Industry Leaders Commit to STOP Violence Against Women

10 innocent Australian women have died in violent circumstances since 1 January 2019. One woman, dying, every week, at the hands of a current or former partner. It cannot continue.

March 8, 2019 is International Women’s Day. As well as coming together globally to celebrate social, economic, cultural and political achievements, we have a choice as leaders of industry to make IWD 2020 the year that as a nation, our leaders in business and communities, our government, our schools, our police and our justice system come together as one to form ‘Champions Against Violence Towards Women’. Let’s commit IWD to a day that is a catalyst for ACTION through three key initiatives - provision, prevention and prosecution.

1. Use IWD as a catalyst for change.

2. Prevent harm that stems from bias towards women. Use education as a tool to empower women to use their voices and educate men and women about the fundamental rights of human beings to be equal in society.

3. Say yes to calling out persecutors before it’s too late. The clock starts now.

Break the Ceiling Touch the Sky

Simone and I had a wonderful day at this year’s Women in Leadership Summit. Together with over 200 delegates we learned the secrets behind success and leadership for women in the 21st century. If you would like to receive a copy of our insights from any of the topics below, please get in touch at

The Summit opened with a diverse panel of top CEOs sharing their leadership perspective on the disruptive forces shaping the future in Australia. We looked at how technology, artificial intelligence, culture, sustainability, diversity and evolution of management thinking will impact the careers of leaders, especially women in the decade ahead.

Next on the agenda was a masterclass on getting more women leaders to the top. Four international CEOs shared their journeys in ANZ on what policies, best practices and actions are working to get more women into the senior most leadership positions. More importantly, what is not working and what specific strategies we can adapt and reapply in our own businesses and organisations.

As participants we engaged in candid conversations with four inspirational female leaders who shared their journey to leading an organisation, and how they cracked the code on five great challenges they faced as women leaders - work life balance, dealing with sexual harassment, plotting a sustainable career path leveraging the available resources within an organisation, avoiding the ‘parent trap’, and dealing with marriage, maternity and mobility.

What we learned is the impact of our personal brand and how it matters as a senior leaders. Our executive presence and authenticity is crucial for influencing the toughest and more complex scenarios and stakeholders. The key managing via example versus by authority.

We ended the day with an opportunity to contribute as leaders on key topics that matter to participants through the power of speed mentoring.

A wonderful day investing in our personal and professional development away from our devices and connecting with some of Australia’s greatest and most influential business leaders who were generously giving of their time to champion the success and leadership for women.

CDP is delighted to be partnering with The Growth Faculty to bring you a very special dinner evening with Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo's world acclaimed former CEO and current chairman.

Consistently listed in TIME’s “100 Most Influential People”, and Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women, Indra Nooyi is a business powerhouse, globally renowned for leading PepsiCo through a decade of tremendous growth and change.

Praised for prescient and strategic thinking, Indra Nooyi was responsible for growing PepsiCo's revenues from $35 billion to $63.5 billion during her 12 year tenure as CEO.

From The World Economic Forum to The Aspen Institute, Indra Nooyi is one of the most sought-after leadership speakers on the globe. A business powerhouse, globally renowned for leading PepsiCo through a decade of tremendous growth and change.

CDP is delighted to offer a $105 discount for individual tickets or $150 per ticket for a group booking of 10 or more at an exclusive evening with one of the world’s most successful CEO’s live in Melbourne and Sydney, 17th and 18th June 2019 respectively.

“Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.”
— Indra Nooyi

The Power of Mentoring in our Schools

MondoMentor is committed to uncovering the difference between looking extraordinary and being extraordinary in our students because of psychological pressures to ‘be happy’. To harness the power of mentoring in schools to create trusted relationships where students learn that it is ok to show vulnerability in order to build resilience for greater futures.

What if we could transform student school communities, including regional Australia where isolation is a major factor to disengagement and low percentage of students going onto tertiary studies? What if we could create within the schools, vibrant knowledge sharing and mentoring communities? What if schools could harness the wisdom of a trusted community of mentors within the school and through the alumni network of ex-students willing to share their wisdom?

The power of mentoring in schools creates a strong sense of belonging, guidance, understanding and empathy. Access to school mentoring programs develops inclusive school communities by building learning environments outside the classroom.

