Today at the NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards, Ann Sherry AO will join Wendy McCarthy in the Women’s Agenda Hall of Fame.
Sherry’s cracked numerous glass ceilings, played an instrumental role in developing paid maternity leave in corporate Australia and fought for gender equality all through her career.
Below’s a little more about Ann Sherry and why we’ve all benefitted from her decades of work.
Ann Sherry AO is a successful and highly effective business leader who has actively promoted gender equality throughout her career. She is currently the chief executive of Carnival Australia, the largest cruise ship operator in Australasia and prior to this spent 12 years working for Westpac.
Arriving at Westpac in the 1990s Sherry was asked by the then chief executive Bob Joss, an American who had arrived and asked where all the women were, what could be done to make the bank an employer of choice. Her answer was simple: offer paid maternity leave.
Less than a year later, under her leadership, Westpac did and it created a domino effect in corporate Australia, with other big businesses racing to introduce their own policies. Countless Australian women are indebted to Sherry for her perseverance and courage in successfully introducing what was a bold and ambitious policy.
Taking that risk paid off as it lifted her profile within Westpac as a leader capable of driving cultural change. She eventually became chief executive of Westpac in New Zealand where she stayed until 2007 and commenced with Carnival Australia.
Before joining Westpac, Sherry was the First Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Status of Women in Canberra, advising the Prime Minister on policies and programmes to improve the status of women and was Australia’s representative to the United Nations forums on human rights and women’s rights.
In 2004, Sherry was awarded an Order of Australia for her contribution to the Australian community through the promotion of corporate management policies and practices that embrace gender equity, social justice and work and family partnerships.
Whilst forging her own impressive corporate career Sherry has championed the importance of gender equality.
Congratulations Ann. We are all grateful beneficiaries of your leadership.