Seventy students from the University of Sydney and the University of Western Sydney last night (21 September) graduated from the Lucy Mentoring Program at a function hosted by Sparke Helmore in Sydney.
The Lucy Mentoring Program, which involves seven universities and the NSW Office for Women's Policy, encourages women to become future leaders, with a focus on business and law graduates succeeding in the workforce.
Last night's graduation ceremony was attended by 140 guests including graduates and their mentors - senior business women from the government and corporate sector.
"Lucy provided me with the opportunity to learn first-hand from the experiences of senior business women - what they've done well and to learn from their mistakes," said graduate Natalie Waser, a final year economics and business student at the University of Sydney.
"My mentor has really opened my eyes up to likely challenges and opportunities I will face as I prepare to launch my career."
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, who was instrumental in establishing the Lucy Mentoring Program and who attended last night's event, noted that mentoring can be a powerful experience for those involved.
"Many professionals that give their time to mentor students through Lucy and other mentoring programs derive as much personal reward from their involvement as the mentees themselves," Broderick said.
Sparke Helmore Sydney managing partner and Lucy Steering Committee member and mentor, Susan Bennett, noted the positive impact that the program can have for young women.
"Students involved in Lucy are certainly a step ahead in the quest for a career that they find rewarding through the advice, networks and experiences of their mentors and the events that they attend in the program," Bennett said.