4th Cohort APWiL Mentoring Program
Led by
What is the APWiL Mentoring Program?
Participating Institutions
Program design and outcomes
Time Commitment
Eligibility Requirements
Important Dates

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 create 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 APWiL Mentoring Program provides international and intercultural opportunities for the empowerment, professional growth, and development of aspiring women leaders within APRU. This program matches mentors and mentees from APRU member universities of the Pacific Rim. Through one-on-one mentorship as well as seminars and hands-on workshops featuring diverse leaders, participants are able to explore tools and methods for overcoming barriers to women’s leadership. 

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.
  • Connect senior leaders at APRU institutions with emerging women leaders to create an effective network and share successful strategies.
  • Introduce global and intercultural dimensions to leaders across the APRU network and beyond.
  • Advance ethnic, cultural, and gender diversity of participants’ institutions.



If you’re interested in having your institution be a part of the next cohort of the APWiL Mentoring Program, please reach out to Adriana Rojas  at [email protected] for more information.

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 56 pairs of mentors and mentees. Participants in the program can expect to engage in the following:


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, as well as a final report on their goals and key achievements.
  • A final program evaluation will be completed by each mentor and mentee.



  • Mentor and mentee will participate in virtual workshops and seminars with the cohort which offer resource sharing, professional training, and international exchange to increase the 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.
  • Mentor and mentee will participate in a virtual orientation for all program participants to kick-off the program.
  • Mentor and mentee will be invited to participate in an in-person summit (optional) to bring together participants and alumni of the APWiL Mentoring Program to discuss gender equity in the Pacific Rim region. As the APWiL Mentoring Program has a very limited amount of funding available to support individual participants’ travel to this ceremony, institutions are strongly encouraged to financially support the travel of their participants.
  • Mentor and mentee will join informal networking opportunities to connect senior leaders at APRU institutions with emerging women leaders to create an effective network.
  • Workshops and seminars will be held at 8am HKT on the throughout the year unless otherwise noted.



  • Mentor and mentee will have opportunities to share upcoming travel (e.g. conferences, professional associations, etc.) in order to see who else from the program may also be there. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to schedule in-person meetups directly and connect with each other in person as a way to build connections within the network.
  • By inviting our alumni to program events, workshops, and seminars, participants connect and engage with the ever-expanding network of inspiring, accomplished and mutually supportive leaders who have graduated from the Mentoring Program.
  • Mentor and mentee will have access to a resource library as well as suggested topics for discussion throughout the program.



  • Join a cohort of like-minded professionals striving to drive gender balance in leadership positions at their university.
  • Build a strong and supportive network from across the leading research universities of the Pacific Rim.
  • Develop a supportive one-on-mentoring relationship with a mentor/mentee.
  • Mentors give back to the community in a meaningful way through supporting women in early career stages and developing their leadership skills.
  • Mentors help empower the next generation of women leaders at their institution and across the region.


Note: Workshops and all group mentoring sessions are delivered in English.

The success of the Mentoring 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 first three years of the 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 2023 to the graduation ceremony in October 2024. Participants are located in all parts of the Asia Pacific Rim.

Once the pairs have been announced, each mentor/mentee 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 will also arrange virtual workshop and seminars 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/seminars. We also actively encourage participants to organize their own discussion groups and social events to expand their network and further support each other, especially when traveling to conferences/gatherings where other program participants may also be attending.

Program participants are invited to join an optional in-person summit to bring together participants and alumni of the APWiL Mentoring Program to discuss gender equity in the Pacific Rim region.

Below are the mentor and mentee eligibility requirements. Each participating institution nominates the individuals representing their institution in the program. If you are interested in participating in the program, please contact your institution to be nominated. If you are unsure who the contact(s) are at your institution, please reach out to Adriana Rojas at [email protected] to inquire.

Requirements for Mentors

  • Mentors must be from a participating institution and have at least 10 years of academic and administrative leadership experience.
  • Mentors of any gender are welcome to participate.
  • Mentors must be senior scholars or leaders 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 support a mentee. Note that it is not guaranteed that the mentee and mentor are in the same academic field. While this is a factor that is considered in the matching process, many mentees are interested in developing skills as a leader that transcend academic fields so mentors will find that they will still have a wealth of knowledge to share as a leader if they are not matched with someone in their field.
  • Mentors should be committed to attending the virtual workshops and seminars.


Requirements for Mentees

  • Mentees should either identify as women (meaning cisgender, transgender, gender expansive, and intersex individuals who identify as women) or be individuals of different gender identification who support and are committed to the mission of the APWiL Mentoring Program.
  • 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 virtual workshops and seminars.
  • 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 an action plan within the 12­-month span of the Mentoring Program.

