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Elena Lennox

Founder and CEO


CEOs for Gender Equity are making great strides in the world of gender balance and equity and inclusion: encouraging, monitoring and expanding organisations’ understanding of the positive impact of focusing on gender equity. I’ve watched their progress with great interest and feel that by joining, I’ll be able to learn and contribute to a ‘cause’ that I’m so very passionate about at DevelopMental Safety and Wellbeing.

Our patriarchal heritage means that societal barriers are still very present in the world of work, contributing to unconscious bias towards women and minority groups. It’s imperative for CEOs at this juncture to truly understand the nuances of our biases and work towards a more equitable future.

Today’s leaders, work to shift the old biases, myself included, to create a workplace where people feel safe to be innovative and their work is judged on merit, not on their social standing, their gender or their race. They understand emotional intelligence and seek to be inclusive. That’s why I find it very exciting to be a part of this movement where leaders are looking for solutions to overcome societal barriers with a ‘Can Do’ mindset.

Working with progressive leaders, learning what’s already working for them, means that DevelopMental can tap into the expertise and knowledge that will help us to make a difference so that we can in turn support others.

Post Covid, CEOs and managers seek to understand and support employees when they encounter mental health challenges and work to combat the stigma of mental ill health. The research undertaken by DevelopMental Safety & Wellbeing at Work, with our Pilot Study into creating a safe workplace, provides evidence to show that feeling safe is the primary building block of a harmonious workplace. Utilising the international standard ISO4503 meant that the study could be verified and measured in line with our new WHS Law for Psychosocial Safety.

Our organisation is very solutions and outcomes focused which is a key tenet of CGE. To that end, we believe in the developmental model found in the ‘Working with Resilience’ programme. We believe that it is possible to grow resilience for leaders and teams based on an equitable programme for men and women which allows choices that empowers everyone using modern software to track the changes that the team wants to see.

This software ties into our desire to promote the ‘metrics’. The old adage, ‘You need to measure to manage,’ has never been more true as we all embark on changes that can be seen as an attempt merely to improve the corporate image. True change, has to be sustainable, holistic and measurable.

Identifying restrictive practices like lack of flexible working and short term L & D goals takes the topic of gender equity into the realm of strategy. We like to call that ‘strategic resilience’. Without that strategic overview and long term road map, guided by the CEO and top management, initiatives will be much less effective. Employees become disillusioned and trust is lost when yet again, there is a new shiny thing that will change the world of work that fails to have a strategic platform.

To further address the personal barriers which women encounter, two years ago saw the inception of a new group called ‘Courageous Women, Global Community.’ After listening to stories about bullying and gendered violence, memories of past harm, came to mind and I felt driven to create a group that could support professional women. Our objective was to champion success, address challenges, break down barriers and drive change. Over 300 women are now in the group and several experts have joined the ranks to provide professional support to our members.

True gender equity can only happen when women feel confident about their own worth and know that they have the skill set and the situational advantages that will allow them to take on that top job and still have time for a family. The same can be said for men who feel disempowered by the patriarchal model of male success.

Speaking up for gender equity is something that I really enjoy so I was excited earlier this year to present a keynote for the CPA on International Womens’ Day and coming up, I will be speaking to the Discover Leaders group on the topic of ‘How to Lead with Resilience.’

I’m really looking forward to sharing this exciting journey and love the idea of ‘Getting real and raw’ to open up those courageous conversations with diverse leaders.


CEO Conversation.


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