Conway’s leadership enabled great progress on gender

The Coalition of business, non-government, representative and industry associations representing the interests of working women would like to collectively thank and express our deep admiration for Helen Conway, Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), on the announcement of her retirement in March 2015.

Since her appointment in 2011, Helen has lead the WGEA with tremendous effort and tireless leadership the results of which can be seen in the many successful initiatives she has developed including the forthcoming workplace gender data, the most comprehensive set of individual and collective gender reporting into the Australian workplace covering over 11,000 employers and four million employees, to be launched next week.

“Helen Conway has led the WGEA during a period of remarkable progress and positive change for gender equality,” members of the Coalition said.

“She has led with grace, steel and great finesse, as she has coerced, inspired and supported businesses to their best efforts in reporting and performing on gender equity.”

A highly accomplished lawyer who has focused strongly on developing equal opportunities for women, Helen has bridged the traditional gap between business and women excellently in her tenure as Director and her successor will need to continue to drive a closer relationship between these communities.

This role is highly important to develop effective strategies to overcome the persistent gender wage gap in Australia and is directly relevant to Australia achieving the agreements made at the G20 to undertake further efforts to achieve higher female work-force participation.

We call on the Government to ensure the next Director of the WGEA is identified through a public and transparent advertising and selection process that includes a member of the women’s coalition in the process, as was the case with Helen’s selection.

The Coalition looks forward to working closely with the next Executive Director of the WGEA on the critical issue of achieving gender equity in the Australian workplace.

We wish Helen the very best in her retirement and congratulate her on her excellent contribution to advancing the cause of women, and particularly working women, in Australia.

For further information contact Viv Hardy on viv@calliduspr.com or (02) 9283 4113

Issued on behalf of the following members of the Coalition:

  • Australian Local Government Women’s Association
  • Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
  • BPW (Business and Professional Women) Australia
  • Financial Services Institute of Australasia
  • Local Government Managers NSW
  • National Council of Women of Australia
  • National Foundation of Australian Women
  • Women on Boards
  • Women’s Electoral Lobby
  • YWCA Australia

*NFAW MEDIA RELEASE – 17TH OCTOBER 2014