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Women World Changers invites you to challenge your thinking, change the game and drive action to advance our economy and make our workplaces flourish.
8:30 - 9:30
Building The Organisation of the Future: Why Diversity is Top Priority for Progressive Leaders
Speaker: Elizabeth Broderick AO, Formerly Australia’s longest-serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner from 2007 to 2015, Special Adviser, Under-Secretary General, UN Women (New York), Principal of Elizabeth Broderick & Co.

In this keynote speech, Elizabeth Broderick AO, formerly Australia’s longest-serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner from 2007 to 2015, will discuss why driving gender diversity should be a critical business issue for all CEO’s and suggest strategies to drive cultural change; including the importance of courageous leadership, engaging of middle management and disrupting the status quo. Drawing on her extensive experience in Australia and in gender equality, diversity and cultural renewal across numerous sectors, Elizabeth shares her insights and observations stepping up beside courageous leaders as they build the talent they need for the future.

Elizabeth is the founder and convenes the globally recognised ‘Male Champions of Change’ and is Special Advisor to the Under-Secretary General of UN Women on Private Sector Engagement (New York), Global Co-Chair of UN Global Compact’s Women’s Empowerment Principles (New York) and a member of the International Services for Human Rights (Geneva).


09:30 - 10:10
The Economic Imperatives for Equity and the Need for Women in the Innovation Process
Speaker: Anita Krohn Traaseth, CEO Innovation Norway

"Women are half the world’s working-age population but generate only 37% of GDP. If women do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer.” McKinsey, 2015

The statistics behind gender parity alone tell us that empowerment of women is an economic no-brainer. The 2015 McKinsey report “the power of parity” quantified it as follows - “if all countries were to match the progress toward gender parity of the best performer in their region, it could produce a boost to annual global GDP of as much as $12 trillion in 2025.”

Europe has some experience with this, with several recent studies indicating that a reduction in the employment gender gap has been an important driver of European economic growth over the past decade, and has the potential to unleash even further growth. The Nordic countries continue to dominate the WEF's Global Gender Gap Report.

Norway, at 3rd, has closed around 84% of its overall gender gap largely due to strong emphasis on an equal society, a cross-sectorial political will and progressive policies to set the connections between working, family, welfare, and gender equality. With a Norwegian economy in transformation and the increase of innovation to develop a more diversified economy, this session looks at the drivers of these changes, the role of women @work in Norway and what challenges remain in Norway’s future.

10:10 - 10:30
Panel Discussion - Leading the Workforce of the Future – Agile, Innovative, Diverse

How do Australian businesses increase relevance in a global economy? Drawing on their varying commercial backgrounds, key Australian leaders discuss how to attract and retain top talent and capitalise on the economic opportunities equality offers to increase competitiveness, and deliver more value to customers, shareholders and employees.

Melbourne Panelists: 

  • Sadhana Smiles, CEO - Harcourts Group Victoria,
  • Hedy Cray, Partner in Charge - Brisbane Workplace Relations  - Clayton Utz
  • Dr. Thomas Hedegaard Rasmussen, General Manager People Analytics, Insights & Experience - NAB


Sydney Panelists: 

  • Juliet Bourke, Human Capital Partner – Deloitte
  • Tanya Hosch, General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy  - AFL
10:30 - 11:00
Morning Tea
11:00 - 11:45
The Loudest Duck: Beyond the Business Case for Diversity
Speaker: Laura Liswood, Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders, Former Managing Director, Global Leadership and Diversity for Goldman Sachs

 "Companies are ultimately looking for increased creativity, better ideas, and multiple perspectives, they will benefit from diversity.” Laura A. Liswood

In this session we look at:

  • The macro and micro economics of a changing and diverse world                                               
  • Knowing the challenges and opportunities for ensuring women's full engagement in the workplace
  • Cultural diversity and its ilk - the shift required to achieve the true value of diversity            
  • Bold actions needed for real change to move beyond 'ticking the box'
11:45 - 12:30
Re-imagining Leadership: Unmaking the myths of our gendered minds
Speaker: Professor Cordelia Fine Academic Psychologist, University of Melbourne Author, Delusions of Gender; Testosterone Rex

"So, what do we want? Do we want a society that genuinely values equal opportunity for development, employment, economic security, safety, and respect, regardless of sex?"  Cordelia Fine

In this session, bestselling author and academic psychologist, Cordelia Fine provides an overview of the similarities and differences between women and men – the view from behavioural science – and the need to go beyond ‘the business case’ in thinking about the value of gender balance in leadership.

