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The Westpac Group launches sector-leading mentoring program


2 December 2010

The Westpac Group today launched its innovative Organisational Mentoring Program aimed at cementing long-term partnerships with the not-for-profit (NFP) sector through the mutual exchange of skills and expertise.

Developed by The Westpac Group’s Sustainability and Community team, the Organisational Mentoring Program has already delivered tangible benefits to social sector organisations such as decreased attrition rates, improved systems and processes, enhanced governance practices and higher employee engagement.

In officially launching the Program, The Westpac Group's Chief Executive Officer Gail Kelly said: “Westpac is honoured to have the opportunity to mentor social sector organisations which make such a valuable contribution to the community.

"We are proud to have developed a program which provides tangible benefits by building long-term partnerships which drive continuous improvement, innovation, collaboration and long-term sustainability.

“Together we identify and work on issues that adversely affect organisations’ long term sustainability, whilst simultaneously creating a development opportunity for our people.  It’s a program that fosters mutual learning across all sectors.”

The Governor General, Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce, who has long been a champion for the not-for-profit sector through her work with women, indigenous Australians and youth, welcomed The Westpac Group’s Organisational Mentoring Program and applauded the move to improve sustainability in the not-for-profit sector.

“Australia’s not-for-profit sector provides support and wellbeing to so many disadvantaged communities and individuals. Increased support and skills transfer initiatives such as the Westpac Organisational Mentoring Program, are vital to ensure the continued growth and success of the NFP sector,” Ms Bryce said.

The Westpac Group’s Organisational Mentoring Program originally piloted in 2008 partnering with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Following the success of the initial pilot, Westpac expanded the program and now has mentoring partnerships with almost 50 NFP organisations, Indigenous organisations and social enterprises.

JDRF CEO Mike Wilson said The Westpac Group mentors helped implement long term beneficial changes to the organisation.

“The Westpac mentors helped us work on our leadership, HR approaches and culture to reduce the high levels of employee turnover and create a great place to work,” Mr Wilson said. 

“Today, employee attrition has dropped from 40% to just 9%, year on year revenue has increased despite the global economic crisis, and employee engagement has improved dramatically – now sitting at 91% and in line with global best practice.”

In just two years, The Westpac Group has grown its mentoring program from 6 to almost 50 organisations and is encouraging corporate Australia to adopt a similar approach to long-term mentoring partnerships in their CSR programs.

“The Westpac Group is in a unique position to share the insights and experiences we have gained through operating for almost 200 years in communities all around Australia. Ensuring we develop sustainable long-term partnerships with the social sector is an important investment in the future of our country and an approach we strongly advocate for all companies,” Mrs Kelly concluded.