This week the topic ‘The Power of Mentoring in Schools’ has led me to be interviewed by three radio stations around Australia. The timing follows both Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s government election commitment to invest $88 million to ensure every public high school has one full-time counsellor or psychologist and one student support officer, dedicated to students’ mental health and well-being. They follow recent HealthState NSW findings that over 20% of students aged between 12-17 suffer from psychological distress. The critical age being 16-17.

The factors leading to psychological distress in our students include feelings of unhappiness, sadness, depression, nervousness, stress and/or a feeling of being under pressure. Being reprimanded for bad behaviour is also a major factor.

Valuable mentoring programs in schools is not a new concept. MondoMentor’s extensive research, undertaken within the public and private school sector and industry associations, highlights high touch programs are difficult to sustain, a challenge to scale and provide limited ability to make informed decisions. What’s needed is to be able to capture and analyse data and provide an organisational framework about the performance and benefits of the mentoring programs for the student mentees and the mentors. To then use that data analysis to design suitable programs and outreach activities that meet the specific needs of the students and the broader school community.

MondoMentor uses global technology to power high-touch and online mentoring programs within an exclusive, secure school mentoring platform portal. More than scheduling mentoring sessions, the platform provides an online school portal to share resources, offer special topic round-tables, undertake surveys and much more with API and SSO integration, creating safe, connected communities.

Through personal experience, the mentors create a safe space for the student mentee/s to connect with someone they trust, outside of the classroom. To feel safe to have conversations they may not be able to have with their teachers, friends, peers and family members.

Nominated from within the school community or school alumni, mentors are required to have a clearance to work with children under the age of 18. Whether mentoring one-on-one or one-on-many, at any one time, mentors role model three different mentor roles. The role of a coach, helping to define and develop specific skills to achieve specific goals. The role of a counsellor, available to listen and provide support, uncovering unique differences and personal strengths, celebrating when they achieve their personal best and advising. The role of an advisor to share their wisdom. A mentor is someone who is willing to share what they know with student/s they care about and for the student/s to learn what they need from people they trust.

Corporate Diversity Pathways to Share Insights with Drinks Executives

Corporate Diversity Pathways is preparing to share insights with drinks industry executives on the judging process for the Diverse & Inclusive Workplace category at the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards.

CDP is a management consulting firm with a vision to leverage female talent across the drinks industry, including leadership and board positions. As a Pay Equity official supporter of the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), CDP focusses on helping organisations to achieve diversity of thought leadership to accelerate change through a suite of 10 best practices developed by McKinsey, WGEA and the Business Council Australia.

CDP founder and CEO, Jeromine Alpe, was on the judging panel for the Diverse & Inclusive Workplace category at the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards. Here's what she had to say about the process and outcomes:

What were some of the insights you gained into the drinks industry and its diversity journey from being a judge at the Australian Drinks Awards?

The privilege of being a judge on this year’s first Inclusive & Diverse Workplace Award provided many insights into The Drinks Association member organisations that prioritise diversity and recognise the value of an inclusive workplace for individuals and their company. There were a number of exceptional entries from a cross-section of organisations that are demonstrating excellence in initiatives and strategies facilitating a diverse and inclusive workplace including - but not limited to - people wellbeing initiatives, fair and equitable treatment of employees and corporate values/principles that incorporate cultural change to diversity and inclusion.

The judging panel brought together independent professionals who possess the unique expertise to objectively evaluate all the entries to decide on the organisation that best meets the selection criteria which focused on impact, metrics and outcomes.

What do you see as some of the key areas the drinks industry can focus on to drive its diversity agenda?

The drinks industry wants to better understand and get its workforce and the way it designs work, to consistently represent the communities it serves. It is therefore uniquely positioned to take advantage of diversity of thought leadership in 2019 by raising everyone’s awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Companies with diverse workforces are 1.7 times more innovative, enhancing productivity and peak performance. Companies with gender diverse teams also experience 21% above average profitability which is good for the drinks industry and creates opportunities to grow careers of valued employees for greater futures.

Enhancing capability and effectiveness as leaders, championing change by providing equal opportunity to men, women and LGBTI staff and leveraging talent across the organisation comes from building a strong case for change by understanding why workplace diversity and inclusion matters, role modelling a commitment to diversity by unmasking unconscious bias, identifying current opportunities such as redesigning roles and work to enable flexible work and challenges such as questioning traditional views of merit in recruitment and committing to move from strategy and policy by setting clear diversity aspiration, backed up by accountability and action.

You attended The Drinks Association’s Network breakfast recently – do you have a perspective to share on the drinks industry from your observations that morning?

