Thanks for the masterclass 2020

Kaya! Thanks to the masterclass in workplace flexibility, C-19 has driven the largest scale shift to working from home ... women have been saying it for years, they're just as productive at home, if not more than in the office. Men have also learnt that working from home hasn't caused the sky to fall in. We've learnt productivity hasn't dropped, we've learnt to show more care and empathy and we've learnt to collaborate in new ways.

Less than two weeks to Christmas, thank heavens for the lessons in 2020 which is nearly over.  Being a huge optimist, things can only get better in 2021, right? I am excited about the new opportunities that the new year will bring for women, work, and more so, for the workplaces that decide to embrace the world's biggest business case for workplace flexibility and what that means for gender balance.

Huge thanks to our CEOs who continue to lead and roll up their sleeves for gender balance within their businesses in spite of all of the

lessons and the learnings that 2020 kindly gave us!

2020: Thanks for the

lessons & learnings 

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What a year . . . 

Thanks to the pandemic, CEOs for Gender Equity took a step back and looked at the broader picture of our Western Australian workforce. In acknowledging the dearth of women at the top, we also learnt that the backlash and the saturation of 'gender' in the media often criticized for being PC or virtue signaling is all real.


We have learnt to deal with these drivers head on and have made a concerted effort to:

-reframe for many that gender equity is a talent and business opportunity

-expand our work with the majority (more men)

-treat gender balance as a business critical issue.

In response we expanded our offerings and dived deeper into workplaces. We are learning that unconscious bias has became more of an 'excuse' for not achieving gender balance within workplaces balanced by an increased appetite from progressive leaders who want to increase their awareness and understanding of the systemic biases that exist within their workplaces so they can take action

We also learnt how flexible workplaces can lead to better engagement, productivity and collaboration as we were forced to work from home. We also learnt that the 'care economy' was vital to sustaining the economic sector where nurses, carers, teachers and police were at the front-line of the pandemic as essential services.


BHP's training facilities in Welshpool taught us that women are interested in traditionally male-dominated training and jobs in the 'right' environment. This reminded us that the issues we are dealing with are workforce issues ... that once addressed create societal impact. We learnt that BHP has successfully reinvented their female attraction strategy, that includes a training investment up-front. Their model disrupts the traditional recruitment strategy and pushes back on the "there's no women out there" as a form of resistance to taking action.


Our newly launched The Workplace Through a Gender Lens  taught us what our CEOs believed were the biggest barriers to gender equity in WA. At the same time we asked our leaders to shift their focus from intervention to prevention creating a culture that is inclusive of women. We continued to to shift the conversation from fixing women to fixing workplaces.

Through the year, we worked closely with Clough and WesTrac who taught us that our approach to achieving gender balance within their workplaces makes an impact on individual participants and we cannot do it without the leadership and support from the top. A huge thank you to the leaders and the participants who shared candidly and generously about their experiences in the workplace that led to some very challenging discussions on very difficult and awkward topics that helped to create awareness, understanding and action.


We would also like to thank all our members for their ongoing support and commitment to CEOs for Gender Equity throughout 2020.

This year the BCEC released its report “Gender Equity Insights 2020: Delivering the Business Outcomes”. Thanks to our CEOs who already knew that profitability, performance and productivity increases with more women in the C-suite just by looking at their own balance sheets.


Regardless of how compelling, rational and convincing the data is, 2020 has gifted us the opportunity to re-imagine the workplace and leadership. There is no better time than 2021 to focus on gender balance and re-design our workplaces, re-write our leadership criteria and replace the benchmark for leadership with a contemporary and progressive model that is inclusive of women.

Overall, WA has performed well relative to the rest of the nation and the world.


In 2021, let's continue to lead the way in WA.

WesTrac Building Leadership Capability for Gender Equity 


This month, Tania facilitated a workshop with the frontline at WesTrac. The workshop was a candid and confidential conversation about what was working and what was not working regarding their commitment to gender equity. There was a desire to learn more about it, its relevance and importance to business and how it can be achieved by working with leaders. One participant commented that the "discussion could have lasted the entire day".

Curious about our workshops? Click here to learn more. 

Clough Building Better Business

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This year we worked closely with Clough in helping them achieve gender balance within their workplace. Kicking off with the executive team we exploring their why as a compelling reason to bring their teams and others on the journey. 

"Thank you for your time yesterday, very beneficial, stirred up a couple thoughts and internal struggles of my role in the achievement of gender equity". 

A huge thank you to Peter Bennett and his team for their ongoing support and commitment to gender equity leading the way in construction. 

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BHP FutureFit Academy

This month, we were lucky enough to visit the new BHP FutureFit Academy. It was amazing to witness the new advanced technology they use to train their future employees and to see such a balance of both male and female apprentices at the academy. Thank you BHP for having us, we learnt a lot. 

Click here to read more on the BHP training facilities that helps create a more inclusive and diverse workforce. 

2020 gender pay gap report

The National Salary Survey for 2020 found that despite gender pay inequality continuing to exist in Australian organisations, it is continually decreasing.

In a feature article, Tania quotes,

"when gender equity is on the agenda of the CEO, it sends out all the right signals that trigger solutions".


A huge thank you to the Institute of Managers and Leaders, who conducted this research, and to our members for their commitment to achieving gender balance within their organisations which directly impacts the gender pay gap. 


2021 Line Up


Christina Matthews

member elected committee member, WACA

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Nic Fairbank

member elected committee member,

Programmed Skilled

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Graham Kerr

member elected committee member, South32


Tania Cecconi

executive officer,

CEOs for Gender Equity

CEOs for Gender Equity held its first AGM since incorporating late 2018. Huge thanks to outgoing committee members Guy Chalkley, previous CEO Western Power and Alan Duncan, BCEC Executive Director for joining us in 2018. Thank you to former committee members for their support Chris Sutherland, previous CEO Programmed and Shari Cosgriff, previous COO Bankwest.


Congratulations to our newly appointed committee members; Graham Kerr, CEO  South32, Christina Matthews, CEO WACA, and Nic Fairbank, CEO Programmed Skilled.  Nominations for a casual vacancy and committee appointed members include Peter Bradford, CEO IGO, Jenness Gardner, CEO ERA, and Peter Bennett, CEO Clough


Give a gift with meaning this Christmas

Mettle, based in Perth, is a national gift delivery service employing women who are experiencing homelessness due to domestic and family violence. The organisation equips survivors of domestic and family violence with the skills, confidence, and financial security required to secure and maintain employment and in turn, safe and stable housing.

This is an amazing organisation that everyone can support by purchasing a range of their gift boxes for your loved ones this Christmas. 

Click here to order your Mettle gifts online. 

Merry Christmas from the

 CEOs for Gender Equity team

Thanks to the CEOs, their support teams, our partners, advisers and our interns who ensure we stay focused on action, impact and results.

Special thanks to the advocates within WA who are working tirelessly to collectively advance gender equity within WA - we cannot do this on our own.

We look forward to your continued support and 'turning the dial' in WA.

Merry Christmas and wishing all a safe and happy 2021.


Upcoming Events

CEO Roundtable
CEO Roundtable

Date: Wednesday 17 February 2021 Time: 0730 - 0900 AWST Venue: Clough

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Action Group Deep Dive
Action Group Deep Dive

Date: Wednesday 3 March 2021 Time: 0930 - 1100 AWST Venue: TBC

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CEO Summit
CEO Summit

Date: Wednesday 17 March 2021 Time: 0930 - 1100 AWST Venue: TBC

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