Women leaders to converge on Canberra

9 May 2014

There has never been a more important time to support Australian women to become leaders.

YWCA of Canberra Executive Director Frances Crimmins says there is a disturbing lack of women at the top echelons of Australian business and political life.

“Current research shows that women are significantly under-represented at senior levels in most industries.

“We’re told there is no gender inequality in Australia. But the pay equity gap is still sitting at 17 per cent. In addition, women hold only 9.2 per cent of key management positions in the top 500 publicly-listed companies in Australia. And only 29 per cent of our Federal Parliament representatives are women.”

Next Tuesday, 13 May, Canberra will play host to more than 150 women intent on being the future leaders of Australia.

As part of an innovative, evidence-based women’s leadership program, the She Leads Conference will see some of Australia’s most accomplished women sharing their knowledge with emerging leaders from the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors at Hotel Realm in Canberra.

Keynote speaker for the event is well-known author, journalist and pioneering feminist, Dr Anne Summers AO. Dr Summer’s topic for her address is ‘Why Women Should…’

“We’ve been educated that leadership, historically, is a space for men. We want to provide a safe space for women to explore their own leadership identity. We would like women to recognise that their values and life experience will inform their decisions as a leader and influence their leadership style,” Ms Crimmins said.

“Quite often we see that men are promoted based on their leadership potential, whereas women are judged based on their experience,” she added.

Ms Crimmins said the Conference will be a safe space for women to share their personal stories and experiences, as well as engage in discussions with established women leaders.

“The YWCA’s leadership pathway is transformative, intergenerational, and authentic.

“We recognise that leaders need resilience, emotional intelligence, an understanding of their values, and an ability to maintain them under pressure.”

Panellists* include Khadija Gbla, Casey Keed, Lauren Anderson and Virginia Haussegger, among many others. (*Bios follow)

An initiative of the YWCA of Canberra, the She Leads Conference is part of a broader initiative, which includes a year-long Diploma of Management tailored specifically to women.

Ms Crimmins said that while the focus of the program is to develop young women’s leadership potential, the Conference and Diploma will engage women from across the age spectrum.

A handful of last minute tickets for the She Leads Conference are available to be purchased at www.ywca-canberra.org.au and plenary sessions will be live streamed at youtube.com/YWCACanberra.

Enrolment forms for the 2014 She Leads Diploma of Management can be found at http://www.ywca-canberra.org.au/about-the-she-leads-diploma.

– ENDS –

Available for interview: Frances Crimmins, Virginia Haussegger, Carmel McGregor, Helen Conway, Yolanda Vega and Khadija Gbla. Photos of speakers available on request.

Media contact: Joanna Allebone 0450 962 842

About the YWCA of Canberra: The YWCA of Canberra is a feminist, not-for-profit organisation that has been providing community services and representing women’s issues in the Canberra community since its establishment in 1929. The YWCA of Canberra employs more than 350 staff across the ACT, and delivers 30 quality programs in children’s services, community development, housing, youth services, women’s leadership, advocacy, and training. Represented in 122 countries, the YWCA has a global reach of 25 million women and girls. As part of this international movement, the YWCA of Canberra works for a world where reconciliation, justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained through women’s leadership. For more information visit: www.ywca-canberra.org.au

Twitter: @YWCACanberra
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Media release – Women leaders to converge on Canberra

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