IAB’s Mentorship program is ‘beneficial and necessary in current climate’, says marketing industry leader

IAB Australia launched an industry mentorship program two years ago, to help “support and enable the next generation of digital advertising and technology industry talent”.

The mentorship program provides support for up to 40 mentees, with the help of 20 mentors, every 6 months. Mentees from member organisations are chosen via nominations, and must have five years or less industry experience.

Mentor and head of buyer development, APAC at Index Exchange, Janette Higginson

Mentor and head of buyer development, APAC at Index Exchange, Janette Higginson and her mentee, head of growth and marketing, regional lead at PHD, Chloe Hooper, spoke to Mumbrella of the benefits and learnings IAB’s mentoring program has given them.

“I don’t think there is a downside to a program like this. It’s extremely beneficial and almost necessary in the current climate we are in at the moment,” Higginson said.

“The most important thing was to make sure I was just there as a sounding board for Chloe. She already has such a strong sense of who she is, what she’s good at and what she wants. That’s not what she needed in a coach. I was able to very quickly realise that I was there to listen. And that’s what the best mentors do. They’re not there to dictate.”

Higginson added that with the COVID-19 lockdown, programs like the IAB Mentorship program is extremely beneficial and important for career growth, mental health and to have that support and guidance in one’s career.

“This program created this incredibly safe open space with no imposed agenda, not like a normal business meeting where you have an outcome to drive. That outcome was always ambiguous and it will continue to be the outcome is her happiness and her self-confidence.

“I think now more than ever, we have a really interesting time from a talent perspective in our industry where people are not exposed to what’s going on outside of them. Especially in junior roles who don’t often have that external element either. So they don’t have an ability to learn or to understand what’s going on outside of their world.

“It’s the responsibility of leadership and of senior executives in the industry to build connections. And not only the ones that you think make sense, for me it could be someone who’s a trader or platform focused.”

Hooper said one of the main benefits of the program was to help her see a world outside Omnicom. “Janette just helped me really get a broader understanding of the whole industry, which was really important,” she said.

Mentee and head of growth and marketing, regional lead at PHD, Chloe Hooper

“Another benefit was from a confidence point-of-view. Janette really is my cheerleader and my number one fan. She’s helped boost my confidence. I think that self-belief is what I really gained from this whole experience, and being more willing to throw my hat in the ring and take whatever opportunities come my way.

As a result of her own experience, Hooper said she has now become more of a mentor to others around her. “I think that it’s impacted me as a leader,” she said. “Going into conversations where I probably would try and be more solution focused, I’ve adopted Janette’s way of listening.”

“If I was going to give one bit of advice to anyone, it’s to go and find a mentor right now because everyone internally will only be able to see what’s going on internally. I am very fortunate in that IAB set this amazing program up. I just think it’s just so important and something everyone needs right now, considering the climate that we’re working in, because one starts to focus on the lockdown and that if you need someone else outside your organisation they may be able to help you see a bigger picture,” Hooper concluded.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.