The network breakfast on October 23 was the first event I have attended since becoming an Associate Member of The Drinks Association this year. For me it was an opportunity to be introduced to The Drinks Association community of member organisations, associate members and suppliers.

My first observations were the diversity of age, gender and culture along with a wonderful energy that comes from connecting in such an iconic venue with new and existing B2B relationships. John McLoughlin from the Advantage Group presented on ‘what kind of business partner do you want to be? With some wonderful insights and strategies on the importance of positioning your organisation so that you have a place in the mind of your customers which is uniquely distinguished from your competitors.

What is your next step with the drinks industry?

As 2018 draws to a close, The Drinks Association CEO Georgia Lennon is taking the opportunity to celebrate the Inclusive & Diverse Workplace Award's first year by inviting Drinks Association member organisations to morning tea on November 29, 2018.

As one of the judges of this year’s Inclusive and Diverse Workplace award, Jeromine will share insights with drinks industry executives on the judging process for the Diverse & Inclusive Workplace category at the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards. With exceptional entries from across drinks industry organisations who demonstrated excellence in initiatives and strategies facilitating a diverse and inclusive workplace, the aim of the morning tea is to engage in conversation for shared learning, providing a balance of education and motivation to inspire ongoing leadership of organisational diversity and inclusion agendas for 2019,

The topics of conversation which will be explored include:

Feedback from the Inclusive & Diverse Workplace Award submissions including:

  • Areas that are top of mind for organisations

  • Shared learnings – moving beyond compliance and leading the way in creating an inclusive and diverse workplace with sustainable and measurable outcomes

  • Guide to a successful 2019 submission

  • The judging processes

  • Lessons from Australian companies leading the way

  • Q&A – challenges and opportunities

Find the original article on the Drinks Guide website here.

Kelly O’Dwyer’s $109 million package supporting women is a much needed start but not nearly enough

Minister for Women Kelly O'Dwyer MP has today released the Women’s Economic Security Statement and the Coalition Government’s plans to spend $109 million over four years to support women’s economic empowerment. In her statement Kelly O'Dwyer MP commits to a shake-up of the paid parental leave scheme, offering families more flexibility, increasing workforce participation, closing the gender pay gap by increasing earning potential and driving economic independence. Extra support of domestic violence, especially those financially dependent on abusive partners will make it easier to leave with early access to superannuation, and an extension of the low interest loan scheme will help women relocate and no longer have to face alleged abusers in court.

The full article by Womens Agenda is below:

With the reinstatement of Time Use Surveys and provisions to support those escaping domestic violence, the Morrison Government outlined a number of measures for women. But much more needs to be done. 

Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer has today released the Women’s Economic Security Statement and the Coalition Government’s plans to spend $109 million over four years to support women’s economic empowerment.

It’s a small pool of money, given the magnitude of the three areas it aims to address: workforce participation, earning potential and economic independence.

But it’s a good start and meets the ‘seperate women’s statement’ initiative promised in the 2019/19 Federal Budget.

Leaving aside some of the small token-like measures, such as scholarships for women in finance and a vague push to promote female entrepreneurs, this statement includes kickstarting some programs that could be greatly beneficial for improving policy-making on women’s economic security areas later on, and offer long-overdue financial security measures for women escaping family violence.

The stronger parts of the statement include the reinstatement of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Time Use Survey, in that it will present essential data on how men and women are spending their time and — hopefully — enable policy makers to better quantify and address the economic value of unpaid labour being contributed. I’ve written previously about why it’s so important that we put a dollar value on such unpaid labour, given the mantra of Marilyn Waring that, “What we don’t count, counts for nothing”.

Other policies regarding women’s economic security will be meaningless if we don’t count the significant amount of unpaid work women are putting into caring and domestic responsibilities. This unpaid work is still the single largest sector of any nation’s economy, but Australia has failed to collect this data for decades, despite other countries including New Zealand, the US, and countries across Europe, Asia and Scandinavia continuing to do so.

Also strong and potentially life-changing for some women are measures to help prohibit the cross-examination of victims of family and domestic violence in “specific and serious circumstances” in court. The statement then outlines funding for family law property mediation and improvements to transparency on superannuation in property settlements, as well as continued support of the no-interest loan scheme through the Good Shepherd microfinance program.

Another aspect being widely promoted today from the Statement includes extending early superannuation access provisions to women who are victims of family and domestic violence, an “important last resort lifeline needed to begin the recovery process in a safe environment”. This measure comes in addition to the Coalition Government continuing to fund “Specialist Domestic Violence Units and health and Justice Partnerships”.


