Initiatives

Through leadership initiatives, evidence-based research, fellowships and strategic partnerships, we are focused on finding the best levers for change to achieve equal voice, equal representation and equal recognition for women in Australia. 

Pathways to Politics

The Pathways to Politics Program for Women is a national, proudly non-partisan initiative that aims to change the face of politics by equipping women with the skills, knowledge, confidence and networks they need to run for elected office and thrive as political leaders.

 

This initiative of the Trawalla FoundationWomen’s Leadership Institute Australia and the University of Melbourne seeks to address the underrepresentation of women in Australian politics, and is delivered in partnership with state-based university partners University of Melbourne, QUT and UNSW.

Pathways to Politics was initiated through the vision of Carol Schwartz AO, Chair of the Trawalla Foundation, who fundamentally believes in the value of more female leaders. For Carol this is about optimising outcomes for our country by ensuring that men and women together share power, leadership and decision making.

“You cannot be what you cannot see. That’s why the Pathways to Politics program is so important. It provides a window into the experience of those who have been politically successful. We need to change the political conversation and the way to do that is to get more women elected.” Dr Katie Allen MP (Pathways to Politics alum)

 

“The power of the Program for me was normalising the idea of running. With that mental hurdle out of the way, I could focus on building the skills and knowledge I needed to win.” Cr Tina Samardzija (Pathways to Politics alum)

 

“It made such a difference to have incredible women from across the political spectrum, encouraging and supporting me all the way with skills, development and knowledge. This Program is crucial – more women in parliament better reflects our community’s values and experiences.” Juliana Addison MP (Pathways to Politics alum)

 

The program was developed in consultation with the Harvard Kennedy School, inspired by their long-running From Harvard Square to the Oval Office practicum. 

 

The foundational Pathways to Politics Program for Women launched at the University of Melbourne in 2016, followed by QUT in 2019 and UNSW in 2021. More states will follow over time. The program partners are proud to work collaboratively to increase women’s representation in politics across Australia.

The Pathways to Politics Knowledge Hub was launched in 2022. It is a public platform where all women and gender diverse people can find practical tools, information and inspiration to help in their run for public office.

 

The Knowledge Hub is a curated selection of content to help women at different stages of their journey: from understanding why it matters, what they need to consider in making a decision to run, to tools and guidance on getting elected, and becoming a political leader.

 

Ruth McGowan OAM, Pathways to Politics alum, former Mayor, consultant and advisor, has offered her step-by-step campaign guide Get Elected for free download on the Knowledge Hub.

 

‘I want to help women just like you understand what it takes to plan an election campaign, how to be on the campaign trail and how to get elected,’  Ruth McGowan OAM

 

Other exclusive content on the Knowledge Hub includes:

Pathways to Politics brings together significant expertise and experience from across Australia’s political spectrum to provide participants with networking opportunities and practical training that emphasises good governance, ethics, and leadership.

 

For more see the Program’s national website: pathwaystopolitics.org.au

Women for Media

You can’t be what you can’t see.

Lack of media coverage perpetuates the inequality. Through research, working in partnership with media organisations, facilitating media training, and maintaining our database of Australian women leaders, WLIA is committed to elevating women to gain equal impact on the public conversation across print, online, radio and TV.  

Panel Pledge

In 2012 the Women’s Leadership Institute of Australia joined with the Male Champions of Change and Chief Executive Women to launch the Panel Pledge in support of gender diversity at every public forum.

This is our Pledge:

 

As business and community leaders, Chief Executive Women, Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and Male Champions of Change, have united to achieve radical improvements in women’s representation in public and professional forums.

This includes being prepared to call out imbalances when they see them. The Panel Pledge is a simple, practical example of actions CEOs can take to influence system-wide change on gender equality and advancing women in leadership.

We will honour the Panel Pledge when invited to speak. We pledge to increase the visibility and contribution of women leaders in public and professional forums.

We are proud to support gender diversity at every public forum and invite all Australian leaders to commit to the Panel Pledge. We hope you will join us!

Take the pledge, download the icon and proudly display your commitment to diversity in your organisation.

The attached resource provides ideas on how to extend the pledge to executive teams, include the pledge as part of sponsorship and supplier agreements, and how to run gender balanced conferences, from speakers all the way through to audience attendance.

Fellowships

Through advocacy, policy and research fellowships, WLIA is building a community of leaders focused on achieving equal numbers of women and men sharing power and influence in Australia.

We are committed to supporting a cohort of exceptional women to accelerate work, especially in the area of politics, business and the media, to elevate their voice and demonstrate what’s possible.

 

Our fellowships support women who are leaders in their respective fields, women who have innovative approaches and the courage, conviction and capacity to create real change.

Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa is the recipient of the 2020 Women’s Leadership Institute Australia Research Fellowship

Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa, recipient of the 2020 Women’s Leadership Institute Australia Research Fellowship

Fellowships

Through advocacy, policy and research fellowships, WLIA is building a community of leaders focused on achieving equal numbers of women and men sharing power and influence in Australia.

We are committed to supporting a cohort of exceptional women to accelerate work, especially in the area of politics, business and the media, to elevate their voice and demonstrate what’s possible.

 

Our fellowships support women who are leaders in their respective fields, women who have innovative approaches and the courage, conviction and capacity to create real change.

Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa is the recipient of the 2020 Women’s Leadership Institute Australia Research Fellowship

Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa, recipient of the 2020 Women’s Leadership Institute Australia Research Fellowship