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Dear Guest,

March of each year is always a favourite of mine! Yes I love that Summer is ending and Autumn is starting, yes I love all the events that we have coming up on our WNA calendar, but I especially enjoy the energy and inspiration that we derive from International Women's Day (IWD) and Women's History Month. I love reading about women such as Jessie Street, a feminist, activist and diplomat who contributed substantially to politics and Dame Roma Mitchell who was Australia's first female Queen's Counsel - these women had courage, perseverance and tenacity and it is these traits I often see in many of our WNA members!

This edition of our weekly communique is dedicated to International Women's Day and celebrating the achievements of women across Australia. You can attend WNA events, an event to support Eritrean refugees that has been shared by a passionate WNA member, professional development webinars that are topical, inspirational and authentic, and we explore a key theme of today's society - gender pay equity and elevating more female leaders into senior leadership roles.

Our WNA Charity High Tea is a sell-out which I am excited about and with charity and donations in mind, if you can provide a prize for our raffles I would be most appreciative. Socialise at Sunset will continue on Friday 12 March so please register to join your fellow members for some online collaboration! Our Hobart members were so keen for more events we created another amazing opportunity in March for you to join in - The Customer Experience is Your Golden Ticket!

As mentioned last week our WNA team is keen to promote and support your events so please email your event details to and provide as much detail as you can, or share them in the WNA Facebook Group! In the spirit of attending events in March, I am looking forward to speaking at the Red Roses Foundation Breakfast on International Women's Day and shining a light on the brilliant work of women in our community and the importance of us all working together to empower women.

This year's IWD theme is #ChoosetoChallenge and in alignment with this I encourage all of our WNA members to celebrate each other's achievements, advocate for more gender equality, and continue to support women in your networks to be the best people they can be. You can make a difference, small or large, to a family member, small business or local community. You might host an event, share terrific photos on social media, or challenge the gender bias at your workplace but every action matters.

Finally, in the name of celebrating women's achievements, I have included the full list of 2021 Australian Awards for Excellence in Leadership. Read on to discover how the National recipient has continued her compassionate and courageous work after a life in politics.

Australia is not there yet. Gender pay inequality is still a huge challenge, but we are making crucial steps. I challenge you to strike a #choosetochallenge pose by raising your hand up high, holding your selfie card, taking a smiling picture and sharing it on your social media channels using #choosetochallenge #IWD2021 #makethismomentcount.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend! I hope to see you at a #IWD2021 event soon.

Janelle ♥

Thank you to WNA member Sharyn Munro for sharing an International Women's Day event. Amnesty Chermside and Mu'ooz Eritrean Restaurant invite you and your friends to a Woman's Day fundraising dinner for Eritrean refugees to demand full humanitarian access into Tigray in Ethiopia where Eritrean refugees, many women and children, are struggling to survive and to raise funds for UNHCR.

On the night, you will have an opportunity to email Ethiopia to demand action and make a donation to UNHCR's programs to assist displaced people in the area. For more info check out the Amnesty website.

RSVP: By March 5 to Amnesty Chermside to join a table to and you can also contact Sharyn Munro at to join a table.

WHERE: Mu'ooz Eritrean Restaurant, 54 Mollison St, West End, QLD.
WHEN: Friday 12 March

TIME: 6.30pm onwards


Want to get involved, but can't attend at inaugural WNA Charity High Tea? We are keen to hear from you if you have a raffle prize you wish to donate. All prizes large and small will help support the wonderful work of Women's Legal Service Queensland. Please send an email to advise if you would like to make a donation or give me a direct call! The Friday 26 March event is a sell-out and I am honoured to have Lady Mayoress of Brisbane Nina Schrinner and the highly esteemed Dame Quentin Bryce along as our guests of honour.


Staying connected is part of our WNA genes! If you have connected with us on a previous Socialise at Sunset occasion we would love to see you again! Each time is different, with different WNA members joining us for conversations and connections nationally. It's proudly a FREE event for WNA members but I am always welcoming of new members and friends. Check the times below for your state/territory.

Get your ticket and connect with us nationally at 4.30pm AEST.

QLD:  4.30pm

NSW | VIC | TAS | ACT:  5.30pm

WA:  2.30pm

SA:  5.00pm

NT:  4.00pm


Join us at Liz Clift International for a night of Fashion and Styling. This celebrated fashion designer shows us her glamorous fashion and accessories - there's something for everyone, race day outfits, cocktail and leisure wear. Celebrate the new arrivals from Paris, Milan and New York. With styling by Liz Golding (Head Stylist of Indooroopilly Shopping Centre) and hosted by Liz Clift herself, this is an event not to be missed!

