International Women's Day 2017


Embracing the 2017 theme #beboldforchange, our International Women's Day events will inspire you to make positive changes in your personal and professional life with influential thought leaders in diversity.

Our events in Sydney and Melbourne will include an exclusive masterclass in the morning, followed by lunch with a keynote presentation from internationally renowned speaker Susan Colantuono, recognised as an expert in women's leadership development, gender dynamics and hidden gender bias. Susan is the CEO of Leading Women, one of the world's premier consulting firms supporting corporate initiatives to advance women and close the leadership gender gap. 

Susan's TEDx talk on Closing the Leadership Gender Gap was featured as Today's Talk on the website, an honour given to less than 1% of all TED Talks from around the world. The Talk has gone viral, being viewed by millions and translated into 23 languages.

Tickets to this popular event sold out in 2016, so we encourage you to register now so you don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity.

We look forward to inspiring you to #beboldforchange

Event Details

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Masterclass 10:30am-12pm
Lunch 12pm-2:30pm

Sofitel Hotel
Collins St Melbourne

Registrations have now closed. For late registrations please email


Thursday 9 March 2017

Masterclass 10:30am-12pm
Lunch 12pm-2:30pm

Doltone House
Darling Island
Pyrmont, Sydney

Registrations have now closed. For late registrations please email


Engineers Australia member $145
Non-member $175
Table of 10     $1350
Masterclass $150 per ticket



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Do you want to inspire, empower and honour the success of women in your organisation?

Join Michelle Redfern and Susan Colantuono for this 90-minute masterclass where they bring real world acumen and experience, the tools and approach you need to bring about change in your workplace.

Michelle and Susan understand that companies will thrive if they attract, retain and develop top female talent. Why? Because companies with diversity of thought and approach create engaged, productive employees, highly satisfied and loyal customers and superior financial outcomes.

The masterclass will provide you with:

  • Global case studies showcasing organisations where a focus on diversity has delivered strong business growth
  • Hands on practical learnings and insights on how to bring about tangible change
  • Best practice proven strategies that work
  • Positioning your organisation as a leader of change in the marketplace

Tickets to the masterclass are strictly limited.

"As a CEO, or as an executive or director for that matter, if women aren't proportionately represented throughout your organisation, you aren't facing a women's issue – you're facing a talent development issue with business implications. And so it's important to bring your personal commitment and the same level of organizational accountability to that challenge as you would to any business issue."

Susan Colantuono, CEO Leading Women

Michelle Redfern headshot

Michelle Redfern
Advancing Women in Leadership Specialist from Lighthouse Group, a Leadership and Strategy Training specialist firm

Michelle is founder of Thrive Consulting and Advisory, which specialises in providing advisory services and events for women and specialist business improvement consulting. In addition, Michelle is a partner in the Lighthouse Group, a Leadership, Strategy and Training consultancy established in 2003 where she leads the Advancing Women practice.

Michelle is a current board member of Swinburne Universities Business Without Borders social enterprise and is a former board member of the Gippsland League, the AFL's largest regional league in Victoria.

Until recently, Michelle's corporate career included leading the NAB Supplier Relationship Management transformation program, where she designed and delivered a blueprint for best in class outsourcing, supplier management, governance and innovation processes.

Prior to NAB, Michelle held executive leadership roles in the Telco, BPO and 3PL industries for blue chip companies such as Telstra, Serco and Aegis.

Michelle is an entrepreneurial and innovative businesswoman who is fully committed to and passionate about creating an equal and inclusive world for women. She has completed an Executive MBA with Distinction at RMIT University, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a self-confessed AFL football tragic and keen traveller.

Susan Colantuono headshot

Susan Colantuono
CEO of Leading Women - a leading US based, global consulting organisation focused on closing the leadership gender gap

Susan L. Colantuono is the CEO and Founder of Leading Women – a cutting edge provider of leadership development solutions for women in organisations. She is also founder of the Women's Institute for Leadership at Bryant University and author of No Ceiling, No Walls: What women haven't been told about leadership from career-start to the corporate boardroom.

