The Women in Leadership event was co-hosted by La Trobe Business School with the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA), and held at La Trobe’s City Campus on 28 April 2015. The event was organised in response to the recent Male Champions of Change initiative launched by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins, to appoint a group of prominent men in leadership positions to advance gender equality in the workplace and focus on increasing the representation of women in leadership roles. The group consisted of a number of high profile male leaders including AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, Former Chief Commissioner of the Victoria Police Ken Lay and Ahmed Fahour, the Managing Director & Group CEO of Australia Post. In joining the “Male Champions of Change” group, the men commit to take up a leading role in readdressing the gender imbalance and sharing their experiences to assist in facilitating change.
With over 50 people attending drawn from a diverse range of organisations, the event entitled ‘The Career Advancement of Women and the Role of Men as Influencers of Change’ was a significant success. Presentations were made by the Secretary for the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Mr Adam Fennessy and Mr Paul O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority. The discussion was chaired by Ms Fiona Reed, Executive Director of Human Resources at La Trobe University. Followed by an active and engaged discussion between the audience and the panel members, the three speakers provided a very informative and thought provoking discussion exploring the various initiatives and actions undertaken within their organisations and the wider community to initiate and promote change for women in the workplace.