This event is complimentary for WNA members but we need everyone to register to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. 

Book your ticket for two hours of non-stop shopping and find out all the details here as you shop the night away!


This International Women’s Day, YWCA Australia is re-launching their ‘TINA Talks’ with a four-part webinar panel series focusing on professional development topics for women. The first session will take place on International Women’s Day, Monday 8 March 2021, with the remaining sessions taking place on the following three Mondays. TINA Talks are a great opportunity for corporate women at any stage of their career looking for professional development, connection with like-minded peers, and engagement with a range of intersectional feminist issues. 

Panellists include Jane Caro, Yasmin Poole, Jennifer Brady and many inspirational women who are keen to share their wisdom and inspiration!


On 8 March 2021, we all celebrate International Women's Day (IWD) and the 2021 theme is #ChoosetoChallenge. IWD provides an important moment to showcase commitment to women's equality, launch new initiatives and action, celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness, highlight gender parity gains and more. The theme of the day is a powerful reminder that we can all make change - you can read below for yourself and WNA would love to hear how you are celebrating #IWD2021.

"A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge."

Choose to Challenge Video - Conversation Starter!

Do your own IWD activity or event and champion your own #choosetochallenge campaign - below are some ideas that you could implement next week:
  1. Prepare an IWD speech
  2. Download IWD selfie and social cards
  3. Develop and watch IWD videos
  4. Fundraise for a female-focused charity
  5. Submit your IWD #choosetochallenge images

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), Australia's national gender pay gap has officially dropped to 13.4 per cent, marking a small decline of 0.6 percentage points in the gap between men and women's full-time earnings over the last six months. The figures released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that on average, men in Australia who work full-time out earn women who work full-time by $242.20 per week. Director of the WGEA, Libby Lyons said the drop in the gender pay gap was mostly due to labour market volatility during the pandemic, and not a result of improved structural changes for women in the workplace. Her view is that we may see "more labour market volatility over the next 12-24 months as the nation settles into a new post-COVID employment environment."

As mentioned by Lyons, it has been a difficult time with COVID-19 affecting employment "however economic recovery depends on women and men having genuine choice and equal access to re-engage and fully participate in the workforce." 

"The business case for improving gender equality is very clear, with research and business outcomes showing it can improve performance, productivity and profitability."

It is always heartening to recognise women who by virtue of their actions, create opportunities for other women to advance in society and their careers. This year's Australian Awards for Excellence in Women's Leadership is a list full of inspirational and determined women who have been acknowledged for their contributions and positive advocacy. 

Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AO, leads the way in a COVID era where the leadership of women should be celebrated. As the recipient of the National Award, former politician Ms Despoja has been recognised for her leadership, compassion and conviction as an advocate for women and girls over a number of years. As Australia's representative to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Ms Despoja has shown incredible expertise, passion for justice and tremendous leadership in this area.
The awards were launched in 2014 to increase visibility of outstanding Australian female leaders and build momentum for gender equity in leadership positions across all industries and the broader community.


The Business Council of Australia, McKinsey & Company and WGEA teamed up to undertake a study using three years of WGEA data and a number of interviews. Women in Leadership: Lessons from Australian companies leading the way is a report that provides an evidence-based recipe for dismantling barriers to women's participation at senior levels and a correlation between representation of women in senior roles and the practice of normalising flexible work.

Below is the 10-step recipe for getting more women into leadership:

  1. Build a strong case for change
  2. Role-model a commitment to diversity, including with business partners
  3. Redesign roles and work to normalise uptake across levels and genders
  4. Actively sponsor rising women
  5. Set a clear diversity aspiration, backed up by accountability
  6. Support talent through life transitions
  7. Ensure the infrastructure is in place to support a more inclusive and flexible workplace
  8. Challenge traditional views of merit in recruitment and evaluation
  9. Invest in frontline leader capabilities to drive cultural change
  10. Develop rising women and ensure experience in key roles
There are other great tools and resources on the WGEA site that may help you and your organisation support more gender equality and sponsor women into senior roles.

Do you know someone who would benefit from being part of WNA? 

Feel free to forward our Member Benefits link so they can join too! 


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