Wendy McCarthy AO became Women’s Agenda’s inaugural Hall of Fame inductee at the NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards on Thursday, in recognition of her groundbreaking career and long service in helping women achieve.
McCarthy was greeted with a standing ovation as she took to the stage to accept the award. She told of her own personal struggles in finding work, at one point applying for around 20 roles, only to receive the one callback – a male employer who said he didn’t think he’d have the “facilitates” to accommodate a woman.
McCarthy’s since found plenty of employment, currently working as a chair and company director. She’s also known as an author, entrepreneur, mentor, change agent, consultant and campaigner for women’s rights.
A former teacher, she was founder of the Sydney Women’s Electoral Lobby and built up a successful portfolio career that included serving as the chancellor of the University of Canberra, being the global vice-chair of Plan International and sitting on the board of the ABC for eight years.
She’s long been a passionate advocate for education, and an active and vocal voice in getting more women into leadership positions. She helps mentor and empower women to achieve career success.
As businesswoman Carol Schwartz tells Women’s Agenda: “Wendy is an exemplar of a successful Australian business leader: focused, commercial, courageous and generous.
“She has probably had more of an impact than anyone else I know in creating equality of opportunity for leadership for women in this country.”
Anne Summers says she’s proud to have known Wendy for most of her life. “Wendy McCarthy brings a strongly creative and strategic energy to her long and dedicated commitment to improving the lives of women and girls.”
Phone Wendy regarding a board opening and she’ll give you the names of five women she knows are qualified for the job.
Ask her when we can truly celebrate the number of women in leadership positions and she’ll say we need to remain vigilant until we reach the 50/50 mark.
She continues to champion better and fairer working conditions for women.
We are all the beneficiaries of McCarthy’s excellent work.