Women & Leadership Australia

Championing equity and empowering leaders with renowned leadership programs and world-class events. This page is monitored during business hours.

For almost 20 years, Women & Leadership Australia has been championing equity and empowering leaders in every aspect of life. We specialise in delivering high-impact, applied leadership development opportunities through our:

+ Renowned programs for individuals
+ Tailored programs for organisations
+ Specialised programs for schools
+ World-class events. Our learner-centric, flexible deliv

Operating as usual


Join us for a FREE lunchtime webinar on Friday 28 June 2024, amplifying the voices of leaders from Tasmania. Whether you're from Tasmania or beyond, this event promises invaluable lessons and insights for all!

In this free online event, you'll celebrate Dr Natasha Vavrek, Winner of the TAS Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership and engage with a captivating panel discussion on workplace allyship, featuring Martine Delaney, Emma Bennison MBA GAICD, and Cameron Cahill.

Don't miss out - secure your spot now at www.wla.edu.au/inspired-leadership-tas/

Photos from Women & Leadership Australia's post 06/06/2024

Celebrate PRIDE Month with Action!
Some of our Symposium speakers share their tips on being an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community or any marginalised individuals or groups.

✨ Speak up, speak out
Use inclusive language (e.g "partner" instead of assuming gender). Stand up against discrimination, even if the person isn't there.

✨ Be visible, be proactive
Don't wait to be an ally - start a conversation and elevate diverse voices. Attend LGBTQIA+ events & wear rainbow.

✨ Respect identities
Show your pronouns and encourage others to do the same. It normalises respecting everyone's identity.

💭What are your top tips for being a good ally?

About the artwork: We’re part of Navitas, a leading global education provider. This artwork has been created by Benjamin Bullock-Smith, Senior Creative Manager at Navitas. Ben says of his design: "This year's design is indicative of the history of PRIDE and representing the seriousness of some struggles the community has been facing recently...The visual reflects conviction of values."

Jan Fran Clubhouse Territory .biggs .worsley.33


Congratulations to Dr. Natasha Vavrek, the esteemed recipient of the 2024 Tasmania Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership! Her dedication to the wellbeing of women, along with her tireless efforts for societal change, is truly commendable. Here's to Dr Vavrek's incredible achievements and the bright future ahead!

Dr Vavrek will accept her award during the online Inspired Leadership Series webinar on Friday, June 28th. https://loom.ly/pNMK7XQ

Photos from Women & Leadership Australia's post 03/06/2024

Let's value and empower every employee, regardless of their parenting journey. Break the stereotype of 'just a mum' and promote a culture of respect, accommodation, and understanding in the workplace.

Has pregnancy ever set back your career progression? How can workplaces address this issue?


Reporting credit: The Conversation

Photos from Women & Leadership Australia's post 31/05/2024
Photos from Women & Leadership Australia's post 31/05/2024

How can we ensure that AI in recruitment processes is used in a responsible and ethical way?

Antoinette Lattouf had these insights during last year's Women's Leadership Symposium:

"We need specific training for recruiters, HR professionals, and developers – on how to use these tools to eliminate rather than amplify bias. Some workplaces are even allocating an internal AI specialist."

"We need to demand AI vendors make their data transparent, they should tell us how they address bias, as well as share information about the data they feed into their software; or by running training workshops on using these tools to address bias in recruitment."

"But crucially we should only be using AI as one data point, it’s not a silver bullet Tech developers and workplaces must also shift their focus from individual instances of bias to the broader inequalities impacting recruitment processes — we can’t code away structural discrimination and bias."

Have you had any positive or negative experience with using this technology? Let us know in the comments, we'd love to hear.


54,000 Australian women are homeless every night.
One organisation working to fix this is Women's Community Shelters (WCS). They work with local communities in NSW to set up new crisis accommodation shelters for women leaving homelessness, domestic and family violence.

We are proud to have WCS as an Advocacy Partner for our Sydney Women's Leadership Symposium.
Find out more and consider donating to this worthy charity www.womenscommunityshelters.org.au

Domestic and family violence and coercive control is never okay.
If you need help call 1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732, 13 YARN 13 92 76 or Lifeline 13 11 14

Image repost: Women's Community Shelters


Photo by Frankie The Creative

Photos from Women & Leadership Australia's post 27/05/2024

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to reflect, learn, and commit to a future of unity and respect.

