Australia, like many countries, is making positive strides towards gender equality. However, this is still more work to be done.

Despite the many lucrative benefits of achieving gender equality – McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 per cent more likely to have financial returns – Australian women today make up less than 30 per cent of ASX200 board positions, earn 14 per cent less than men and have 42 per cent less superannuation by retirement age.

Future Women and Informa are pleased to present the Future Women Executive Summit – a two-day conference and networking event designed to address these pertinent issues and help Australian companies achieve gender equality, faster.

Join Kerryn Phelps, Helen McCabe, Wendy McCarthy, Launa Inman, Steven Asnicar, Emma Thomas, Tammy Barton and over 30 industry experts as they uncover the critical pathways to the top jobs, examine the role of female role models in empowering women, shine a light on the industries currently promoting opportunities for women, and develop a strategic roadmap for success.


Helen McCabe
Digital Content Director
Nine Entertainment

Dr Kerryn Phelps AM MP
Federal Member for Wentworth

Wendy McCarthy AO
Feminist activist educator, mentor, company director currently reinventing herself

Launa Inman
Non-Executive Director
Super Retail Group and Precinct Properties NZ

Lynn Dang
Head of Talent Acquisition, Microsoft Australia

Zoe Hayes
Head of Hardware Marketing
Google AU/NZ

Jodie Auster
General Manager,
Uber Eats, ANZ

Steven Asnicar
Chief Executive Officer
Diversity Australia

Jamila Gordon
Founder & CEO

Sue Cato
Cato and Clegg Partners Pty Ltd

Tammy Barton
Founder and Director

Dai Le
Founder & CEO

Grazia Pecoraro
Senior Associate
Diversity Partners

Stephanie Reuss
Beam Australia

Rachel Grantham
Little Bud

Felicity Zadro
Zadro Agency

Mayuri Nathoo
Project and Client Manager

Caroline Gurney
Managing Director
Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Australasia & Deputy Chief Communication Officer, Asia Pacific, UBS

Kate Lee
Executive Manager
Engagement, Workplace Gender Equality Agency

Marianne Perkovic
Executive General Manager Commonwealth Private
Commonwealth Bank

Emma Thomas
Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate

Megan Houghton
Executive General Manager
Energy Solutions, ERM Power

Donna-Maree Vinci
CxO, Chief Digital and Information Officer, Bank of Queensland

Lisi Schappi
Head of Design

Marianne Cullen
Regional Director – ACT

Dr Hannah Piterman

Fleur Brown
Founder of Launch Group and Entrepreneurs TV

Virginia Mansell
Founding Partner, Stephenson Mansell Group

Katie Lahey
Executive Chairman
Korn Ferry, Australasia

Juliet Bourke
Partner, Deloitte

Aubrey Blanche
Global Head of Diversity & Belonging

Victoria Stuart
Co Founder
Beam Australia

Dr Karen Morley
Karen Morley & Associates

Carolyn Campbell
Chief Executive Officer
Netball NSW

Dr Caroline Hong
CEO, CH Asia Australia & Chairman
Investment Opportunities Australia

Carolyn Breeze
Director – Braintree Country Manager, Australia
Braintree, A PayPal Service

Vanessa Morley
Director of People and Culture
Nine Entertainment

Greg Baxter
Newgate Communications

Emily Brooks
Future Women

Niti Nadarajah
Senior Counsel
Philip Morris AU, NZ & Pac. Isl.

Claire Kimball
The Squiz

Bernadette Chehine
Executive Manager, Human Resources
Hort Innovation

Angela Ledgerwood
Senior Writer
Future Women

Sarah Moran
CEO and Co-Founder
Girl Geek Academy

Event Images 2019

Below is a snippet of images from Future Women Executive Summit 2019.

To view the images from day one of the summit, visit our Flickr album.



