Women's Agenda Leadership Awards
Our highly anticipated awards program celebrating emerging female leadership is open for nominations. Entry is FREE!
This program has already propelled the careers of dozens of women, and gives our finalists the visibility and acknowledgement they deserve for their incredible work.
Our 2018 finalists will meet an amazing line-up of judges, become part of a lifelong female network, and experience a game-changing two days. All made possible thanks to our partners. This year we have a couple of new awards and we are also inviting employers to enter the Employer Gender Diversity Initiative of the Year award. ENTRIES CLOSE: 6PM on MONDAY the 20 August 2018 (Just extended!).
FINALISTS ANNOUNCED: Monday, 3rd September
FINALIST JUDGING: Thursday, 4th October
AWARDS! Friday, 5th October Finalists MUST be able to attend the judging on the 4th October AND the luncheon on the 5th October. Thanks to Jetstar, we’ll get you there!*
WITH THE HELP OF OUR PARTNERS
Some of our previous winners
For the 6th year, Women’s Agenda is hosting an exclusive luncheon on Friday October 5 to announce the winners of the Leadership Awards and celebrate emerging female talent. This is your opportunity to applaud the winners, hear from a number of inspiring female leaders and network with judges, finalists and the Women’s Agenda community. Enjoy a two-course meal at a stunning location, and celebrate women’s leadership success.
DATE & TIME
Friday 5th October 2018, 12.30pm-3pm
This Years Speakers
Linda Burney MP
Tickets for this event SELL OUT every year. With a huge line-up of inspiring speakers, don’t miss your opportunity to attend the event of the year.
Meet our 2018 Judges
Dr Kirstin Ferguson is an Australian company director and sits on a range of ASX corporate, private and not-for-profit boards, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Kirstin was the creator of the widely acclaimed #CelebratingWomen campaign and is the author of Women Kind with Catherine Fox. Kirstin is a sought-after keynote speaker and MC, received the 2018 QLD Women in Leadership Award and has previously been named one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence.
Neela Janakiramanan is a reconstructive plastic surgeon who spends most of her time playing with power tools to fix hands and wrists, while accidentally teaching, mentoring, writing, and fighting the patriarchy as a regular contributor to Women’s Agenda and other publications. Shecompleted her medical degree at Monash University in 2003, immediately commenced surgical training and was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2014.
Dr Jessa Rogers is a Wiradjuri woman, Fulbright scholar and is currently leading the Indigenous Research and Education Strategy at the University of New England. Dr Rogers sits on the Federal Expert Reference Group on English Language Learning for Indigenous Children [ELLIC], the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council for Women, and the Management Committee of Future Earth Australia, Australian Academy of Sciences, recently completing her 3-year term on the National NAIDOC Committee. Dr Rogers was 2016 ANU Postgraduate Scholar of the Year, QUT Young Alumnus of the Year, and was recognised in the 2016 ACT Young Woman of the Year awards.
Suzy is Twitter Australia’s Managing Director, responsible for leading the strategy, revenue and operations across the organisation. Previously, Suzy ran Twitter Australia’s online sales business for almost three years which experienced strong growth under her leadership. Suzy is passionate about helping Australian businesses and brands integrate new digital technologies, currently focussed on helping them understand the value of Twitter as the best place to see what’s happening in the world.
Shirley is the CEO of the GO Foundation and the Deputy Chair of YMCA NSW.
Shirley began her career with the New York law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and as Regional Counsel for JP Morgan Investment Management. After 8 years in Japan and Asia, she returned to write a biography for a WW2 POW and led a number of community initiatives. Prior to joining GO, Shirley was Counsel for Treasury at Westpac.
Paul Zahra is a board and company advisor, a non-executive director and one of Australia’s most influential diversity advocates. A leading force in the Australian Retail Industry for over 30 years, Paul’s corporate roles have included CEO and Managing Director of David Jones Limited as well as senior leadership roles at Target Australia and Officeworks Superstores.
Paul is the Chair of PwC’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board and is also Chair of The Pinnacle Foundation, a not for profit which assists marginalised LGBT+ youth with scholarships and mentoring.
Kate is the CEO of the Financial Executives Institute, a mentoring and networking organisation for ASX 100 CFOs. She was previously the Editor at CFO Magazine and BRW Magazine. She left Fairfax to set up ProfessionalMums.net, an online community of highly skilled women looking for flexible work opportunities or to return to work. Kate sold this business to a client in 2017.
Her passions are gender diversity and creative thinking and she leads creative thinking initiatives through her website www.thebusinessmills.net and is currently studying for her MA in Creative and Critical Thinking.
