the my mentor program is it is a low cost per person, and with the use of built in facilitation and reporting using our online version or using the Facilitator’s guide (hard copy kits), organisations can minimize additional administration/overheads.

We are finding that because our program is delivered as a per person cost, most organisations are running it through their businesses/divisions and they are paying for it as part of their ongoing training and development – so it can be a user pays option.

Can you give us some examples of how other organisations have rolled out the program?


Telstra: critical mass, accessing untapped talent, manager buy in – and NO DIVERSITY BUDGET!

In selecting this program what was important to us was:

  • That all women within the organisation should be able to access this – we want to cast the net wider and seek out those who may be overlooked
  • The content needed to be impactful across levels
  • We needed to be able to geographically roll this out without the necessity of travelling people in remote locations and regional areas to capital cities – as from a budgetary perspective, this would limit our reach.
  • The content must have a commercial angle – we want the program to bring commercial results for business
  • Smart use of technology as we are a technology business and we see that we have to lead the way in the use of technology to promote other ways of learning. We recognised that women are busy and often don’t have the time to travel to programs and events – so we brought it to them. The flexibility of the program enables women to do it when convenient to them.
  • Cost – we work on a business unit pays basis and managers must engage and pay for the program. Managers have some ‘skin in the game’ and want to see their participants be successful. The Diversity Department doesn’t have to rely on Diversity budgets for rollout. The business has embraced this model. The per person cost of this program is small and enables this to happen.

Telstra have taken this program and worked with Maureen to roll it out in a way that works for Telstra. This has included:

  • Engagement of managers in the nomination process and continued engagement throughout the program
  • Telstra diversity communication with all participants each week for the 10 weeks via email


Transpacific Industries – moved the number of women in senior management from 9-18% in 2 years. Emberin carried out an unconscious bias workshop for my executive team and I was astounded at the impact it had on not only the leadership team but the profound impact it had upon my own ingrained but unconscious beliefs. The presenter and the presentation were second to anything that I have seen in a career spanning more than 40 years.

Kevin Campbell
Former CEO, Transpacific Industries

What is the role of the In-House Facilitator?

We have had amazing facilitators over the years who have been passionate about the my mentor program and supporting women in their organisations. Many of these individuals have used the my mentor program again and again when they have moved to other organisations.

Have a look at our Facilitator Hall of Fame to find out more about what they did and why they loved facilitating the program.

What is the impact of the program on participants?

This program challenges women to take risks, to ask, to build their self- confidence – and so we have also heard some amazing personal stories – from financial and health decisions to leaving difficult relationships. All of which ultimately impact work performance.

Have a look at some of our testimonials from participants.

More Questions?

Contact us today to chat to one of our Consultants who will be happy to answer any of your questions.

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