If you’re struggling to find women, you aren’t looking hard enough. Trust us.

If you’re struggling to find women, you aren’t looking hard enough. Trust us.

Our 2019 Leadership Awards finalists totally dispel the myth that there aren’t women available. They’re available and they’re unbelievable.

There are women across Australia quietly achieving change in their own spheres of influence, whether that’s in their families, communities, their start-ups or social enterprises. It could be in the team they lead within larger organisations, or through the small actions they take every day that help lift and elevate others.

Individually, these women help change the lives around them and progress change on major issues requiring urgent attention.

Collectively they are reshaping the world, challenging everything we’ve been told to expect about ‘leadership’ and solving some of the most complex issues of our time.

We were lucky enough to meet dozens of such women during the judging sessions of the 2019 Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards on Thursday afternoon, followed by our annual finalist cocktail party.

It’s one thing to meet such a group of amazing women at once, but it’s another to witness such a diverse range of women congregating together to kickstart (what we hope) will be a lifetime network who will further support one another in achieving change in their areas of influence.

We heard words of encouragement between finalists as they met prior to their judging sessions. We witnessed small groups coming together to share stories and ideas while waiting together, and then later connecting again over drinks last night.

Shirley Chowdhary, CEO of the GO Foundation, chaired a very impressive line up of judges, who gave up their time to meet and learn more about these women and then make some very difficult decisions that we’ll learn more about at our leadership luncheon today.

I didn’t envy the task they had attempting to select winners across our different categories, but I saw just how much energy and passion each and every one put into the process.

These finalists, just a tiny segment of the hundreds of excellent nominations we received, prove the future of leadership in Australia is in very good hands.

For anyone who says they can’t find a woman for their conference, a story they’re writing, the shortlist for a board position or something else, send them our way and we’ll start by sharing this list of finalists.

Thank you to everyone who has made this awards process possible, including all our judges and Barangaroo for hosting us yesterday, and also to our sponsors who believed  in the cause of elevating emerging leaders and stepping up to support this program, including Diamond Partner (for the third year), Charles Sturt University,  as well as category partners, ANZSOG, NNT, Uber, FairVine, SEEK, Australian Institute of Company Directors and Accor Hotels.

We’ve been getting to know some of them through our finalist Q&As which we will continue to roll out over the coming weeks.

And today we feel incredibly lucky to be able to share lunch with not only these finalists and judges but 400 people taking a good three hours out of their day to do nothing but celebrate female leadership.

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