Aussie Role Models Stand Up for Gender Diversity in the Workplace

A handful of some of the country’s most loved female role models talked to gender diversity and equality in the workplace at the recent Womenwise event in Sydney.

The annual event was hosted by Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) and played out in front of an audience of more than 450 female FCTG employees, including many from Corporate Traveller.

Now in its third year, the Womenwise events are an important element of the company’s commitment to fostering gender diversity and tackling the issues associated with achieving equality in the workplace.

FCTG’s female-focused conference featured headline grabbing attention speakers including Former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and media personality and outspoken gender quality advocate, Lisa Wilkinson.

Speaking about resilience in leadership, Ms Gillard shared her tips for becoming a great female leader, urging women to have a strong sense of purpose and to nurture your sense of self to succeed.

The former PM said Australia was in the midst of a “deep, profound moment of change” and  events such as the “me too” movement, Hilary Clinton’s presidential candidacy and the inspirational profile of activist Malala Yousafzai are all feeding into this wave of change.

Corporate Traveller General Manager Jess Anscombe said the event was an inspirational reminder of what women can achieve when they truly believe in themselves.

“Corporate Traveller’s Australian management team is made up of a diverse range of team members with over 50% female leaders. Our leadership team has achieved a great deal over the past few years and I am very proud of the contribution the women on this team have made,” Jess said.

“The women who spoke at the Womenwise event have overcome challenges and had to work hard to achieve what they have – imagine how much women can achieve when they are in a consistently supportive environment.

“Women are fundamentally important to future-proofing our company and the growth of our many businesses here at FCTG including Corporate Traveller, which is why I love this event and always support Womenwise initiatives so that we can empower more female leaders.”

Lisa Wilkinson’s keynote address focused on her unconventional career path from the early days in the Dolly office, to her first meeting and job offer from Kerry Packer. Her message was simple; “we are good enough”.

The audience also heard from world champion surfer, Layne Beachley AO, women’s health expert, Dr Ginni Mansberg and financial literacy consultant, Cathryn Gross.

Beachley told the audience to get dissatisfied; using that energy to make the changes you need to succeed, and divulged that using a personal “I am” mantra helped her refocus her mind and get her training back on schedule ahead of her sixth world championship win.

FCTG founder and MD, Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner took to the stage as well, sharing his modern taken on gender equality thanks to the inspirational women in his life such as wife Jude and daughter Jo, both successful business people.

The event wraps up a major year for FCTG with the launch of its paid parental leave policy in July and its brand new Parentwise initiative to support its many working parents.

Jess said Womenwise had been instrumental in creating positive change within the company.

“Through Womenwise we have seen great change already within FCTG - a few key initiatives to be introduced include -:

  • The introduction of paid maternity leave
  • The introduction of Parentwise 
  • 50/50 panel of male and female candidates for all senior leadership positions
  • Flexibility options with the likes of CT Flex
  • Increase in the number of females appointed to senior leadership roles
  • Expansion of Womenwise across the FCTG globally

The event raised $20,000 for charity partner, the McGrath Foundation and official conference sponsor, Qantas, gave away return flights to Hong Kong.