Registration and Morning Coffee


Acknowledgement of Country – Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF)

Morning Chair – Vanessa Morley, Director of People and Culture, Nine Entertainment


Opening remarks

Helen McCabe, Digital Content Director, Nine Entertainment


KEYNOTE ADDRESS | The role of strong female role models in empowering you to strive for the top jobs

Dr Kerryn Phelps AM MP, Federal Member for Wentworth


KEYNOTE ADDRESS | Taking a long view – Reflections on 50 years as a change agent

Wendy McCarthy AO, Feminist activist educator, mentor, company director currently reinventing herself


Overcoming the biggest barrier for women – It’s not all about gender, or is it?

—— Confidence
—— Cultural
—— Priorities
—— Gender

Dr Hannah Piterman, Director, HPCG


Networking & refreshment break


Why women founders lead the way in more ways than one

—— Why women founders are a better investment?
—— Differences in leading women v’s men and the importance of adjusting leadership style
—— How to use your advantages and exploit your strengths in male dominated industries
—— Achieving life balance
—— Promoting and supporting other women

Tammy Barton, Founder and Director, MyBudget


PANEL DISCUSSION | The rise and rise of women entrepreneurs

—— Why are we seeing the number of women increase at a faster rate than males in Australia?
—— Social media’s role in spreading the influence and creating communities
—— The challenges/advantages of being a young, female CEO in a traditionally male environment
—— Tips from the experts

Rachel Grantham, Founder, Little Bud
Sarah Moran, Co-Founder and CEO, Girl Geek Academy
Fleur Brown, Founder, Launch Group & Entrepreneurs TV


PANEL DISCUSSION | Personal branding and crisis brand management

—— Looking beyond the dress and look
—— The role and value of your online presence – social media, linked in, facebook
—— How can you polish your digital presence?

Zoe Hayes, Head of Hardware Marketing, Google AU/NZ
Lynn Dang, Head of Talent Acquisition, Microsoft Australia
Fleur Brown, Founder, Launch Group & Entrepreneurs TV


Networking Lunch

Afternoon Chair – Greg Baxter, Partner, Newgate Communications


PANEL DISCUSSION | Critical pathways to the top job – It’s time to be strategic

—— The way women approach the “C” Suite and their motivations
—— Understanding where the opportunities are going to be
—— The role of bold career moves that catapult you to the top
—— Moving talented women into operational roles earlier
—— What can you do?

Katie Lahey, Executive Chairman, Korn Ferry, Australasia
Donna-Maree Vinci, CIO, Bank of Queensland
Carolyn Breeze, Director – Braintree Country Manager, Australia, Braintree, A PayPal Service


Gender equality – The importance of the push from the top, what more can be done to drive this change?

—— What’s being done to promote women and develop a pipeline of women in senior executive roles?
—— The importance of ongoing support
—— Aurecon’s experience of pushing/driving change

Marianne Cullen, Regional Director, ACT, Aurecon


Industries making strides in promoting opportunities for women

Kate Lee, Executive Manager, Engagement, Workplace Gender Equality Agency


Networking & refreshment break


PANEL DISCUSSION | Owning your position – It’s not an entitlement

—— Finding your motivation – Power to affect strategic change
—— Opportunity to influence
—— Embrace opportunities that come your way
—— Understand the value you bring to the table

Emma Thomas, Director-General, Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate
Caroline Gurney, Managing Director, Head of Marketing &
Corporate Communications, Australasia & Deputy Chief
Communication Officer, Asia Pacific, UBS
Marianne Perkovic, Executive General Manager
Commonwealth Private, Commonwealth Bank


Influencing to position yourself and drive outcomes

—— Build your sphere of influence – Communicate to get results
—— Build your brand – Know your worth

Megan Houghton, Executive General Manager Energy Solutions, ERM Power


PANEL DISCUSSION | Top tips from executive coaches

—— Talking through strengths to identify negatives
—— Understanding your value to lead with confidence
—— The best career advice I have for you!

