26th Women in Leadership Summit

Find your 'why' & discover practical strategies for career advancement

  • February 17th - 21st, 2020
  • Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay


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- Unlock self-awareness & lead with purpose
- Expand your personal & professional network of like-minded women
- Build the confidence to navigate adversity
- Future-proof your skillset & advance your career


Jessica Rowe AM

Jessica Rowe is an accomplished journalist, television presenter and three-time best selling author. Jessica’s credits include co-hosting Studio 10, Weekend Sunrise and the Today Show. She was also the anchor on network Ten’s First at Five News for 10 years.

A self confessed 'crap housewife', Jess has gathered a strong and loyal following with her #craphousewife movement, uniting and celebrating other mothers who, like Jess, sometimes feel like they are not the perfect mother, wife or cook.

  • Melanie Silva
    Managing Director & Vice President
    Google Australia
  • Mia Barry
    Chief Financial Officer
  • Jason Pellegrino
    Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
  • Esme Borgelt
    Managing Director, ANZ


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Develop your mindset for success
Be bold & brave
Discover your why
Real stories - Insights into imposter syndrome
Energising break
Unwavering leadership in times of crisis
Enhance your communication skills to elevate your professional finesse
Define your vision of success
Strategic networking & connecting for success
Choose a career strategy that works for you
Ignite innovation in your organisation
Energising break
Step in to the C-Suite
No is just the beginning of negotiation
Lessons learned through leading change
Make your value visible
Productivity hacks to own your success
Build a thriving workplace culture
Presentation skills, tools & techniques - The neuroscience perspective
Job sharing - The power of two
Empowering others - Lift as you lead
Empower the future you
Women in Leadership Workshop - Day One
Women in Leadership Workshop - Day Two
Pre-Summit Workshop

17 Feb


If you believe there’s a way to overcome a challenge, your brain will focus on solutions. On the other hand, if you think the problem is unsolvable, you'll find nothing but hurdles and excuses. That's why cultivating a growth mindset is the most powerful thing you can do to achieve success. This interactive workshop will help you discover the tools to develop a growth mindset and propel yourself towards achieving your personal and professional goals.

Neuroplasticity - Tools to develop a growth mindset

- Understand how your mindset influences your actions

- Align your beliefs with your goals

- Ensure that you're equipped to deal with setbacks

Overcome your limiting beliefs

- How to identify ideas holding you back

- Storytelling and the power of reframing

- Recognise the benefits of self-awareness

Practical strategies to build confidence

- Address the root causes of low confidence

- Implement positive self-talk

- Change the habit of wondering what others think

Enhance resilience through stress management

- Effective relaxation breathing techniques

- Neurological responses to stress and how to shortcircuit them

- Strategies to increase your resilience

  • Vanessa Bennett Chief Executive Officer Next Evolution Performance

Summit Day One

18 Feb

Case Study

In this motivational business keynote address by Jessica Rowe AM, she will share lessons learned throughout her career and working life. Jessica has overcome many trials and tribulations, and values the importance of being brave, being bold and taking risks.

  • Jessica Rowe AM

Case Study

What drives you to succeed? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Esme will share how she cultivated self-awareness and teach you how to use your passion to motivate teams toward a unified vision.

- Build self-awareness and find your why

- Lead with passion and authenticity

- Inspire others to join your vision

  • Esme Borgelt Managing Director, ANZ Kellogg's


Ever felt like you're not good enough? That you don't deserve or aren't ready for that promotion? You're not alone. 70% of women and over 50% of men have experienced imposter syndrome, a persistent nagging sense of self-doubt and insecurity. Join our panellists as they share real stories of enduring imposter syndrome and tips for overcoming this feeling.

- Defeat self-doubt

- Learn to see fear as a motivator

- Master positive self-talk to build confidence

  • Jason Pellegrino Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer Domain

  • Frances Martin Vice President Retail, Consumer Sales Optus

  • Samantha Gavel NSW Privacy Commissioner Information and Privacy Commission NSW

  • Janette Richmond Marketplace FC Operations Manager THE ICONIC

  • Rushenka Perera Head of Marketing, ANZ SAP Australia

Break-Out Session

Exercise doesn't have to be a chore. Just two minutes can make a tremendous difference to your mindset, motivation, and any roadblocks holding you back. Lizzie will help you discover the power of integrating little moments of movement into your day.

