2 minutes with a Mentee: meet Katherine Free

Katherine Free

Fearful she would become a jack of all trades and master of none, Katherine Free is celebrating her new role at Linfox by taking every opportunity to focus her efforts on becoming, a ‘master of trade’ – to collaborate, build her skills and further forge her path in management, training and development.

She participates in the NAWO mentoring circles program with hard work and determination to achieve everything she can with the guidance of a mentor.

Katherine tells us more about her inspiration behind joining the program.

As a mentee, I have been blessed with a number of sponsors and mentors throughout my career and with each experience, I have grown and continued to seek out positive and impactful connections in the workplace.

Prior to joining the program, I was encouraged to apply by a Mentor from Linfox that had participated in the program themselves as a Mentor and thought I could benefit from being involved in the program.

As I wanted to gain more purpose, confidence and structure around my goals and defining the path I want to be on, this decision aligned with me well.
The opportunity to connect with a mentor and mentees from different organisations and industries and being able to connect, collaborate and develop within the NAWO community sets the program apart from others.

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, we asked Katherine what her thoughts were on the importance of mentoring women, within operations and beyond.

Mentoring is very important because in my experience, far too often, women at one point or another in their career and life, in general, get struck with imposter syndrome or feel they are on the right path but unsure of the next step. I believe mentoring is a way for leaders in our communities to empower, inspire and help lift up the aspiring leaders among us.

I feel it encourages and inspires women in operations to strive for more than they may have initially thought possible and perhaps try something new to them that can help them to grow and develop.

Mentoring is often a way to build both soft and hard skills. For Katherine, she had specific goals she wanted to achieve.

By the end of the program I had hoped to gain more confidence and purpose in my working life and now the program has ended, I now have a renewed sense of purpose and have more clarity and confidence to take on what I need to in order to move forward.

It’s reinforced my belief that it takes a village, in business and in life, to succeed. Individually we all have our strengths and successes and the ability to do well but when we take those individual skills and traits and use them to collaborate, educate and motivate each other, as a team, the possibilities of what we can achieve are endless. My preferred mentoring style is face to face and either one on one or in a small group.

We can’t echo this enough here at Mentorloop and we’re so glad that Katherine has hit this one out of the park. It really does take a village – building your personal advisory board can often be the solution. Surrounding yourself with as many experts in various areas can set you up for success.

This experience has helped strengthen my sense of purpose, build my confidence to tackle a range of things, and to strive for progression.

I also enjoyed being part of the other mentees journeys, sharing and encouraging each other through successes and challenges. Petta Wright was my mentor in this program and Petta is driven, passionate, supportive, authentic and purposeful.

Ready to get started?

Why wait for International Women’s Day? Now is the perfect time to think about how you could deploy a bespoke mentor program to better support your people. Get in touch with one of our mentoring specialists to explore the best solution for your organisation. 

Start a mentoring culture today

NAWO’s flagship mentoring program, offered exclusively to their members, provides executive mentors with the opportunity to partner with a group of 5-8 high potential, mid-career women and guide them through a series of sessions that have the potential to have a profound impact on their future careers.

Mentorloop is proud to be contributing toward filling the pipeline of talented women in operations and strengthening female leadership.

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Em is our Marketing Manager at Mentorloop. That's a lot of 'm's! | She is passionate about crafting messages, crafternoons and craft beer.

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