If you want to help gender diversity in the workplace then it’s vital to also support mentorship programmes because it will help women in male dominated industries succeed.
Connecting businesses through mentorship, the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) helps to facilitate dialogue and progress action to achieve greater inclusion and gender balance in operations. Created in partnership with Amazon Australia, NAWO has recently announced its mentoring Alumni Network; a unique initiative ensuring participants are supported throughout their professional journey.
As a member of NAWO and a key industry leader in her professional field, Anna Reid has a particular interest in mentoring women in leadership roles through her position as Innovation at Amazon Operations Australia. Paired with her mentee, Bita Arani, Workforce Operations Manager at AmazonAustralia, Anna has a passion for exceling women in the industry and promoting their career progression.
Amazon’s mentorship programme is designed to build connections between employees while helping them build more meaningful relationships and promote career progression within a male dominated industry.
Here, Anna and Bita each share their unique perspectives and personal insights into how mentorship makes a direct impact on both of them and helps with career progression and benefits them personally and professionally.
How mentorship has promoted your career progression
Bita: I started with Amazon as an Area Manager Graduate and a close to a year after starting, I moved to Sydney to start a new role of Operation Shift Manager.
Last year I became a Workforce and Staffing Operations Manager which was a big responsibility as well as an exciting challenge.
Our relationship began while I was a Graduate and Anna was the site lead for Amazon’s Ravenhall fulfilment centre in Melbourne and has continued, even though I am now located in Sydney.
Anna has been a huge support for me, recommending me for projects she believes I can bring skills to, and pointing me to opportunities that support my career growth. Together, Anna and I launched Amazon Australia’s very first non-sort fulfilment centre, and I was able to learn so much from the way Anna led the team, involved stakeholders, and managed the program.
Anna: Bita and I worked together during our time located at Amazon’s Ravenhall fulfilment centre in Melbourne and then when Bita transferred to Sydney, we continued with our mentor meetings due to the relationship we had formed.
Bita was recently promoted to Level 5 Workforce Operations Manager and is responsible for sites across Melbourne, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia. This is awesome recognition of her passion for people, focus on continual learning and always seeking a better way to do things.
It’s been great to see Bita hitting goals in her new role, and it’s very fulfilling watching her excel and being able to play a small part in supporting her.
I’m a member and mentor also with NAWO, which is the National Association of Women in Operations. I’ve always been passionate about mentoring women, particularly in male-dominated industries. The organisation is fantastic and helps to encourage dialogue and facilitate change to ultimately achieve greater inclusion and gender balance in operations. NAWO has recently announced its mentoring Alumni Network which has been created in partnership with Amazon Australia. There are a range of meetings and events that are run throughout the year and it’s a great opportunity to connect mentors and mentees.
How your mentor /mentee has had a direct impact on you?
Bita: As my mentor, Anna acts as a safe space for me to discuss challenges I’m facing, and it’s really helpful when she shares her own experiences and how she has overcome similar challenges. Anna’s mentorship helps me to navigate issues and find solutions by talking through them but also by pointing me to the right resources.
Anna always encourages me to dream big, and then supports me to turn those dreams into a reality.
Anna: Bita is a bit like a sponge, she absorbs information from everyone and is really engaged. It feels really good to know that I am contributing to her career development but it’s not just about me teaching her. I’ve learnt so much from her too including resilience, positivity, optimism.
How mentorship has benefited you personally and professionally?
Bita: Amazon really encourages work-life balance and as my mentor, Anna is available to provide advice or support professionally and personally. There is a lot of trust between us.
We catch up for coffee, find a new dinner spot dinner or go for a walk whenever we are in the same city.
Amazon has a great mentorship system, and I’m really thankful to have Anna in my corner.
Anna: Catching up with Bita is always a highlight for me, both professionally and personally. We have formal mentor catch-ups monthly, and also informal when we are in the same city. Bita recently relocated to Sydney and, as a previous resident, I was able to help her with sightseeing recommendations and ideas to help her settle into her new area. We both love the Bondi to Bronte walk!