It couldn’t have been a perfect start to the day. The very best of Sydney!

It’s 7 am on Friday, and I’m looking across at the Harbour Bridge from the steps of the Opera House, about to spend my next hour walking through the Botanical Gardens. I’m feeling both a little anxious and a lot excited as I await the introductions to the 3 women mentees who have been matched with me.

I’m here for Mentor Walks Australia, a not-for-profit set up Adina Jacobs and Bobbi Mahlab to make mentoring effective and accessible to every woman.

After brief introductions, we sent off, walking, talking, posing questions and sharing solutions. It’s incredible how much can be covered in an hour. It was inspiring to hear individual stories of creativity and passion. It was disappointing, but not surprising, to learn that the male, blokey culture in Australia is currently much stronger than in the UK. It was equally empowering to share tips and tools to help encourage these women to lift their profile, be heard and build their networks.

This program ticks all my boxes. It celebrates women’s capacity to connect and combines the power of mentoring with the well-being benefits of walking. It reinforces my belief that woman-to-woman mentoring is a gift exchange – we all learnt something new on our harbourside walk.

I came away exhilarated and confident in the capacity of these wonderful, intelligent and inspiring young women to successfully navigate their lives and career journeys.

I’ll be back!