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CEDA Women in Leadership series 2020: Women in leadership – the ‘isms’ of diversity

Wednesday, 11 November 2020


The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has successfully held Women in Leadership events since 2010. Over the last eight years, CEDA has held more than 100 events across Australia seeking to stimulate discussion about women in leadership. Over 250 presentations have been delivered at these events where over 20,000 people attended. ECU has been a co-sponsor for the Women in Leadership series for four consecutive years.

On 27 October 2020, the most recent event in the series was entitled: Women in Leadership: ‘the ‘isms’ of diversity’. This session saw leaders from across industries and sectors discuss their views on valuing and respecting the diversity of people (ages, cultural, gender and ability) creating an inclusive workplace which in return maximises and strengthens organisations.

One of the distinguished leaders invited to present at this event was Sharyn O'Neill, Commissioner, WA Public Sector Commission, whose presentation featured the many ‘isms’ she identified, such as sexism, elitism and tokenism, and how they related to women in the workplace and/or women in leadership roles. The event also included a presentation from Prue Hawkins, Director, Empire Barristers & Solicitors who delivered her personal journey from her lived experience with osteogenesis imperfecta - also known as brittle bone disease, and the challenges she has faced along her journey to studying law and create her own law firm. Additionally, Robyn Smith-Walley, Co-Chairperson, Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute (WAALI), spoke of everyone sharing their stories of how we are working through different diversity issues. WAALI is an independent, not-for-profit organisation based in Perth, with a vision of inspiring and supporting Aboriginal people to take up leadership opportunities to strengthen their families and communities.

ECU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Partnerships), Professor Cobie Rudd, was the Master of Ceremonies for the event which also featured a panel with the three speakers, moderated by Jessica Farrell, General Manager, Integrated Planning and Remote Operations, BHP.

For more information or to review presentations from this event, please visit CEDA Women in Leadership series webpage.


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