  • Lizzy Williamson Personal Trainer & Event Energiser Two Minute Moves

Case Study

John became a household name in January 2018 when he suffered multiple stab wounds arresting an alleged child sex offender. John lost his entire blood volume three times – requiring more than 96 bags of blood during surgery. It was a miracle he survived. John will share his miraculous story of how resilience and mindset allowed him to return to health mentally and physically.

- The power of mindset for overcoming adversity

- The link between resilience and leadership

- Turn obstacles into opportunity

  • John Breda Detective Sergeant NSW Police Force


Outstanding leaders can influence stakeholders through structured conversations. As an expert in communications, Arabella will give you the skills to make an impact and communicate with confidence.

- The psychology behind decision-making processes

- Three strategies to improve the quality of your communication

- Empathy-based negotiating and influencing

  • Arabella Macpherson Founder & Communications Coach Resonate Communications

Case Study

We talk a lot about how to reach your potential as a leader, but how does success materialise? What does it mean to you? Alexandra will reflect on her vision of success, how it has developed, and advise on turning your vision into reality.

- Know your vision and values

- The myth of work-life balance

- How to influence a supportive workplace culture

  • Alexandra Sloane Director, Marketing, Australia & New Zealand Facebook

Expert Commentary

For many, networking at business events is a frightening concept. Jen's business coaching presentation will help you overcome reservations of speaking to new people so you can use networking as a useful business skill.

- Build confidence and connections

- Feel the fear and do it anyway

- Learn engaging conversation tips

  • Jen Harwood Motivational Speaker, Author, Business Coach The Jenerator!

Summit Day Two

19 Feb

Case Study

Mia has developed a fantastic career working with a diverse range of organisations, including The Iconic, Coca Cola Amatil, and Trainline.com. She believes the best way to be successful is being faithful to your values and natural leadership style. Join her as she shares how to set goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them.

- How to build your career around your goals

- Define your vision of success

- Hold yourself accountable

  • Mia Barry Chief Financial Officer THE ICONIC

Case Study

As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the rate of change and disruption is accelerating with frequency. At the organisational and individual level, it is essential to be agile and innovative to stay ahead of the curve. As the leader of Salesforce's design-led innovation team, Rowena will share how you can ignite innovation within yourself and your team.

- The business value of design-thinking

- Encourage thinking outside the box

- Develop agility to navigate disruption

  • Rowena Westphalen Vice President, Innovation, APAC Salesforce


  • Lizzy Williamson Personal Trainer & Event Energiser Two Minute Moves


If you're looking to step into the C-Suite, you'll need to develop a specific set of skills. With only a few positions available, you'll have to keep your eye on the prize during your transitional leadership journey. Jason and Melanie will discuss the requisite leadership skills and calls to action to support women in the workforce in 2020. 

- Reflections on stepping into the C-Suite

- Understanding the importance of workplace culture

- Tips for progression and leading through change

  • Melanie Silva Managing Director & Vice President Google Australia

  • Jason Pellegrino Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer Domain

Case Study

Research finds women more likely than their male counterparts to be labelled as bossy or aggressive. However, the ability to recognise and capitalise on negotiation opportunities is a crucial leadership skill. Reflecting on her experience as an expert negotiator in a top tier legal practice, a C-Suite executive, and a non-executive director, Joanne will share practical tips on how you can negotiate difficult situations with confidence.

- Build confidence to resolve disputes and handle difficult conversations

- Manage the tension between empathy and assertiveness

- The trick to negotiating pay raises and promotions

  • Joanne Moss Independent Non-Executive Director & Chair Audit and Risk Committee Ellume


Leaders need to expand their mindset and capabilities to deal with the challenges of senior leadership and engage in strategic decision making. Join our speakers as they each share a short presentation of their different experiences managing, initiating, and leading change.

- Encourage and foster collaborative ways of thinking

- Practical tools for enabling behaviour change

- Strategies to assist in championing new direction

  • Coretta Bessi Chief Procurement Officer Westpac Group

  • Kathleen Mackay Executive Director, Service Delivery Revenue NSW

  • Mike Dudarenok Executive Project Manager/Product Owner Workplace Gender Equality Agency

Case Study

You may be smart, capable, and hard-working, but your actions must be backed up by your attitude to prevent the risk of being overlooked. The right work ethic and attitude are vital for career progression. Andrea will draw on her leadership experience and understanding of how to leverage LinkedIn to help you raise your profile and enhance your influence.