The 2024 theme, "Now more than ever", is a call for action to stand up, defend and uphold the rights First Nations peoples. One way this can be done in the workplace is through implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

As part of our expert commentary series, Christine Ross, an Arrernte/Kaytetye desert woman, shared her valuable tips on how to create a great RAP.

This artwork was created by Whadjuk, Ballardong and Yamatji Aboriginal Woman Marcia McGuire for Navitas as part of the Reconciliation Action Plan.

ID: Tile 1: Orange and green artwork created by Whadjuk, Ballardong and Yamatji Aboriginal Woman Marcia McGuire.
Tile 2: "What is a Reconciliation Action Plan?
Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) are a tool used to address the current inequality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other
Australians. RAPs have enabled organisations to sustainably and strategically take meaningful action to advance reconciliation."
Tile 3: "Why is it important that organisations have a RAP in place? A RAP is an organisation's roadmap that guides them on their journey towards contributing to reconciliation in Australia. Each organisation develops their own RAP by stepping through a planning process to identify actions that will support them to enhance relationships, respect and opportunities for First Nations people and communities."
Tile 4: "How do organisations develop a RAP?
Before you launch into developing a RAP, it's a great idea to call Reconciliation Australia and have a yarn with a member of their RAP Team. They'll help you determine if your business is ready to go on the RAP journey and what your first steps might be.
Read more on our blog."

Photos from Women & Leadership Australia's post 24/05/2024

Adelaide, thank you! It was so good to be back for our first in-person Women's Leadership Symposium since 2019. What were your favourite moments?

Here are just a few of our highlights:
• A Welcome to Country by Cliffy Wilson
• The opening address was delivered by The Hon Susan Close MP who gave us an insight into the world of politics
• We heard inspiring keynotes from Dr Sanjugta Vas Dev and Sonny Jane Wise speaking about their experiences of leadership in various forms
• We recognised Khadija Gbla as the winner of the 2024 SA Award for Excellence in women’s Leadership (Unfortunately Khadija was unable to attend to accept their trophy but we’ll be shipping it on over!).
• Erin Phillips OAM spoke passionately about her life and career and the state of women’s equality in sport
• Our panel members Nicole Gollan, Kween Kong, and Andrew Kay shared their experiences of allyship in their life and work.
• Attendees learnt how to cultivate strategic relationships to build their own personal board.
• And Jan Fran rounded out the day speaking about her life experiences and challenges of being in the media
Thank you to our team on the ground led by Amy Davis and the expert facilitation as always by Dr Janet Smith.
Thanks to our event partners:
Gold Sponsor: ACAP
Silver Sponsor: Government of South Australia Office for Women
Advocacy Partner: Catherine House
Supporting Partners: Catholic Education South Australia, iReach Rural Health, Origin Energy
Media Partner: Women's Agenda

Khadija Gbla Cultural Consultancy .kong.92 Jan Fran
Australian College of Applied Professions Women's Agenda Catherine House - Support for Women Experiencing Homelessness Catholic Education South Australia iREACH Rural Health Origin Energy


🎓Mid-year intake is open for our school leadership programs!
Whether you're an aspiring leader seeking to advance or a senior leader seeking a transformative experience, we have a course designed for you. Plus, we offer partial scholarships to help make these programs even more accessible.

Applications are now open for a limited time! Learn more and apply today: https://loom.ly/4fJQI-U

Know someone who works in education? Share this opportunity with them – they'll appreciate it!

ID: A photo in the background of a woman with her arms crossed happily looking at the camera. There is a white box with a testimonial from a program participant it says "I found the peer coaching to be exceptionally rewarding, and the guidance and resources have enabled me to reflect on my practice deeply and practically. It was a great experience and something I would highly recommend to others. Ashlee Head of languages."


That feeling of imposter syndrome is so common when first becoming a leader. Witnessing women discover and embrace their unique leadership journey within our program, shattering doubts and redefining leadership on their own terms, is why we do this.

Speaker, Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, Suzi Finkelstein.


A well-deserved congratulations to Wendy McCarthy AO on her recognition as the winner of the 2024 NSW Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership! Wendy is a influential business leader, advocate, author and founding member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby. We applaud her for breaking barriers, inspiring generations, and leading with exceptional grace and wisdom. Her journey empowers us all.

