APWiL Mentoring Program 2nd Cohort
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About the Event
What is the APWiL Mentoring Program?
Participating Institutions
Program Design and Outcomes
Information for Mentors
Information for Mentees
Time Commitment
Language of Delivery
Nomination Process
Criteria for Matching Mentors and Mentees
Important Dates
Evaluation Process
About Us

We are excited to announce the nomination period for the 2021-22 Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Asia Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Mentoring Program is now open.


There are complex social and economic barriers to women’s advancement in leadership. Additionally, gender stereotypes and diverse social norms of the many cultures spanning the Pacific Rim creates wide implementation gaps in gender equality and women’s empowerment initiatives in higher education institutions. Women who lead and aspire to lead these institutions at all levels experience barriers to leadership and, in some cases, insufficient institutional support and guidance.


The current challenges around the world relating to COVID-19 “exacerbate existing inequalities for women and girls across every sphere – from health and the economy, to security and social protection.” Recent reports have shown that the pandemic is having differing impacts on female and male researchers around the world. In addition, public recognition of persistent and systematic racism highlights the challenges that women of color confront.


The APWiL Mentoring Program offers leaders (women and men) at APRU universities an opportunity to grow the pipeline of aspiring women leaders, to increase awareness of challenges that aspiring women leaders face within the region, and to introduce global and intercultural dimensions to leaders across the APRU network and beyond.

The APWiL Mentoring Program provides international and intercultural opportunities for the empowerment, professional growth and development of aspiring women leaders within APRU. In particular, the program intends to:


  • Grow the pipeline of aspiring women leaders within APRU.
  • Identify professional opportunities for growth and skills development of APRU aspiring women leaders.
  • Increase awareness of challenges that aspiring women leaders face within the region.
  • Learn about successful strategies used by APRU senior leaders.
  • Connect senior leaders at APRU institutions with emerging women leaders to create an effective network.
  • Introduce global and intercultural dimensions to leaders across the APRU network and beyond.
  • Advance ethnic, cultural, and gender diversity of participants’ institutions.



  1. Monash University
  2. The Australian National University
  3. The University of Melbourne
  4. The University of Sydney
  5. UNSW Sydney





  1. The University of British Columbia



Chinese Taipei


  1. National Taiwan University





  1. Universidad San Francisco de Quito



Hong Kong SAR


  1. The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  2. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology





  1. Korea University





  1. Keio University
  2. Kyushu University
  3. Osaka University
  4. Tohoku University





  1. Universiti Malaya





  1. Tecnológico de Monterrey





  1. University of the Philippines





  1. Nanyang Technological University
  2. National University of Singapore



United States of America


  1. University of California, Davis
  2. University of California, Los Angeles
  3. University of California, Riverside
  4. University of California, Santa Barbara
  5. University of Hawai’i at Manoa
  6. University of Oregon

The APWiL Mentoring Program is a year-long commitment matching a mentor and mentee from one of the participating APRU member universities. Each participating institution can be represented by up to two mentors and two mentees. Institutions should nominate the same number of mentors as mentees in order to ensure that we have even numbers in the program. (If your institution is nominating one mentee, then you should be nominating one mentor. If your institution is nominating two mentees, then you should be nominating two mentors.) Depending on mentor/mentee balance the program will have a maximum of 52 pairs of mentors and mentees.


One-on-one mentoring


  • Mentor and mentee will develop a mentoring agreement identifying goals for the program.
  • Mentor and mentee will set a schedule of bi-monthly virtual conversations (at least six meetings during the program duration).
  • Mentor and mentee will provide an update half-way through the program to assess their progress.
  • A final written program evaluation will be submitted by each mentor and mentee.




  • Mentor and mentee will participate in virtual workshops with the Mentoring Program cohort focused on topics relating to leadership, empowerment, professional growth, etc.
  • Mentor and mentee will participate in a virtual orientation for all program participants and a concluding seminar (linked to the Annual Presidents’ Meeting or Senior International Leaders’ Meeting).




  • Mentor and mentee will have access to a resource library as well as suggested topics for discussion throughout the program.
  • Our Alumni Network allows participants to stay connected and engaged with the ever-expanding network of inspiring, accomplished and mutually supportive women who have graduated from the Mentoring Program.