Darren is a research scientist and Associate Professor in Medicine at UNSW. He undertook post-doctoral training at the Garvan Institute and University of British Columbia and has held fellowships from the US Dept. of Defense and Cancer Institute NSW. Darren is secretary of Science and Technology Australia and Senior Research Advisor to Elizabeth Broderick and Co. He is a regular commentator on television and radio, resident scientist on ABC TV’s The Drum and his written work covers everything from science, to policy, masculinity and gender equity.
Pip Marlow is Chief Executive Officer Customer Marketplace. She is responsible for driving customer focus into all aspects of Suncorp’s business including strategy, customer care, partnerships and innovative solutions that add value for customers.
Prior to joining Suncorp in 2016, Pip was the Managing Director of Microsoft Australia for six years.
Pip is a non-executive director of the Rugby Australia, sits on the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Board at UTS and is a member of Chief Executive Women, an organisation committed to supporting and growing women in executive positions.
Pip enjoys working in a vibrant, collaborative environment, and is an advocate for flexible and diverse workplaces that empower people through trust and accountability.
Born, raised and educated in Palmerston North, New Zealand, Pip lives in Sydney with her Scottish husband and her two daughters, Sophie and Lucy.
Marina Go is Chair of the Wests Tigers NRL Club, Office Brands and Juggle Street, a non-executive director of Energy Australia, Autosports Group, 7-Eleven, Ovarian Cancer Australia and The Walkley Foundation, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Centre For Media Transition at the University of Technology Sydney, and author of the business book for women, Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders.
Jenny has 22 years’ experience in the higher education sector with her career dedicated to expanding educational opportunities across regional Australia. This dynamic senior leader is passionate about students and ensuring their journey with CSU is insightful, inclusive, inspiring and impactful.
Jenny joined the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Team in November 2017 from CQUniversity Australia in Rockhampton. She brings with her a wealth of senior leadership experience overseeing student support services and governance within a multi-campus regional university.
Nick Steiner leads Egon Zehnder’s Digital and Technology practices in Australia and works with Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies across sectors. He advises the CEOs and boards of disruptors and those being disrupted on appointments including CEO, Board, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Digital and Technology Officers, and general management roles. He also provides leadership development and board advisory services within private equity, media, telecommunications, digital pure-play and technology.
Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Nick was Chief Operating Officer of the Digital Publishing group at Fairfax Media in Sydney.
Conrad Liveris is a corporate adviser on workplaces and risk. His commitment to gender equality spans years and crosses business, politics and community spheres.
Each year he releases “Gender Equality at Work”, a report which provides an overview of gender equality in Australia from education outcomes through to the peak of business.
Sally Loane joined the Financial Services Council as CEO in December 2014.
Before this Sally was a senior executive at Coca-Cola Amatil for nine years. Her first career was in the media, where she spent 25 years as a broadcaster and journalist across radio, television and print. Sally is also a published author.
Sally is a Director of Venues NSW, Destination NSW and the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. She is also Deputy Chair of the Committee for Sydney, Governor of the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation and a member of Chief Executive Women.
Sally was the first female director of Waratahs Rugby, a Director of SCEGGS Darlinghurst and chaired the Salvation Army’s Sydney East Doorknock Appeal from 2008-2011.
Catherine Fox is one of Australia’s leading commentators on women and the workforce. An award-winning journalist, author and presenter, she had a long career at the Financial Review where she wrote the weekly Corporate Woman column, and has published four books, including her latest “Stop Fixing Women” (NewSouth), which was awarded the 2017 Walkley Award for Women’s Leadership in Media. In 2012 Catherine helped establish the annual Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards; and is a member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board.
Nicole has had a varied career in financial and professional services, energy and law that has taken her from Perth to London and Dubai, and now to Sydney, where she works at CommBank. Nicole is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, both within her workplace and in the community, where she is an experienced not-for-profit board director.
Dai lives and breathes diversity and inclusion. Her mission is to help build an inclusive society where mainstreams institutions and organizations genuinely reflect the diverse community we live in.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Dai spent many years in refugee camps in South East Asia before being accepted for resettlement in Australia. Her childhood experiences and growing up with a dual identity – being a Vietnamese in an Australian and western cultural surroundings, helped to shape her perception of life.
Dai speaks, consults, and help organisations understand the economic and social benefits of leveraging diversity and inclusion as part of their business development, market innovation and corporate responsibility. She founded DAWN, a platform that gives voice to diverse and inclusive talent who are shaping today’s society.
Dai currently serves as an Advisory Board Member to Multicultural NSW, a Government statutory body; she’s an Ambassador for Fairfield Relay for Life, and NSW Cancer Council Greater Western Sydney.
Dai is also a breast cancer survivor.
