Our Objectives

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Message from WLIA’s Founding Chair


Carol Schwartz AM
Founding Chair

Twenty years ago I spoke at a conference of 500 or so business leaders and I asked the question out loud; ”Where are the women?” In 2015, 25 years later, I am still asking the same question. Where are the more than 50 per cent of graduates out of law school, medical school, the economics and liberal arts? Why have these high achievers not assumed equality with men in leadership roles in our governments, our corporate boardrooms, universities and other institutions?

WLIA is committed to Australia’s women. We are bold in our desires for women to be better represented in leadership positions and know that Australian women are also bold in their desires to harness their capabilities into these roles. We are dedicated to breaking through the barriers of expectations, unconscious bias and structural issues to ensure equality of opportunity for women into leadership positions.

There are many issues, many preferences, many stakeholders – and all need to be mindfully yet intelligently addressed. Recognising this complexity we know that there is no one person, organisation or perspective that can break through on giving women an opportunity to have a seat at the table: it needs to be a collaborative response. Our conscious efforts need to be applied on many fronts. We therefore may choose to not agree with all nor act as expected, yet we will expect that respect for the principle of equality of opportunity will be revered.

Our Objectives


Catalyse change through innovative initiatives and partnerships that inspire others locally and across the world

Challenge the stereotypes, norms, biases and organisational barriers that prevent women from having equal opportunity to achieve

Advocate for the equal representation of men and women in leadership roles across Australia and the world

Increase the representation of female leaders as sources and experts in the media

Campaign for and achieve the equal recognition of women in the Australian Honours system

Contribute to research on gender diversity where it is most greatly needed

Provide executive educational opportunities to exceptional female leaders

Partner with aligned organisations to achieve the strongest outcomes in targeted, innovative projects