We fund evidence-based research that offers new insights into the experiences of female leaders and progresses our understanding of how to achieve equal voice, equal representation and equal recognition. What are the knowledge and data gaps? What are the causal factors? What measures can be identified to close the gap?  Through exploring these areas with expert academics and researchers, we hope to find new ways to address the issues faced, especially in politics, business and the media.

You Can't Be What You Can't See

We are delighted to share with you the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia 2019 Women for Media Report: ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’. Focusing on mainstream Australian digital media sites, the results demonstrate the critical and ongoing need for a stronger women’s presence in the media. As authors Jenna Price and Anne Maree Payne highlight, “Women make up 50.7 per cent of the population; but the stories which appear in the media do not reflect that reality”.
The research provides a snapshot of Australia’s 15 most influential news sites on four consecutive Thursdays in October 2018. Key findings include:

  • Women account for 34% of direct sources quoted and 24% of indirect sources (sources named but not directly quoted)

  • Approximately 50% of the sites achieved gender parity on the representation of male and female journalists

  • Female journalists wrote 76% of celebrity and royals stories, approximately 40% of stories relating to government, politics, business, finance, law, crime and justice, and 12% of sport stories.


Research Archive

Resources for gaining a greater understanding of the challenges we face, and proposing solutions.

2019 Women for Media Report

2016 Women for Media Report

2013 Women for Media Report

2012 Women for Media Report


Through advocacy, policy and research fellowships, we are building a community of leaders focused on achieving equal numbers of women and men sharing power and influence in Australia, especially in politics, business and the media.

We are supporting this cohort of exceptional women to accelerate their work, elevate their voice and demonstrate what’s possible. These women are leaders in their respective fields with innovative approaches and the courage, conviction and capacity to create real change.

Current and past fellowship recipients include:

Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa is the recipient of the 2020 Women’s Leadership Institute Australia Research Fellowship, with the support of the Trawalla Foundation.

Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa is a Chancellor's Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Her research is focused on gender and human rights, with a particular interest in strengthening accountability for women’s rights at the domestic level. Dr Vijeyarasa’s research seeks to offer a tangible contribution by using the law for the eradication of gender inequality and responds to the fact that despite significant well-intended interventions in the pursuit of gender equality worldwide, progress has been slow and incremental.

Dr Vijeyarasa said of her mission and research:

"I envisage a world where women enjoy equal participation in society as men and benefit equally from that participation.

“I specifically seek to use the law as a tool to correct historical discrimination suffered by different groups of marginalised women and to help advance women and their enjoyment of their rights.

“My research is anchored around the concept of gender-responsive legislation, the achievement of which I believe can realise staggering results for women in Australia and globally. With the help of data science, I have developed an online tool called the Gender Legislative Index (GLI) which helps analyse laws according to their benefit to women.”

Research Fellowship Recipient 2020

Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa

Danielle Wood, CEO Grattan Institute is the recipient of our latest Research Fellowship with the support of the Trawalla Foundation.

Danielle researches economic and social policy. Her next report for the Grattan Institute will focus on female workforce participation. Removing disincentives for women to participate in paid work is one of the big opportunities to boost economic growth and improve equality of opportunity, status, and financial security for Australian women.

Danielle is Chair and co-founder of the Women in Economics Network, which seeks to promote and support the contributions of female economists in Australia. She has recently been elected as President of the Economic Society of Australia and will be the first woman to occupy the role in the Society’s 94-year history.

"I'm honoured to receive this support from the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and the Trawalla Foundation. I share the values of the Foundation and very much look forward to working together to generate positive policy change for Australian women."

Research Fellowship Recipient 2019

Danielle Wood

Cordelia Fine is a Canadian-born British philosopher, psychologist and writer.

She is a Full Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at The University of Melbourne, Australia. Fine has written three popular science books on the topics of social cognitionneuroscience, and the popular myths of sex differences. Her latest book Testosterone Rex won the Royal Society Science Book Prize, 2017. She has authored several academic book chapters and numerous academic publications. Fine is also noted for coining the term 'neurosexism'. As a science communicator, Fine has given many public and keynote lectures across the education, business, academic and public sectors.

Fine has also written for the New York Times, Scientific American, New Scientist, The Psychologist, The Guardian, and The Monthly, among others, and has reviewed books for the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal In April 2018 Cordelia Fine was awarded the Edinburgh Medal. This medal is awarded to "men and women of science and technology whose professional achievements are judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding and well-being of humanity.

"When the environment makes gender salient, there is a ripple effect on the mind. We start to think of ourselves in terms of our gender, and stereotypes and social expectations become more prominent in the mind. This can change self-perception, alter interests, debilitate or enhance ability, and trigger unintentional discrimination. In other words, the social context influences who you are, how you think and what you do.”

Research Fellowship Recipient 2016

Cordelia Fine

WLIA’s previous scholarship program

From 2010-2015, Women’s Leadership Institute Australia partnered with Chief Executive Women to award two full scholarships to exceptional Australian women leaders to the Women’s Leadership Forum at Harvard Business School. One scholarship was awarded to a woman in the corporate sector and the second scholarship to a woman working in the government or not-for-profit sectors.

Harvard Women's Leadership Forum Scholarship Recipients​​

  • 2015 Kate Gunn, Chief Operating Officer, ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), University of Sydney

  • 2015 Julie Shuttleworth, General Manager (Solomon Mine), Fortescue Metals Group

  • 2014 Brigadier Alison Creagh (Australian Defence Force) and Kate Munnings (Transfield)

  • 2013 Jill Charker (ComSuper) and Katie Cooper (Northern Territory Airports)

  • 2012 Suzanne Dvorak (Save the Children) and Dr Bronwyn Evans (Cochlear)

  • 2011 Christine Holgate (Blackmores)