Also significant in today’s Statement are changes to Government-funded Paid Parental Leave (PLP) that will enable more flexibility for parents accessing the scheme, particularly for women running their own businesses. The policy, which would be adopted for babies born or adopted on or after 1 July 2020, will enable families to split their PLP period into blocks of leave, and take up to six weeks between 12 and 24 months (currently it must be taken within the first 12 months).

Still on PLP, current work test rules that say parents cant take more than an eight week break between two working days in ten of the 13 months prior to the birth will be amended to enable a 12 week break.


The Coalition has also provided $8 million in funding (announced last week) to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to update its software and report on a wider number of employers, potentially increasing the percentage of employees covered from the current 40 per cent to 75 per cent.


Meanwhile, some of the smaller measures promised as part of the package include a pilot program called Career Revive to support women returning to work in regional Australia, as well as a ‘Reducing Barriers to Work Forum’ to discuss ways to close the ‘flexibility gap’ between men and women, and address the gender pay gap and identify practical measures to support women in returning to works.

There are also measures to encourage an early interest in STEM for girls, as well as a $3.6 million ‘Future Female Entrepreneurs’ program aimed at engaging 55,000 girls and young women in a digital platform and in-person workshops. There are also scholarships for women in economics and finance funded through the Women’s Leadership and Development Program.


It’s great to see the Minister for Women, who declares herself a feminist, releasing this statement and putting these issues on the table, finally. As she is expected to tell the National Press Club today: “When women do well, their families do well, and our economy and nation prospers.”

However, while spending $109 million over four years can greatly assist in kickstarting initiatives and funding particular programs — including, as mentioned above, the all important time-use survey — it’s a tiny amount given the stated ambitious goals.

The focus on addressing women’s safety is also welcome, but again the money allocated appears limited compared to the size of the problem.

The statement notes that “1.6 million Australian women” are affected by such violence, given 17 per cent of women have experienced violence from a current or former partner since the age of 15. This number is obviously significant. Offering the early release of superannuation is an interesting idea, but must really only be considered a last resort — and one that could be significantly detrimental to a woman’s retirement savings later on. Also, how many women have access to significant amounts of superannuation in the first place?

Meanwhile, measures to offer interest free loans to victims as well as better support in court are also necessary and long overdue. These are economic security measures — that fit with the economic security goals of this statement — but the prevalence of domestic and family violence in Australia simply mean the problem needs more significant funding at the Federal level.

This first statement marks a much-needed and long-awaited start from the Coalition Government. But $109 million over four years to tackle women’s economic security? To address the pay gap, the rising number of women retiring into poverty, to help women return to work and raise female workforce participation, to financially assist women escaping violence, and more? It is, unfortunately, not enough.

Below is a break down of the measures announced in the Women’s Economic Security Package, as provided by the Minister’s office.

Measures to increase women’s workforce participation ($54.8 million over four years):

  • Reinstating the Time Use Survey, a contemporary evidence base to measure women’s economic security

  • Improvements to Workplace Gender Equality Agency systems to enhance Australia’s gender equality data and reduce the cost of reporting for business

  • Establishing the Reducing Barriers to Work Forum

  • Increasing flexibility in the Paid Parental Leave system and extending access through changes to the work test

  • Supporting regional employers through the Career Revive initiative to develop action plans for their business to attract and retain women returning to work after a career break

  • Providing scholarships for women in economics and finance through the Women’s Leadership and Development Program

    Measures to improve women’s earning potential ($18.6 million over four years): 

    An expansion of the Curious Minds program

  • Establishing a Future Female Entrepreneurs program in partnership with the private sector

  • Creating a new grants program, Boosting Female Founders, to ensure women can access the finance they need to achieve their entrepreneurial goals

    Measures to support women’s economic independence ($35.6 million over four years):

  • Providing Specialist Domestic Violence Units and Health Justice Partnerships, including for financial support services

  • Extending early release of superannuation for victims of domestic and family violence

  • Expanding the No Interest Loan Scheme run by Good Shepherd Microfinance to women experiencing family and domestic violence

  • Funding legal assistance to ensure victims of family violence are protected from direct cross- examination by their perpetrators in family law matters

  • Improving the visibility of superannuation assets in family law proceedings

  • Providing family law property mediation

  • Establishing a new Small Claims Property pilots program