  • Mentors of any gender are welcome to participate.
  • Mentors must be from a participating institution and ideally have at least 10 years of academic and administrative leadership experience.
  • Mentors must be senior scholars including professors, emeritus, endowed, distinguished, university, clinical, research.
  • Mentors must be committed to supporting the growth of aspiring women leaders at APRU institutions.
  • Mentors must have the ability to allocate time to their mentee on a regular basis.
  • Mentors should be able to identify specific skillsets or areas that they can offer to help a mentee.


Benefits for Mentors


  • Join a network of like-minded professionals striving to drive gender balance in leadership positions at their university.
  • Advance leadership, coaching, and mentoring skills of aspiring women leaders.
  • Empower the next generation of women leaders at your institution and across the region.
  • Build a strong and supportive network from across the leading research universities of the Asia Pacific.
  • Give back to the community in a meaningful way through supporting women in early career stages and developing their leadership skills.


Expectations of an Effective Mentor


  • All Mentors work on a voluntary basis and share the same philosophy and values: to support women striving to achieve leadership capacity in their higher education institutions.
  • Mentors will: provide advice in their respective fields of expertise and in relation to leadership; offer access to their networks; share their experiences; support mentees in their professional leadership development.
  • Mentors communicate openly providing support as well as constructive feedback to mentees in order to help them achieve their goals.

Eligibility Requirements


  • Mentees should identify as women (meaning cisgender, transgender, gender expansive, and intersex individuals who identify as women).
  • Mentees must be faculty associated with one of the participating member institutions.
  • Mentees must have an academic appointment with at least five years and a maximum seven years of experience. Post docs, graduate students, and non-academic staff are not eligible to participate at this time.
  • Mentees should be open and eager to share and learn from others.
  • Mentees should be highly motivated to improve themselves and to achieve professional success.
  • Mentees should be interested in enhancing leadership skills.
  • Mentees should be committed to driving their mentoring relationship and attending the leadership development events.
  • Mentees should be able to articulate their desired outcomes.
  • Mentees should be open to feedback and learning.
  • Mentees should have the ability to identify achievable goals and action plan within the 12­-month span of the Program.


Program Goals for Mentees


  • Develop a year-long plan to advance professional growth and leadership skills.
  • Develop a self-reflective understanding and acceptance of your unique leadership style and strengths. Gain confidence in your unique abilities as a leader.
  • Expand leadership acumen skills through training and learning from highly successful professionals outside their direct sphere of activity.
  • Build a strong and supportive network from universities across the Asia Pacific.
  • Gain insights and guidance to better tackle issues or challenges in the workplace.


Expectations of an Effective Mentee


  • Develop leadership skills to navigate the challenges women face at different stages of their careers in higher education.
  • Participate fully in the relationship with their mentor as well as workshops and actively engage in their development.
  • Listen to and accept the mentor’s comments and suggestions in a constructive manner.
  • Respect their mentor’s commitment and keep their mentor updated on developments throughout the process.

The success of the Program is, in large part, thanks to the engagement and drive of the participants. Mentors are volunteers giving their time to support the development of their mentee. Based on the pilot program, participants who got the most out of the Program are those who whole-heartedly committed to, and invested time and energy in, the Program and their mentoring relationship.


This is a one-year program, starting with the orientation and kick-off in November 2021 to the graduation ceremony in October 2022. Participants are located in all parts of the Asia Pacific Rim.


Once the pairs have been announced, each mentoring pair is responsible for managing their own meetings with the onus on mentees to drive the engagement. We suggest that pairs meet bi-monthly with at least six sessions during the entirety of the Program. Most mentees and mentors will reside in different time zones. There is a need for flexibility in scheduling meetings in order to find a time that works for both parties.


In addition to the one-on-one mentoring between pairs, APWiL and APRU will also arrange virtual workshop sessions which are an essential piece of the program where participants connect with their cohort beyond their mentoring pair. Both mentors and mentees are strongly encouraged to attend all workshops. We also actively encourage participants to organise their own discussion groups and social events to expand their network and further support each other.

Workshops and all group mentoring sessions are delivered in English.

The Program, including workshops and one-on-one mentoring are free of charge for both mentors and mentees thanks to the generous support of our participating universities. Face-to-face meetings will be subject to travel costs including flight, food, lodging, transportation, etc. For the 2021-22 cohort, the concluding seminar will tentatively be planned in-person coinciding with the APRU Senior International Leaders Meeting. We will not be charging for registration for the face-to-face concluding seminar. Outside of this, all workshops will be held virtually.