Emerging Female Entrepreneur of the Year
Emerging Female Leader in the Private Sector
Emerging Female Leader in the Government / Public Sector
Emerging Female Leader in the NFP Sector
Emerging Female Leader in the Technology Sector
Emerging Female Leader in the Legal Sector
Agenda Setter of the Year
Hall of Fame Entrant
Hall Of Fame
We have so far inducted five women into our Hall Of Fame. All of these women have contributed significantly as leaders in business and the community, and have helped create more diverse and inclusive workplace cultures.
Elizabeth Broderick is an absolute inspiration. Her work has touched and changed the lives of women across the world, and has significantly raised the benchmark for gender diversity across Australian workplaces. When she officially stepped down as Sex Discrimination Commission in 2015, we knew she absolutely had to be the next woman inducted into our Women’s Agenda Hall of Fame. Broderick’s work supporting women hasn’t stopped. She’s still speaking all over the world, still convening the Male Champions of Change group that she founded, and still offering advice and knowledge to those who’re willing and determined to commit to making change within their own communities and workplaces.
Following a long and successful legal, business and public sector career, Helen Conway joined the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency where she pioneered a number of programs in improving diversity outcomes across Australian workplaces.
All of these women have contributed significantly as leaders in business and the community, and have helped create more diverse and inclusive workplace cultures.
Ann Sherry has cracked numerous glass ceilings, played an instrumental role in developing paid maternity leave in corporate Australia and fought for gender equality all through her career. We’ve all benefitted from her decades of work.
Wendy McCarthy’s had a groundbreaking career in business and community leadership, and has for decades committed to helping women achieve. She’s pioneered on a number of firsts, including as founder of the Sydney Women’s Electoral Lobby, and been a passionate advocate for education and empowering and mentoring women to achieve career success.
All of these women have contributed significantly as leaders in business and the community, and have helped create more diverse and inclusive workplace cultures.
Our awards celebrate leadership provided over the 2017/18 Financial Year, from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 (Extended to two years for Entrepreneurs). Please ensure your application is specific to this time period and offers clear and specific examples of what your leadership has achieved.
Emerging leaders are rethinking existing paradigms regarding how we live and work. They’re determined to reshape their industry and create a smarter and more inclusive future. Their leadership is disruptive, inclusive and inspires growth.
Please note, nominations for the ‘Agenda Setter’ award do not need to meet our ‘Emerging’ criteria. This award is open to emerging and established female leaders.
All individual award nominees must:
- Meet the set industry requirements of the specific award entered
- Be able to demonstrate significant change and growth over the 2017/18 Financial Year
- Meet the definition of ‘Emerging’ (aside from those nominating for the Agenda Setter of the Year Award, or the Employer Award) See definition above.
- Be able to attend the judging session on the 4th of October as well as the awards ceremony on the 5th October. Our partners will help get you there
- Be an Australian resident
- Not be employed by Women’s Agenda
Employers nominating for the ‘Initiative’ Award
- Must be able to demonstrate an initiative implemented in the two years until 30 June 2018, that has made a significant difference to promoting gender equality within the business, and consequently the careers and lives of employees
- Must employ more than 15 staff in Australia
- Must be able to send at least one representative to the Awards luncheon on the 5th October, at own expense, if named a finalist.
- The judging in this category will be done by three of our independent judges according to the application submitted, parts of which may be published on Women’s Agenda.
We look for emerging leadership that’s disruptive, aids growth and is inclusive.
Offer clear and specific examples relevant to the designated awards assessment time period – the 2017/18 Financial Year
- Get to the point quickly: Your story is important, but it’s the results you can demonstrate that will ultimately see your application shine
- Demonstrate what you have disrupted, how your leadership is facilitating change
- Demonstrate the growth your leadership has created
- Indicate how you’re advocating for a more inclusive culture
- Proven revenue and growth figures will aid your application – please note, these may be checked and clarified by our judging team
- We’re not looking for great writing in these applications, but rather clear examples of what you have done.
Answers to the most commonly asked questions about the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards are below. Please contact us if you still have any questions here.
Aside from national recognition, our finalists in the individual categories also receive:
* One ticket to attend the Awards luncheon ceremony on the 5th October
* The opportunity to become part of our awards alumni
* A life-changing 24 hours spent with a great lineup of judges and your fellow finalists
* Invitation to participate in a short much talked-about media workshop prior to the event, with Outspoken Women.
* Your story featured on Women’s Agenda, plus plenty of additional media opportunities
* The support on confidence to further your leadership career
In the Agenda Setter category, yes. While it’s not a numbers game, multiple quality nominations will give the judges more material to work with when determining the list of finalists and later the winners. However, you do not need to enter yourself more than once.
The Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards are run by the team at Women’s Agenda, a daily news publication for career-minded women published by Agenda Media Pty Ltd.
Agenda Media is a private Australian company.
It’s free! Yes, really. Thanks to the support of our incredible partners.
