Born in 2020 from Six Degree’s passion for developing and supporting emerging talent and leaders, the Career Development Series initiative has been nothing short of a success.
Despite the current environment, the 2021 Joe Berry Award virtual ceremony went as planned. Jennifer Kenworthy, our Senior Manager and specialist recruiter in the FMCG and retail space for almost 15 years, was there to support the Career Development Series program.
What is the Joe Berry Award?
The Joe Berry Australian Retail Industry Award is a prestigious, industry-based award given to an award-winning essay and finalist presentation by emerging talent within the retail space. From sales, marketing, logistics, operations, buying, supply, or commercial all employees across all disciplines in retail are encouraged to enter. The only restriction is that all competitors must be under the age of 35. The award has existed since 1986, and the winners have gone on to use the award as a catalyst for networking, mentorship, and career advancement.
How was the Six Degrees Career Development Series born?
Our partnership with the Joe Berry Award began in 2019. Quickly after, we saw a strong opportunity – in collaboration with the Joe Berry Award and the AFGC scholarship – to bring together our combined networks to create a highly impactful and valuable program for the finalists. The Career Development Series was born because at Six Degrees we are passionate about developing and supporting emerging talent and leaders.
What does the Career Development Series entail?
The Career Series was made up of three modules and topics that were selected by surveying the participants on the areas they were most keen to focus. We then approached facilitators that best aligned to and represented these topics in the market.
Each session involved a practical more theoretical component along with a personal career story and journey, led by senior executives across the retail space that shared our passion for talent development and networking. The sessions were candid and personal, each different due to the diversity of the presenters we attracted to the program.
Patricio Servat – Crossmark AU
Ashley Perdriau – Woolworths
Anna Marscham – Woolworths
Karen Huynh – Campbell Arnott’s
Marco Maiese – Campbell Arnott’s
Stephanie Field – Officeworks
Thea Dickinson - Effem
Laila Khalid – Goodman Fielder
Julia Wood – Simplot
Matt Hooper – Harris Farms
What are the benefits of the program for both mentors and mentees?
Easily the key benefit for the mentees was the ability to connect in a small, engaged group with a senior, experienced, highly regarded industry professional hearing their career and life advice for continuing to build a successful retail industry career. The ability to establish further networks and on-going relationships across the broader group of finalists was another key benefit. Everyone we approached to be a mentor in the program was more than happy to be involved and each gave us outstanding feedback on their experience and how much they enjoyed spending time with the industry’s next generation of leaders.
What have been some of the successes of the program?
This has been a great way for the group of mentees to stay connected post the awards, build on their peer relationships and connect themselves with industry leaders to which they had not previously gained access. The calibre of leaders we were able to attract to the program and the way they passionately through themselves into the program was an absolute highlight.