Wendy will accept her award at our Sydney Symposium on Friday 14th June https://loom.ly/3YktPdQ

ID: A headshot of Wendy McCarthy, who looks at the camera and smiles. Overlaid, a quote reads "There’s something redemptive about belonging to a long line of women who question where they fit and decide to redesign it" - McCarthy


Networking! It can strike fear into the hearts of many. But for leaders, relationships and connections are one of your most valuable assets. Even the simplest chat during lunch can spark new ideas or opportunities.

So, how can you network in an authentic and strategic way? During the Development Session at our upcoming Symposiums you’ll explore this exact topic. Join us to grow as a leader and learn how to build your own personal board of trusted advisors.

Don’t miss out, book your tickets now. www.wla.edu.au/symposium

ID: A red tile. The heading says the Australian Women's leadership Symposium. In the middle is a photo of two women laughing. Underneath it says "Build you personal board: Cultivating strategic relationships. Book tickets."

Photos from Minus18's post 17/05/2024

In recognition of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), we commend Minus18 Foundation for their valuable work. Their 6 actionable tips provide a powerful way to be a more effective ally every day.


Photos from Women & Leadership Australia's post 16/05/2024

Here’s what’s in the budget for women. Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced several measures that would affect women directly, such as their increased spend and commitment to women's safety, women's health, and endometriosis support. Along with some $300 off energy bills for households, and an additional 10% rent assistance for those already on government assistance.

How do you feel about the federal budget?

Photograph credit: Lukas Coch/AAP

5 Steps To Have Difficult Conversations With Literally Anyone At Work 14/05/2024

In a world where remote work is becoming the norm, it's important for employers to equip managers with the necessary skills and tools to lead distributed teams. We want to see that gap closed, and call for more training within workplaces to see them succeed. What has your experience been working with remote teams?


5 Steps To Have Difficult Conversations With Literally Anyone At Work Failing to address workplace issues in the short term can cause them to fester into a toxic culture that can be avoided if difficult conversations are held to begin with.


Last month we asked our community if they experienced ageism or reverse ageism in the workplace. A huge 49% of you said you'd had a lack of career development as a result of ageism. Members of our community weighed in on the discussion, highlighting the challenges they're facing due to ageism.

One community member said, "I'm being told I'm too old (40!!??) For the entry position and too inexperienced for the coordinator spots. I had more luck when I was 18 than I do now. This is disgraceful."

While another highlighted some solutions she'd like to see such as, "two-way mentoring, open discussion around retirement planning, mentoring and coaching for succession".

Many of our community mentioned they experienced all of the above, especially in times of change.

Jane Caro explores this in a blog about ageism in the workplace. Read on: https://loom.ly/UY8r17s

ID: A red and white tile which reads "What ways have you experienced ageism or reverse ageism in the workplace?" The graph below displays the results:
Disparaging remarks about age: 28%
Reduced training opportunities: 7%
Lack of career development: 49%
Isolation from coworkers: 16%"


Thank you to everyone who attended today's Canberra Women's Leadership Symposium. Were you there? What were your favourite moments?

Here are just a few of our highlights:

✨ A Welcome to Country from Aunty Violet Sheridan

✨Elizabeth Lee had us thinking: "When wondering about whether to step into leadership, start with the question, 'Why not?' "

✨ Prof Michelle Ryan's research into the glass cliff and women in leadership roles was eye opening. She told us: "The average women's CEO tenure is 2.5 years, but for men it's 7 years"

✨ We awarded the Australian Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership to Joanne Farrell (ACT state recipient), and acknowledged Sam Mostyn AO as this year's National Winner.

✨Our panel members Rachelle Towart OAM, Dr Shamaruh Mirza, Han Worsley, Eliza Littleton, and Wayne Phillips shared their practical tips for being a better ally. As Han Worsley put it: "An imperfect ally in lots of places is better than a perfect ally in only one place."

✨ Anoushka Gungadin spoke about the importance of self-belief throughout her global career

✨ Mel Jones OAM finished out the day and had this pearl of wisdom for us: "Stop shape shifting into men's spaces."

Thank you to all of our speakers, it was a truly inspiring day.

