Interactive Sessions

The forum featured four interactive workshops designed to address key issues, opportunities and challenges facing women in the workplace.

Session A

Advancing Beyond Bias: Illuminating blind spots and pathways to career success
Facilitator: Deborah May, Managing Director, Principal, The May Group

This session will look at quantitative and qualitative data, management theories, and the practical dynamics of organisational culture. It will explore:

  • The context within which women work and try to progress their careers
  • The business case for why more women should be advancing into senior roles and becoming leaders
  • The barriers to women’s career progression that individuals and organisations need to address, specifically unconscious bias and its impact on women’s choices, assessments of suitability and capability, and recruitment and promotion into senior leadership roles
  • Strategies for women to be seen, heard and recognised for what they do

Deborah May is a Fulbright Scholar, change agent and visionary. Graduating from the only business school in the world designed for women, Simmons School of Management in Boston, Deborah is now principal of her consulting company, The May Group. She is a champion of gender equity and one of Australia’s foremost authorities on organisational gender bias.

Session B

Stop Procrastinating: Start Flourishing
Facilitator: Trina Pitcher, Director Flourishing Executives

Why is procrastinating so appealing? Flourishing is a positive and healthy alternative. Explore these themes, including creative ways to become more productive and the drawbacks of procrastination including how it affects your efficacy and self-esteem. Learn practical strategies on how to better manage your relationship with procrastination. Enhance your personal and professional development or simply refresh your interest and enthusiasm in your career - so ultimately you too can flourish.

Trina Pitcher challenges convention and works with individuals, teams and organisations to reach their potential by empowering people to have effective and sustainable results. Trina has more than 18 years’ industry experience with a background in organisational psychology and business. She utilises an extensive toolkit of evidence-based instruments, frameworks and group processes to strengthen self-awareness and self-management to optimise leadership, culture, climate, engagement and job performance.

Session C

Life Integration vs Work Life Balance - what are we striving for?
Facilitator: Fiona Redding, Founder – The Happiness Hunter

Highly entertaining, Fiona will turn the idea of work life balance on its head, inspiring you to instead think about your life holistically and in its entirety. She shares practical life (and business) changing tools and strategies, including how making your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing your number one priority will lead to success in every area of your life. Successful life integration is achieved when we are clear on our vision for the whole of our life: for who we want to be, how we want to be living it and what we want the experience of our life to be like. We live fully integrated, balanced and harmonious lives when we are balanced within ourselves and across all of the different elements of our life, accepting that work is just one element of our lives.

Fiona is the founder of The Happiness Hunter, life coach and business strategist, consultant and speaker, and co-host of #BusinessAddicts – the podcast. As a holistic visionary, Fiona will help you discover the beating heart of your life purpose, as well as a business strategy to help map out the steps you need to take to get you there. She will empower you with the strategies, tools and mindset shifts required to live an abundant, successful and happy life with passion, joy and meaning.

Session D

What you can do for you and what you can do for your organisation

Pauline Bennett, Manager Organisation Development, Whitehorse City Council
Kate O’Connor, Diversity & Projects Manager, Maddocks Lawyers
Lindy Richardson, Partner, Maddocks Lawyers

Even the best communicators can have blind spots and this presentation helps you identify any that you may have about your resume. Originally presented to a national conference of Communications Managers, this presentation helps you understand what recruiters are looking for in a resume and some of the pitfalls about the language you use. It is a call to action for you to take some time to review your resume and make yours stand out. And it will help ‘time poor’ recruiters reading your resume to pick the best candidates for an interview which is obviously the point of a great resume!

The second part of this workshop will focus on the award winning flexible work arrangement strategy of one of Melbourne's leading law firms, Maddocks, which has a large contingent of female senior executives.