Virginia Mansell, Founding Partner, Stephenson Mansell Group
Dr Karen Morley, Principal, Karen Morley & Associates


Networking drinks


Registration and Morning Coffee


OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair People

Emily Brooks, Editor, Future Women
Angela Ledgerwood, Senior Writer, Future Women


The role of resilience and positivity

Jamila’s has faced major challenges throughout her life, yet she has always found that the greatest adversity also brings the seed of opportunity. It is the developable capacity to bounce back and remain positive that is crucial to success.

Jamila Gordon, Founder & CEO, LumaChain


The role of hardship in shaping leaders

—— Hardships role in broadening perspective, setting values and a sense of purpose
—— Overcoming adversity can encourage self-leadership and development
—— Confidence & resilience – Transforming failure & obstacles into knowledge

Lisi Schappi, Global Head of Design, Deputy


PANEL DISCUSSION | Learning from challenges & failures

—— Don’t take it personally
—— Learning how much of yourself to invest emotionally
—— Accept not everything will go to plan
—— Working through self-doubt our constant companion
—— Leaning to meet our fears head on. Is it fear, opportunity or capability holding you back?
—— The Glass Cliff: Are women being set up to fail?

Felicity Zadro, Founder, Zadro Agency
Mayuri Nathoo, Project and Client Manager, Aurecon
Lisi Schappi, Head of Design, Deputy
Niti Nadarajah, Senior Counsel, Philip Morris AU, NZ & Pac. Isl.


Networking & refreshment break


PANEL DISCUSSION | The boardroom war –Why we need gender & cultural diversity in the next generation of directors

—— The culture shift – The benefits of diversity on the C-Suite
—— Does diversity impact performance?
—— Why are we seeing gender diversity being blamed for poor performance?
—— Are women being held to different standards than Male peers?
—— What can companies do to increase gender & cultural representation?

Launa Inman, Non-Executive Director, Super Retail Group and Precinct Properties NZ
Sue Cato, Partner, Cato and Clegg Partners Pty Ltd
Dai Le, Founder & CEO, DAWN


PANEL DISCUSSION | The changing role of business leaders and media in encouraging, embracing and supporting diversity

—— Gender blindness, diversity and inclusion
—— It should be all about the right person for the role

Steven Asnicar, Chief Executive Officer, Diversity Australia
Juliet Bourke, Partner, Deloitte


Managing & understanding women

—— Breaking down perceived differences and similarities between men and women and the importance of gender aware leadership
—— How to drive cultural change and workplace equality through leadership throughout an organisation
—— Challenges and opportunities for women’s full engagement in the workplace

Jodie Auster, General Manager, Uber Eats, ANZ


Networking Lunch

Afternoon Chair – Claire Kimball, Founder, The Squiz


Leaving a leadership legacy: How will you use your role to empower other women

—— Diversity & inclusion – arresting the fallout
—— How to get more women into senior roles
—— Rethinking the way we work
—— Future of work – more agile and flexible workforces
—— Workforce health – designing healthier workplaces for better sustainability and retention
—— Self-care to leave the best legacy

Victoria Stuart, Co-Founder, Beam Australia
Stephanie Reuss, Co-Founder, Beam Australia


Thank u, next: why “diversity” gets in the way of gender equity

Aubrey Blanche, Global Head of Diversity & Belonging, Atlassian


Networking & refreshment break


PANEL DISCUSSION | Moving “beyond diversity” and recognising the value of building balanced teams where all members feel a sense of belonging

—— Moving towards a workforce defined by more than gender and race
—— Balancing perspectives across teams
—— Highest performing teams included people with diverse perspectives and ways of problem solving
—— “diversity fatigue” all talk, no action
—— Workplaces to reflect the communities they serve as customers and other stakeholders

Grazia Pecoraro, Senior Associate, Diversity Partners
Carolyn Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Netball NSW
Dr Caroline Hong, CEO, CH Asia Australia & Chairman, Investment Opportunities Australia
Bernadette Chehine, Executive Manager, Human Resources, Hort Innovation


What’s next? What should the future look like and when will we get there?


Close of Conference


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