  • Making the case for women's leadership
  • The overlooked value of gender diversity
  • Countering the rationalisations of the status quo: evidence and strategies
12:30 - 13:00
New Roles in a New Era: The Men Stepping Up for Change

 “The economic potential available if the global gender gap were to be closed - based on a full-potential scenario in which women play an identical role in labour markets to men’s, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent - could be added to global annual GDP in 2025.”  McKinsey, 2015

We are seeing a subtle but certain shift in domestic and workforce trends – with an increasing number of men stepping up and driving this change in social attitudes to boost real gender parity at work and at home.

As we progress toward chipping away at the barriers of a working system designed to exclude women from the labour world and men from raising children; we need to reimagine our gender roles not only as parents but also in our working system and society. Forward thinking organisations are quick to seize this shift in workforce dynamics as a tool to boost employee engagement, drive work-life balance and promote healthier and better workplaces.

Melbourne Panelists:

  • Graeme Russell, Internationlly renowned researcher and consultant          
  • Chris Kelly, Vice President & General Manager - Infrastructure Solutions Group - Dell EMC

Sydney Panelists:
  • Steven Asnicar, CEO - Diversity Australia
  • Troy Roderick, former head of Diversity and Inclusion – Telstra, Strategic Advisor, Male Champions Of Change
13:00 - 14:00
14:00 - 15:00
The Politics of Equal Representation
Speaker: Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama

“Economic growth doesn't mean anything unless it is inclusive growth." Valerie Jarrett

In the United States, women are graduating from college at higher rates than men, and 40 percent of working mothers are the sole or primary bread winners. However, women still earn 80 cents on the dollar compared to men, while a woman’s contribution to the family income is more important than ever.

In this session, we look at why equal pay, workplace flexibility, paid leave, paid sick days, affordable child care, and a decent minimum wage are not only good for working families, they are imperative for strong businesses, and a healthy economy. 


15:00 - 15:45
Challenging the Status Quo
Speaker: Dr Richard Dennis, Chief Economist The Australia Institute

“Tackling gender inequality isn’t a women’s problem, it’s an Australian opportunity.” Richard Dennis.

Power and elitism are social constructs but for those who are losing out from the changes underway, fear is an understandable response. 

In this session, we unpack the impact of power, race and privilege and its implications on agility, innovation and progress.

  • The rich and the rest: power, politics and social inequality
  • The three big lies holding women back
  • Not so super: the weighty tax of being female
  • Power and elitism: the boys club is not just about the boys
15:45 - 16:15
Afternoon Break
16:15 - 16:45
So, what do millennials really want?
Speaker: Alia Gabres, Creative Producer and Storyteller

“There is a desire for change. There is a millennial generation that doesn't like what they're seeing, but doesn't quite know what the solution is.”  Ken Moelis

Conventional wisdom holds that Millennials are the ‘me’ generation; entitled, easily distracted, looking for purpose instead of getting on with the job. Companies of all kinds are obsessed with understanding them better, not surprising considering this hyper-connected, tech savvy generation will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030. Millennials want change and expect to create a better future leveraging the power of digital technology across corporates, entrepreneurship and activism. Are we truly prepared for the rise of millennials?

16:45 - 17:30
The Future Of Work

The emergence of a skills revolution is a defining challenge of our time and the rapid rate of technological advancements will be felt more acutely by half the workforce. By focusing however on great equalizers such as learnability, agility and adaptability, we can better prepare for the changes ahead.

This session looks at investing in employees’ skills to increase the relevance and resilience of our people and organisations, regardless of gender or social background; and how businesses embracing technology itself is key to ensuring organisation and employee relevance and resilience.

17:30 - 17:45
Event Wrap Up
*Agenda may be subject to change.

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