IF she had her time again, Julie Bishop admits there is one thing she'd want to understand before running for office and that's the pressure on her inner circle.
"The impact on close family members, and friends is greater than I expected."
Bishop made the admission in a frank interview with News Corp female site whimn.com.au which celebrates its 12-month anniversary by launching a mentoring program.
The program is headlined by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, athlete and author Turia Pitt, Boost Juice founder and Shark Tank investor Janine Allis, and fitness program creator Tiffiny Hall, who will share their knowledge, skills and life experience in two 30-minute one-on-one mentoring sessions with the successful applicants.
Bishop, 61, also revealed that when she is out on her morning run she is running through the day's schedule and coming up with ideas for speeches or policies.
And as for difficult conversations, Bishop said: "Carefully think through the consequences and then do not delay having that conversation.
"I am always striving to do better at everything I do, and I back my judgment, and instincts, rather than worry about meeting standards that others set."
Bishop said it was the challenge for all women in leadership to help develop more women leaders to follow them.
Bishop is Australia's first female Foreign Minister, and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.
"Throughout my political and legal career I have received invaluable advice from a number of accomplished women and men that has had a lasting impact on me," she said.
"I considered them mentors and appreciated their support."
International Women's Day (IWD) celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Run annually on March 8, the day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Mentoring is one way to make that progress.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) estimates Australian women earn, on average, 15.3 per cent less than men - or $253.70 per week less than men.
This gap has remained largely unchanged for 20 years.
Women hold only 13.7 per cent of chair positions, 24.9 per cent of directorships, as well as represent 16.5 per cent of CEOs.
While the statistics appear overwhelming, mentor and mining engineer Turia Pitt believes there is hope ahead.
"We can achieve absolutely anything when we break it down and just focus on what we have to do in front of us."
Entries to the whimn.com.au mentoring program open today at whimn.com.au/mentors and closes Thursday 15 March 2018.
For full terms and conditions and to enter please visit whimn.com.au/mentors
Applicants select one of the inspiring panel of female leaders, then in 100 words or less, answer why you want them as your mentor.
The winners will be selected by general manager of News With Her In Mind Network (WHIMN) Georgina Pell, WHIMN marketing director Olivia Diamond and WHIMN acting editor Melissa Shedden.