NZSA Mentoring Programme

The Purpose of the NZSA Mentoring Programme is to:

  • Develop the next generation of statisticians​
  • Build community & broaden networks within the NZSA​
  • Support statisticians working on their own / in small teams​

Mentoring offers a variety of benefits to both the mentor and mentee.

Benefits for mentors include:

  • Connect with skills & perspectives of early career statisticians​
  • Develop / enhance communication & leadership skills​
  • Pass on skills & knowledge​
  • Promote opportunities in the statistical profession​
  • Opportunity to be a role model

Benefits for mentees include:

  • Gain insights from someone with experience​
  • Gain new perspectives ​
  • Encouragement & motivation​
  • Boost self confidence​
  • Identify new opportunities​
  • Expand your network

The NZSA Mentoring Programme was launched in 2022 with the first cohort running from May–October with 14 mentor / mentee pairs. The second cohort of the programme ran from May–October 2023 with 14 mentors and 22 mentees.

A few stats on Cohort 2:

  • 14 mentors – 8 of whom were involved in Cohort 1
  • 22 mentees – 4 of whom were involved in Cohort 1
  • 10 mentoring pairs
  • 4 mentoring groups with 2 – 3 mentees
  • 1 peer mentoring group consisting of 3 mentees
  • 2 people involved as both a mentor and mentee

The majority of participants in the programme felt that the person they were paired with was a good match, enjoyed participating in the programme and would recommend it to others in the NZSA.

For mentors, the most common benefits from the programme were confidence in their ability to add value as a mentor and exposure to new ideas. For mentees, the most common benefits were career advice and developing their professional networks.

The report from the first cohort is available here.

The report from the second cohort is available here.


“I didn’t really know what my strengths would be in mentoring as it was my first time being a mentor formally. The programme built my confidence in mentoring.” – Mentor Cohort 1

“Found it to be extremely rewarding.  Very interesting chats with my mentee – and despite the different stages in our careers / lives, there was a lot of overlap in the challenges, opportunities, etc we face.” – Mentor Cohort 1

“I would have really appreciated such a programme when I was a young statistician.” – Mentor Cohort 1

“My mentor also gave me advice throughout the interview process for a job I applied for during the programme. I got the job!” – Mentee Cohort 1

“The mentoring programme is an excellent opportunity for me to build connections with and learn from more experienced statisticians.” – Mentee Cohort 1

“I am the only statistician at my workplace, so having another statistician to talk to was reassuring and helpful.” – Mentee Cohort 1

“I learned at least as much as my mentees.” – Mentor Cohort 2

“Had some fantastic discussions and think I got as much benefit out of the sessions as my mentees. I really looked forward to catching up and sharing ideas at our mentoring catch ups. It was nice to reflect on the challenges that we all faced and share ideas on how to tackle these.” – Mentor Cohort 2

“My mentor was amazing at talking me through situations at work that I wasn’t sure how to navigate, by sharing her experience and thinking with me about possible solutions and building my confidence.” – Mentee Cohort 2

“I found it really useful and learned a lot. I enjoyed the group-style mentoring. I think it was really helpful to have more than two viewpoints on a topic.” – Mentee Cohort 2

“The NZSA Mentoring Programme provided opportunities to meet and network with other statisticians working in a diverse range of organisations. The programme helped me to develop skills necessary for achieving work-life balance and building resilience working for a small team of statisticians in a large organisation.”  – Mentee Cohort 2

Cohort 3 2024

Cohort 3 will be offered in 2024, with a similar format to Cohorts 1 and 2.

The plan for Cohort 3 is currently:

  • Cohort 3 launch webinar on Friday 2nd February
  • Survey for expressions of interest open for 2 weeks until mid-February
  • Pairings communicated throughout March
  • Programme running from April – September

Lean In Circles are small groups which connect regularly for peer-to-peer mentoring, networking and support. This year a Lean In Circle aimed at women in the NZSA will be offered with the purpose of expanding networks, building connections and creating future opportunities for self-selection of mentors / mentees where an initial connection has already been established. Lean In Circle members do not need to be currently involved in the mentoring programme to participate. These sessions will involve a 1-hour call per month covering a variety of topics of interest to the group. If you are interested in being involved, please reach out to Lisa to find out more.

Code of Conduct

The programme has a Code of Conduct which all programme participants are expected to abide by. We have three code of conduct representatives to ensure that the programme can be a safe environment for everyone. If you have any concerns throughout the programme, or there is anything you’d like to discuss, feel free to contact one of the following representatives:

If you have any questions, or to express interest in being involved in a future cohort of the mentoring programme, please email Lisa Thomasen.