Franklin Women Mentoring Program


The Franklin Women Mentoring Program is a cross-organisational and structured 6-month program that combines informal mentoring sessions with formal sessions facilitated by experts in inclusive leadership.

It aims to support high-potential women in health and medical research careers progress into leadership positions, retaining their skill in the sector. It also provides male and female leaders the opportunity to develop their mentorship skills as well as increase their awareness of the value of a diverse and inclusive workplace and the role they play in achieving this.

In its inaugural year in 2017, the mentoring program connected 54 mentees and mentors from 12 leading organisations from across the sector which grew to 16 organisations in 2018 (refer to below).

Franklin Women is proud to deliver an initiative that is having such a positive impact on the careers of the mentees, but also the mentors who are learning new skills on inclusion and leadership that they are bringing back to their respective teams and organisations.

Thank you to all participants for dedicating time and resources to the future leaders of of our sector.

“The Franklin Women Mentoring Program has been the most rewarding and productive activity I have undertaken in a long time.

I am grateful for being chosen for the investment that Sydney Uni has made, and hope it will reap rewards for the system as well. It has opened my horizon to a whole new range of possibilities and given me tools to take back to my roles to have a positive engagement with others. My mentor has been so terrific and thoroughly generous with his time and availability.”

2017 Mentee

“I have done a lot of mentoring however the structured nature of this program takes it to another level where there is a sense of focus, momentum and achievement.”

2017 Mentee

What Sets It Apart?

Professionally Facilitated


We believe women in health and medical research deserve the same high-quality professional programs that are available to women in other sectors. Our Mentoring Program is delivered in collaboration with leadership consultants Serendis, who are experts in developing female leaders.

Connecting Across Organisations


Our Mentoring Program connects female mentees with male and female mentors, from different research organisations and varied roles, through a highly detailed matching process. In 2018 we are proud to welcome 16 Participating Organisations from across the sector (refer to below).

Professional Development


Franklin Women is committed to providing women in the health and medical research sector with professional skills outside of the technical sciences. Our Mentoring Program includes facilitated events and workshops for both mentees and mentors over a 5-month period. These events will provide training in resilience, inclusive leadership and mentoring.  

How To Participate

Franklin Women welcomes organisations who carry out any form of research that contributes to improving health, such as University Science, Medicine and Health faculties, Medical Research Institutes, Not-for-Profit organisations and Industry, to participate in our Mentoring Program.

As a Participating Organisation you are eligible to put forward mentees (female researchers) and mentors (female and male senior leaders) who meet the program criteria, will then be matched from within the overall participating cohort. If you are staff member of a Participating Organisation and are interested in participating in the FW Mentoring Program as a mentee or mentor, please enquire internally on how to nominate yourself. Please contact us if you are not sure if your organisation participates in our program.

Organisations who wish to take part in the 2019 Mentoring Program Organisations need to register their intention to participate by March 2019 by contacting

Franklin Women sponsors one mentee place for Franklin Women members (refer to eligibility criteria below) who are not from one of the Participating Organisations. The heavily subsidised fee for participation will be $595. The application form can be completed via the link below between 6th March until 18th April 2019.

Please log in to access the application link.

Applications for the FW sponsored placement will be reviewed by independent leadership consultants taking into account aims of program and applicants current goals/needs. The outcome will be notified by the end of May 2019.


Program Criteria

The Franklin Women Mentoring Program specifically aims to support the progression of high-potential female researchers into leadership roles in our sector. For this reason we have targeted the program to mentees at the point in career trajectory where the proportion of women declines relatively to men. This tends to be later in career for the health and medical research sector compared to other sciences. The mentee and mentor participation criteria are outlined below.


  • A female health and medical researcher in any discipline who has demonstrated they are aspiring to a senior leadership position in the sector in either an academic or non-academic capacity.
  • A minimum of 8–10 years professional experience. Ideally, mentees will be at University Level B or C (or research scale equivalent). This equates to the stage of career where the proportion of women in health and medical research careers begins to decrease.
  • Has the capacity, availability and commitment to work with a mentor for the entirety of the program (refer to 2019 Program Schedule).


  • A female or male who has demonstrated significant experience in the sector at a leadership level, either in a research, academic or executive capacity.
  • A minimum of 15 years professional experience. Ideally, mentors would be at University Level D or higher (or research scale equivalent).
  • Has the capacity, availability and commitment to work with a mentee for the entirety of the program (refer to 2019 Program Schedule).

2018 Participating Organisations

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