Nomination Period Opens

April 10, 2023

Info session for institutions recruiting participants and potential mentors/mentees

May 1, 2023, 5pm-6pm PDT / May 2, 2023 8am-9am HKT

Register here

Mentor and Mentee Nomination Deadline

June 15, 2023

Mentor and Mentee Matching Survey Deadline

July 15, 2023

Announcement of Mentorship Pairs

Week of October 2, 2023

3rd Cohort Graduation Ceremony (optional)

October 10, 2023, 6 pm-7:30 pm PDT / October 11, 2023, 9 am-10:30 am HKT


November 8, 2023, 4 pm PST / November 9, 2023, 8am HKT

Initial Mentoring Agreement and Pre-Assessments

December 2023

Informal Networking

December 6, 2023, 4 pm PST / December 7, 2023, 8 am HKT

International Women’s Day Event

March 7, 2024, 4 pm PST / March 8, 2024, 8 am HKT

Mid-program Survey and Assessment

April 2024

In Person Summit

Tentatively June 2024

Graduation Ceremony and End of Year Final Reviews

October 19, 2024, 5 pm-6:30 pm PDT / October 20, 2024, 8 am-9:30 am HKT







*  Dates are subject to change
** The events listed above are part of the 4th Cohort of the APWiL Mentoring Program. While some workshops and seminars are open to the public, others are by invite only for participants in the program.
Please reach out to the APWiL Program Managers, Kimberly Bellows at [email protected] and Chelsey Hawes at [email protected] if you would like to join one of the events.

Testimonials from mentors

“My experience as a mentor has been both exciting and encouraging. At first, the idea of becoming a mentor overwhelmed me with concerns. To me, the concept of the mentor-mentee relationship seemed fixed and hierarchical, and I was not sure I would fit the role of mentor inspiring future leaders. However, it turned out the mentor-mentee relationship is much more adaptable than I have imagined and in fact professionally stimulating and personally liberating. As we made plans and proceeded to explore collegiality, group culture, and other professional topics, I appreciated our collaborative relationship and enjoyed the learning experience. Our readings and discussions gave me encouragement that enables me to work more effectively within the university. The mentoring program has given me a chance to clearly see the challenges we face and to build positive changes for the future.”

Professor Akiyo Ito Okuda, Vice-President for Student Affairs, and for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Keio University, Mentor – 2nd and 3rd Cohorts


“I am very impressed with the calibre of scholarship of Dr. Yizhao Yang and her attitude towards lifelong learning. Her intellectual agility to be open to new ideas and experiences has made me realize that she is a kindred spirit and sister in both academic and civic pursuits where ‘making a difference’ to uplift women and people’s lives,  as well as the planet, are paramount concerns. I am grateful to the APWIL program for providing opportunities for collaboration such as these. I am learning a lot too from Dr. Yizhao Yang.”

Dr. Ma. Victoria R. Raquiza, Associate Professor, National College of Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines, Mentor – 3rd Cohort


Testimonials from mentees

The APWiL Mentoring Program has been invaluable for me. The program created a safe space to discuss struggles and successes that are pertinent to women, and provided a wonderful opportunity to learn from successful female leaders. I learned a great deal during small group breakout rooms, and received concrete tips for leadership development that I am working on implementing. The one-on-one mentorship experience has allowed me to reflect deeply on what it means to be a leader and how to improve my leadership skills. As part of this experience, I read several inspiring leadership books and implemented strategies from these books in my leadership roles. This trusted network of women will undoubtedly be an extremely valuable resource as my career progresses, and I feel very fortunate to have participated in the program.”

Dr. Derjung Mimi Tarn, Professor of Family Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles , Mentee – Pilot Program


“APWIL program was a learning experience that has enriched my professional and personal life. From Victoria, my mentor, I learned that is never too late to look for a decision-making opening, and this helped me define my priorities and encouraged me to stand up for my work and the support that comes from my experience. Having the opportunity to listen to empowered and successful women is a motivation not just because all the mentors are worthy role models; but because when we hear their stories, we realize that regardless of our background, there is something we have in common: resilience in most cases, and determination to make our voices be heard and look for equal opportunities.”

Dr. Luz María Martínez, Research Professor and National Director of the Nanotechnology Engineer Undergraduate Program, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mentee – 2nd Cohort



APRU International University Centre, Unit 902, Cyberport 2, 100 Cyberport Road, Hong Kong


[email protected]

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