Each participating institution should create an internal process for selecting candidates and submit the nomination for up to two mentors and two mentees representing their institution. Reminder that the number of mentees and mentors that you nominate should be equal. If your institution is nominating one mentee, then it should be nominating one mentor. If your institution is nominating two mentees, then it should be nominating two mentors.


Nominations should be sent to [email protected] by August 27, 2021 at 5:00pm PDT. Please include the following: participant’s full name, email address and whether they are being nominated as a mentor or mentee.


Each nominee will then be asked to complete an online survey by September 10, 2021 and provide the following:




  • Professional bio (250 words).
  • Headshot.
  • A statement indicating relevant mentoring and leadership experiences as well as areas of expertise that may be relevant to a mentee as it pertains to professional development.





  • Professional bio (250 words).
  • Headshot.
  • A statement answering:
    • Why would you like to participate in the program?
    • What do you hope to learn from your mentor?
    • What are 1-2 goals you would like to accomplish during your participation in the program?
    • Which areas/topics would you like to discuss with your mentor?

One of our main objectives for the Mentoring Program is to create compatible and sustainable matches between individual Mentors and Mentees. To facilitate the pairing process, the Program kicks off with a survey that provides informative criteria for matchmaking.


Taking these personal preferences into account, the APWIL Core Group will then pair participants based on their fields and areas of research, regional diversity of the mentor and mentee pairs, professional and life experiences, mentee goals and mentor areas (administrative and academic) of expertise.

Nomination Period Opens July 7, 2021
Mentor and Mentee Nomination Deadline August 27, 2021
Mentor and Mentee Survey Deadline September 10, 2021
Announcement of Mentorship Pairs Week of October 11, 2021
Pilot Program Closing Ceremony (optional)* Week of October 18, 2021
Orientation Early in November 2021
Workshops Throughout the year, approximately every 2-3 months
Mid-program Survey and Assessment April 2022
Closing Seminar October 2022


*Dates are subject to change.

As this is the first year the mentoring program will be fully implemented across the entire APRU network, a formative evaluation approach will serve to inform program improvements for replicating and scaling in subsequent years. As such, key objectives for evaluation are to gather participant feedback on the program as it relates to the following:


  • How well did the mentorship program meet participants’ needs (i.e. achieve articulated goals)? How might participants’ needs differ from what was planned / anticipated?
    • What worked well and not so well?
    • What challenges / barriers, new opportunities, or ancillary impacts (positive / negative) resulted from participation in the program?
  • How can the program be improved?
  • What mechanisms are most effective for monitoring implementation?
About the Association of Pacific Rim Universities


As a network of leading universities linking the Americas, Asia and Australasia, APRU is the Voice of Knowledge and Innovation for the Asia-Pacific region. We bring together thought leaders, researchers, and policy-makers to exchange ideas and collaborate on effective solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.


We leverage collective education and research capabilities of our members into the international public policy process. Our primary research areas include natural hazards & disaster risk reduction, women in leadership, population aging, global health, sustainable cities, artificial intelligence & the future of work, the Pacific Ocean, and labor mobility.


About the Asia Pacific Women in Leadership Program


APWiL addresses gender imbalances in APRU member universities by taking into account the various contexts in which this pursuit for gender equity takes place across the Asia Pacific.


The APRU APWiL Core Group shapes the direction and activities of the program.


Sabrina Lin, Co-Chair, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Joanna Regulska, Co-Chair, University of California, Davis
Victoria Panova, Far Eastern Federal University
Akiyo Okuda, Keio University
Junko Kimura, Osaka University
Inés Sáenz Negrete, Tecnológico de Monterrey
Mai Har Sham, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sara-Jane Finlay, The University of British Columbia
Katherine Belov, The University of Sydney
Yvonne Lim Ai Lian & Suat Yan Lai, University of Malaya
Cindy Fan, University of California, Los Angeles
Denise Konan, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
Derlie Mateo-Babiano, University of Melbourne
Nathalie Africa-Verceles, University of the Philippines
Ximena M. Córdova, Universidad San Francisco de Quito


Address: APRU International University Centre, Unit 902, Cyberport 2, 100 Cyberport Road, Hong Kong
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +852 2117 7060
Fax: +852 2117 7077