- Navigate unconscious bias and get noticed

- Overcome the authenticity paradox

- Strengthen your credibility as a leader

  • Andrea Rule Head of Enterprise Sales, ANZ LinkedIn

Expert Commentary

Doing more with less is something all aspiring leaders will need to master. In this skills-based session, you'll learn how to apply strategies to boost productivity and deliver surpassing value.

- Explore the neuroscience of attention

- Manage your phone, inbox and social media use

- Strategies to master prioritisation

  • Dr Karen Whittingham Director Impact Psychology Pty Ltd

Case Study

To build a positive workplace culture that empowers your team, you must understand the inextricable link between employee experience and business outcomes. Erin will share her insights on how to build a thriving workplace culture, reflecting on Stryker's achievements as the winner of the Best Workplace in Australia for 2019.

- The ingredients for an outstanding workplace

- How you can contribute to a positive culture in any role

- Build high performing, engaged teams

  • Erin Cramlet Senior Director, Human Resources Stryker

Expert Commentary

Love it or hate it, public speaking is a critical component of strong leadership. Over the past few decades, neuroscience has begun to shed insight into how you can improve your presentation skills and capture the attention of your audience. Join Vanessa as she shares her understanding of how to use the discoveries of neuroscience to your advantage.

- Tips to captivate your audience

- Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm

- Understand how to deliver complex ideas with clarity

  • Vanessa Bennett Chief Executive Officer Next Evolution Performance

Case Study

Job sharing can be a surefire solution for mastering a work-life balance, cultivating a diversity of thought, and multiplying available skills. Catherine and Lucy were the first women to share a CEO role in the Australian financial services industry. They will share their story of how they have made this work for them, their team, and their organisation.

- Three simple steps to starting a job share and making it work

- One plus one equals three - Flex and forge ahead

- Benefits for the customer, team, shareholder, risk, and you

  • Lucy Foster Joint Chief Executive Officer Generation Life Limited

  • Catherine Van der Veen Joint Chief Executive Officer Generation Life Limited

Case Study

Having worked in public policy, the not-for-profit sector, and now as an independent advocate for small business owners, Kate's leadership is focused on driving change and empowering others. Join Kate to learn how you can leverage your influence as a leader to bring up others around you.

- Be a leader people want to follow

- Leverage your influence to drive positive outcomes

- Advocate for women in leadership

  • Kate Carnell Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman


Explore the takeaways from the summit through group discussion to identify opportunities for progression and create an action plan for your future.

- Reflect on the key learnings from the past two days

- Discuss factors influencing your success

- Create an action plan for the future

Post-Summit Workshop

20 Feb - 21 Feb


Develop self-awareness and authenticity

- Values-based leadership - What it means to be an authentic leader

- Identify your strengths and potential de-railers as a leader

- Identify how to utilise your optimal leadership style


High-level communication, influence, and negotiation skills

- Manage emotions for positive and assertive communication

- Develop techniques of persuasion, negotiation, and influencing

- Prepare for and have difficult conversations with confidence


Develop self and others with “reflective leadership”

- Clarify the benefits of reflective practice in leadership

- Develop the skills and capacity for reflective practice

- Reflective practice to influence the quality of the culture through the quality of relationships


Strategic career progression

- Everyday career management practices and creating a personal leadership plan

- Maximise existing relationships and building new networks for professional opportunities

- Skills and approaches to manage your image and visibility

  • Dr Karen Whittingham Director Impact Psychology Pty Ltd


Transformational leadership strategies to accelerate team performance

- Leverage team dynamics to enhance performance

- Challenge, support and empower others

- Manage uncooperative staff members


Drive change and innovation as a female leader

- Recognisie and overcome hurdles to change

- Trust your intuition and step outside your comfort zone

- Embed a positive change culture in an organisation


Remain productive in a crisis

- Build resilience to thrive under pressure

- Support your team and engage others to deliver

- Debrief after crisis - provide and accept feedback


Action planning for leadership

- Develop a personalised approach - Short and long-term

- Understand challenges

- Share approaches to move your career forward

  • Dr Karen Whittingham Director Impact Psychology Pty Ltd


Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay

30 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia

+61 2 9259 7000

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