International Women’s Day Summit 2023
Tuesday, 7 March 2023
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Panorama Room, Southgate Melbourne
Uncover how employers can play an integral role in influencing societal attitudes and behaviours that support actions leading to greater equality.
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Panorama Room, Melbourne
General Admission – $250 ex GST
Tired of attending IWD events with the feeling of anticipation for the “valuable takeaway” but end up walking away with vague advice, sweeping generalisations or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) trends, and with little insight or actionable tips that you can use to improve your approach?
With a day of thought-provoking discussion and open conversations, a panel of leaders, changemakers, and advocates will reveal their capabilities and tried and tested strategies, leaving you at least one actionable tip to implement and catalyse change toward a more gender-equal future.
Our guest speakers represent a few of our Endorsed Employers who have made exceptional strides in supporting and elevating women and will share their insights and experiences on:
- How workplaces are stepping up to create better workplaces for women
- How employers are working towards reducing the ‘maternity tax’ to help cultivate [a] more equitable work[place]
- Where employers are in their journey and how their DEI approach continues to evolve
- Creating transparency and embedding accountability – from ideas through to action
- The critical role we all play – from Leaders and Allies to Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Join us for a two-course lunch and drinks at Panorama Room in Southbank, Melbourne as we officially launch our flagship annual International Women’s Day Summit, and acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of employers raising the bar for women in their workplace and continuing to cultivate diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces.
This event is a unique opportunity to learn from, network, and connect with leading employers committed to supporting women’s careers and driving equity in the workplace.
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Meet the keynote
Change Agent, Motivational Speaker, Transition and Performance Coach
Joanna Ferrari (or JJ Ferrari as she prefers to be known) was 53 with a successful career in business when she transitioned her gender from male to female. It was the biggest challenge she had set for herself, yet there were many more to overcome.
JJ tells her story to audiences around the country. In the process, she teaches people to harness the power of transitions and rethink life’s rules in both their personal and professional spheres.
With passion and conviction, JJ provides strategies, models and formulas drawn from her 30 plus years as a successful business leader, combined with her incredible life experiences.
JJ has achieved degrees in biology, nutrition and nursing. She grew an Australian telecom business from $10 million to $80 million in under three years and is a former CEO for Anthony Robbins, and three other companies. She has trained, coached and consulted to over 1,800 businesses with her Business Prosperity course.
She wrote and taught High-Speed Selling in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia. She created The Selling You book and course for the State of Illinois and, over a period of 4.5 years, successfully had 4000 people placed in new jobs in less than 12 weeks.
It was during her major transition from male to female that JJ learnt to draw on all her internal resources as she figured out how to navigate this new uncharted wilderness. She lived with uncertainty for over three years. She couldn’t get work, she lived on borrowed money and time. It seemed that she and the world had all but forgotten the successful person she once was. She finally fell into a depression and her transition almost became fatal.
The final blow was dealt to her when she got to a staggering 79 cents in the bank. She realised she was about to become homeless and her son, who was her only support, would have to go to the streets with her.
JJ found her breaking point and her moment of courage in a single instance. From that day she turned the challenges that almost took her life, into a powerful comeback story.
Today JJ is happy in life and has again become a well-respected business coach, transition/performance consultant, requested keynote speaker and author. JJ has coached and presented for major corporations such as PwC, Medibank, BT Financial, Westpac, St George Bank, CBA, AFP, TEDx, LinkedIn, Google, Europcar, Big Brother-Big Sister, Lend Lease, Optus, American Express, Telstra and Salesforce.
Meet the panel
CEO and Co-founder at WORK180
After spending the first decade of her tech career dealing with everyday sexism and discrimination, Gemma co-founded WORK180 in 2015 to create an equal working world for women. WORK180’s mission is to raise organizational standards so that all women can choose workplaces where they can thrive. Today, WORK180 is trusted by millions of women across the United States, United Kingdom and Australia and its endorsement is synonymous with employers committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and they keep them all accountable.
Gemma regularly contributes to media publications and events on topics such as diversity, equity and inclusion and women’s entrepreneurship. She has been featured on Channel 7, Sky News, ABC Radio, ABC’s The Drum, AFR and has been a speaker at SXSW, AIM’s International Women’s Day Great Debate and IDG’s Tech EDGE conference.
In 2022, Gemma was a finalist in the Women’s Weekly Woman of the Future Awards and has previously won the Women in Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and the Victorian Minister of Innovations TechDiversity Award.
HR Director, Organizational Capability at Thales
Abby loves to understand what makes people tick and how this can lead to greater business performance. An organisational psychologist, a mum of two and a terrible cook, Abby has spent the last ten plus years helping organisations perform better by leveraging their greatest asset – their people. After ten years in Professional Services, the Banking and Insurance industry and two maternity periods, Abby decided she needed a change in pace and landed in the defence industry working for Thales Group. Her role as HR Director, Organisational Capability provides full scope of the Leadership, Learning, Capability, Talent, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Engagement portfolios..
Head of Innovation at Ericsson Australia and New Zealand
Sarah is a member of Ericsson’s local executive team, responsible for company-wide strategy execution and innovation. Prior to her current role, she led Ericsson’s government and enterprise practice for Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, working in the digital transformation space in industries such as utilities, transport and public safety. Sarah is Chair of Ericsson’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, and host of Ericsson’s award-winning podcast, Tech Cetera, where she sits down with expert voices from across the region to discuss the impact of technology and connectivity on the way we live, collaborate and innovate.
Outside of her work at Ericsson, Sarah was a founding director of HealthTech startup, Umps, where she remains a shareholder, and she serves as Advisory Board member for In2Science, which provides STEM peer mentoring in low socio-economic schools.
Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn
General Manager at Exa Product Development
Through her decade-long career as a Sales Manager in SaaS and IoT environments, Sarah brings a unique perspective to Exa Product Development’s recruitment, professional development, and retention programs.
Believing that a culture of transparency and team member empowerment is key to building high-performing teams, Sarah is an advocate for organisational wholeness and self-management.
Sarah is especially passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and the positive impact that diversity of thought has on the people who work with, and within the Exa organisation.
Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn
Schedule and agenda
11.00 am - 11.30 am
Event check in, welcome drinks and pre-event networking
11.30 am - 11.40 am
Opening and Acknowledgement of Country
11.40 am - 12.00 pm
12.00 pm - 1.00 pm
1.00 pm - 1.30 pm
Panel discussion Q&A
1.30 pm - 1.50 pm
WORK80 Equitable Workplace Awards
1.50 pm - 2.35 pm
Prize & gift giveaways and mid-event networking
2.35 pm - 2.40 pm
Final words and closing
2.40 pm - 3.00 pm
End of event networking
Here’s what you can expect
Hear from notable leaders, changemakers, and advocates share their insights, stories, and experiences with you.
Open Discussion & Learning
Walk away with actionable tips, ideas and inspiration that will be vital in cultivating a more gender-equal workplace.
Built-in opportunities for you to connect with other HR/TA/DEI leaders and professionals to expand your network.