Yes. Each award is judged independently. However, we do encourage you to consider which category best represents your work.
Once you have the information you require on hand we recommend you spend at least one hour preparing your entry.
Yes. Previous award winners and finalists will not be treated differently during the 2018 judging process and we encourage all nominees to enter again. However, we remind all nominees that judges will be considering information provided that’s relevant to their work in 2018.
Changing jobs does not make your award invalid as we ask you to address your work over the previous 12 months and we judge finalists and winners based on this period. However, should you have a change of organisation, job, position or contact details we ask you to get in contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update our records.
There is a two-tiered approach to judging these Awards – firstly involving a Women’s Agenda working panel and then our list of external judges – and a number of steps we undertake before determining our overall winners.
- As we receive hundreds of nominations, a Women’s Agenda working group will determine our short-list of finalists according to the criteria provided for each award.
- All finalists are then contacted by Women’s Agenda to let them know they’ve been shortlisted for the Awards, and to verify details provided in their nomination forms. This may involve a short (10 to 15 minute) telephone interview and reference checks.
- Each award is assigned a panel of external judges. Each of our judges are asked to assess between one and three Awards.
- The list of finalists is then sent to our external judges for assessment. We ask our judges to inform us of any potential conflicts of interest in the list of finalists they’re provided. Should there be a conflict, the judge will be removed from that award category.
- Our judges run an in-person panel interview with finalists on the afternoon prior to the awards luncheon. These occur in Sydney, and must be attended.
- Our external judges are asked to independently assess each award according to the set criteria we ask nominees to address.
- Winners are NOT informed they have won prior to the Awards luncheon. All finalists are invited to prepare a short speech should they be the overall winner on the day.
The Employer Award will be judged by a panel of independent judges, based on the entry submitting. However, we may be in contact to clarify details and get further information.
We want as many finalists there on the day as possible. Women’s Agenda will provide flights for interstate finalists to attend the luncheon in Sydney on the 5th October. Individual finalists are also provided with one free ticket to attend the luncheon. We have a limited number of accommodation options available and will do our best to support you.
In the Employer category, we ask employers to cover the cost of at least one representative to attend the Awards on the 5th October, if named a finalist.
A Women’s Agenda representative will be in contact to let you know if you’re a finalist and to schedule a phone interview.
Unfortunately as we expect to receive hundreds of nominations, it will not be possible to obtain feedback after the judging process has been completed.
Tickets for the Awards luncheon will go on sale on July 23!
We offer special rates and benefits for corporate tables. The Awards luncheon is a great event to attend if you’re looking for something interesting to do with your team of clients. You don’t need to personally know the finalists to get involved. It’s an inspiring, fun and uplifting event.
Absolutely not! The Awards luncheon is a great event to attend if you’re looking for something interesting and/or inspiring to do with a team – or if you’re simply looking for an excellent networking opportunity.
Below are the Terms & Conditions for entering the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards:
- Entries for the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards open 23rdJuly and close at 6pm on the 16th August. Women’s Agenda may extend this deadline by up to three days, however Women’s Agenda DOES NOT guarantee a deadline extension will be announced.
- Nomination forms must be accurate and true. Women’s Agenda reserves the right to check information provided.
- Nominations must address achievement in the 2017/18 Financial Year – other than in the ‘Entrepreneur’ category, which should refer to a business that has been acquired or started in the 24 months until June 30 2018.
- Finalists in the individual categories must be able to attend the in-person judging session on the 4thOctober in Sydney, as well as the awards luncheon on the 5thOctober in Sydney.
- Where possible, Women’s Agenda will provide flights for interstate finalists to attend the judging session and awards luncheon. However access to such expenses are limited, and may not be able to accommodate everyone.
- Joint entries will not be accepted, unless those applying can clearly demonstrate they are sharing the one role. Women’s Agenda can not cover expenses for two people to attend in this case.
- Employers that are named finalists in the ‘Gender Diversity Initiative of the Year’ category must send a representative to attend the awards luncheon on the 5thOctober in Sydney, at employer’s expense.
- The ‘Gender Diversity Initiative of the Year’ will be judged according to the entries provided by three independent judges. These finalists will not need to attend the in-person judging session.
- All decisions on finalists and winners are FINAL and neither our judges nor Women’s Agenda will respond to or enter into correspondence regarding these decisions.
- Those on the 2018 Judging Panel may not enter the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards
- All judges will be asked to identify any potential conflicts of interest in the group of finalists named in the categories they are judging. Where conflicts are identified, judges will be removed from that category.
- No employee of Women’s Agenda may enter these awards
- Women’s Agenda is not responsible for any loss of entry forms.
- All entry forms will be destroyed on the 31stOctober 2018.
- Women’s Agenda has the right to disqualify any entrant who does not adhere to these terms.