Property Australia

Why mentorship matters

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal October 11, 2021

Mentorship has never been more important as we navigate the new world of work. We asked Westpac’s Neil Cleaver and Lavan’s Isabella Mosole why they signed up for the National Mentoring Program.

While 76 per cent of people think mentors are important for career development, just 37 per cent of people currently have one.

Of course, the idea of mentorship is far from new. Three thousand years ago, Odysseus entrusted his young son to the care of Mentor as he set sail for the Trojan War in Homer’s Odyssey.

Mentorship may be a tried-and-true tool to build skills, confidence and networks. But in uncertain times, structured mentor programs can also be the ‘secret sauce’ that supports career growth, nurtures young talent, forges new connections and gives back to the industry.

This is why the launch of the new National Mentoring Program, a collaboration between the Property Council and Westpac, has been timed to perfection.

131021 - Sponsored Post - Neil CleaverIsabella Mosole, a solicitor with Lavan, and Neil Cleaver, Westpac’s property finance senior relationship manager in Western Australia, have already established a strong partnership after being paired through the National Mentoring Program.

“Relationships can be hard to develop without the right industry connections – especially at the moment,” Mosole says.

The structured program offers interactive virtual and in-person workshops, facilitated group discussions and speed networking opportunities, alongside one-to-one meetings.

Both Cleaver and Mosole are big believers in mentorship.

“The workplace environment is fast-paced, complex and ever-changing,” Cleaver says. “My own mentor has been a source of comfort for several years now. So, when the opportunity arose to get involved with the National Mentoring Program, I thought I could help a younger person to navigate some of those complexities and get insights into how they see the workplace as well.”

Cleaver, who has looked after a large portfolio of property investments for Westpac customers for well over a decade, is giving up his most valuable resource – his time – to guide a rising star who will help shape the future of our cities.

Mosole, a member a member of the Property Council’s WA Planning Committee and a 500 Women in Property alumni, says she has benefited from “lawyer-to-lawyer” mentoring but wanted to expand her professional network in new directions. “I liked the idea of working with someone in an industry who sees things from a different angle.”

Cleaver’s “different angle” has delivered almost immediate dividends. Mosole recently made the move to Lavan after five years with Squire Patton Boggs. It’s a role she accepted after exploring her options with her new “sounding board”.

“Neil and I were two strangers at our first meeting, but our willingness to be open to the process and transparent in our communications has been really valuable to me. Neil helped me to appreciate the benefits that change can bring to a young professional.”

So, what is the secret to a good mentoring relationship? “It’s all about making time. I’m a strong believer that you get out of something what you put in – and that’s the key to any relationship,” Mosole notes.

Cleaver’s advice? “It might sound a bit clichéd, but the first step to success is to commit. You’ve got to commit to the process. Be open and adaptable, and your relationship – and the benefits you get – will grow over time.”

Westpac is a partner of the Property Council’s National Mentoring Program.