Thanks to event partners:
Advocacy Partner: Women's Legal Centre ACT
Gold Sponsor: Australian College of Applied Professions
Supporting Partner: ACT Principals' Association
Media Partner: Women's Agenda


Nikki shares her journey and the hidden gems she discovered in our program. Beyond the skills, she gained a network that's been a game-changer for her career growth.
Read her story on our blog https://loom.ly/pBdqvv0


Get targeted development with our popular short courses happening in May & June!

🎯 The Expert Mentor Program supports leaders to maximise their ability to guide and develop others through mentoring
🎯 Leadership Recharge will help you replenish your leadership capacity with new tools and strategies.
🎯 The Vital Leadership Series masterclasses offer targeted development to improve your decision making, better manage stress, protect against burnout and strengthen team culture.

Browse all courses & enrol online


Congratulations to the remarkable Khadija Gbla, the winner of the 2024 SA Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership! Their tireless advocacy and unwavering dedication to campaigning for victims of female ge***al mutilation (FGM) and being an advocate for people with disabilities, shines as a beacon of hope and inspiration. Let's celebrate their well-deserved recognition and the impactful change they continue to spearhead.

Khadija will accept their award at our Adelaide Symposium on Friday 24th May https://loom.ly/10ra1aU

ID: An image of Khadija Gbla dancing in front of the camera. Quote reads "None of us are defined by any singular one thing, it's the sum of who we are and our stories, our strengths, our wins and our losses that make us who we are." Khadija Gbla

Photos from Women & Leadership Australia's post 03/05/2024

While prioritising your wellbeing may not always be top of mind, it is essential for the overall health and happiness of you and your organisation. Learn more about strategies for building your surge capacity here: https://loom.ly/mxEkcew

A red tile with an image of a woman smiling and looking at the camera, while clutching a tablet. Text reads "What is Surge Capacity?"

Tile 2:
A red and white tile which reads, "Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive leadership qualities that leaders draw on in times of crisis, change or trauma to survive – whether figuratively, or literally. As a leader, you activate your surge capacity to protect your organisation in times of crisis or rapid, unpredictable change. While these qualities can be used over a short period of time, they lead to burnout if we operate at that heightened level for too long."

Tile 3:
A red and white tile which reads, "How to support yourself in times of crisis:

1. Go easy on yourself.
2. Acknowledging that things are different.
3. Recognising that you may be experiencing grief-like symptoms.
4. Focussing on maintaining and strengthening important relationships.
5. Finding new activities and hobbies that offer some relaxation and reprieve."
Read more on our blog.


We're proud to be supporting Women's Legal Centre ACT as an Advocacy Partner at our Canberra Symposium this year. We are passionate about helping build this essential service for women in Canberra. We encourage you to learn more about them at www.wlc.org.au

Image repost: Women's Legal Centre ACT


This week, we’ve seen the remarkable impact of Sarah Williams and her team at What Were You Wearing? – Australia, who brought together thousands of people at a series of ‘No More’ rallies calling for an end to violence against women. Sarah’s leadership has been instrumental in keeping the community and government focused on this critical issue, and has demonstrated the power of community leadership.

We stand in solidarity with the women and advocates around Australia and are hopeful that some change will come out of the National Cabinet meeting today.

Image credit - What Were You Wearing? - Australia

ID: A photo of the State Library of Victoria, with hundreds of people gathered in protest. Highlighted is a woman just above the rest of the crowd, holding a sign that says "Enough is Enough".

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Our Story

For over 15 years, Women & Leadership Australia has been developing female leaders and supporting the increased presence of women in business and community leadership roles. Based on a simple truth, that women represent an enormously under-utilised national resource, we believe that supporting a greater percentage of women to step up into leadership positions enables tremendous cultural and economic benefits.

The Women & Leadership Australia initiative comprises a range of professional development programs, advisory services, networking channels, and ongoing research. Since our inaugural forum in 2004, over 50,000 women have participated, making us the largest gender-focused leadership initiative in Australia.

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We're passionate about paving the way for women to step up, build networks, make meaningful connections, and chart their...
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🎉✨ 𝐖𝐞’𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝟐𝟎 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐭𝐲! Since 2004, Women & Leadership Australia has...
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Level 3, 222 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5:30pm
Tuesday 9am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 9am - 5:30pm
Thursday 9am - 5:30pm
Friday 9am - 5:30pm
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