Susan has been a pioneer in delivering leadership development and diversity and inclusion solutions to organizations across a range of industries and sectors. Her expertise has benefited organizations including the CIA, Corn Products, Exxon, Kodak, Marriott, Pfizer, Prudential Retirement and Wawa. She has advised leaders in organizations such as Amgen, MetLife, SAIC, US Bureau of Land Management, New York Life, Fidelity, CVS/Caremark and Marriott on using their strengths to leverage relationships, achieve strategic goals and lead for value creation. In 2008, Susan was recognized for her contributions in this area when Providence Business News named her Ally and Mentor for Business Women.

Susan is the LittlePinkBook's expert blogger on networking. She has published numerous articles on leadership and management and is the author of two other books – Build Your Career (a guide for using the job you have to get the job you want) - was featured in Money magazine and hailed as "a comprehensive guide for charting your career". Her book, Make Room for JOY! has been described as "heartware and software for the soul."

Susan sits on the board of American Medical Resources Foundation is one of two RI delegates to Vision2020 - a decade-long initiative to advance women's equality, is a past State Director for the Rhode Island State Council of SHRM and served as its Director for Professional Development. She has been featured and/or quoted in the MsCEOShow, Succeed Like a Woman, Providence Journal, Providence Business News, Women's Business Boston, Hartford Courant, and Money magazine.

Keynote Address

Internationally renowned speaker Susan Colantunono is travelling to Australia from the USA to present at International Women's Day events.

Susan's Keynote address titled Leadership, Career Success and The Missing 33%™ will explore the fact that even though with the right leadership skills, the highest levels of career success are well within a woman's reach. Unfortunately, conventional wisdom about leadership takes women only so far. Much of it is outdated, incomplete and ineffective. Colantuono takes a fresh, unblinking look at the definition of leadership, and has identified the vital missing piece of the leadership and career success equation for women – The Missing 33%.

Susan's TEDx talk on Closing the Leadership Gender Gap was featured as Today's Talk on the website, an honour given to less than 1% of all TED Talks from around the world. The Talk has gone viral, being viewed by millions and translated into 23 languages.

Panel Discussion

A panel discussion comprising diversity experts from both Australian and international organisations will follow the keynote presentation at the lunch in both Sydney and Melbourne. The panel discussions will be led by Lisa Annese, CEO of the Diversity Council of Australia and audience members will be encouraged to join in the debate.

Lisa Annese headshot

Lisa Annese
Chief Executive Officer, Diversity Council Australia Ltd

Lisa Annese was appointed CEO of DCA in June 2014 where she heads a team to lead public debate, conduct proactive research and develop innovative resources for organisations in the area of diversity. She first joined DCA in 2009 and left for a short stint in 2011 as the first dedicated Diversity Manager at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, who later won the Lawyers Weekly Firm Diversity Award. Prior to joining DCA, she worked at the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency where she developed the first ever census of 'Australian Women in Leadership', 'Business Achievement Awards', and 'Employer of Choice for Women' citation. Lisa was awarded a Medal for Significant Contribution to the Australian Public Service and co-authored "Chief Executives Unplugged: CEO's Get Real About Women in the Workplace" which was named a "must-read business book" by AFR/BOSS magazine in 2005.

Aditi Khanna headshot

Lieutenant Commander Aditi Khanna
Marine Engineer Officer - Maintenance Operations Manager, LHD System Program Office, Royal Australian Navy

Lieutenant Commander Aditi (Dee) Khanna joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Marine Engineer Officer in 2004 at the age of 17, she graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy in 2008 with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering.

On completion of her initial engineering training including a posting onboard HMAS Manoora, Dee was posted to Government House in the role of Aide-de-Camp to the Governor-General where she was responsible for researching, planning and executing a variety of events and engagements, travelling around Australia and the world.

In 2015, she was posted to Defence Force Recruiting in Canberra, in the role of Executive Officer Diversity, to support, implement and direct recruiting initiatives to meet ADF gender and cultural targets. During this time, Dee observed the ADF introduce a number of Diversity Initiatives and Cultural Awareness training in order to make a sustainable improvement in the representation and support of diversity across the services.

Dee has recently been recognised as a Chartered Professional Engineer in the College of Mechanical Engineering, achieved her Masters of Systems Engineering and relocated to Sydney where she has commenced her role as Maintenance Operations Manager at the LHD System Program Office. She has been selected to take up the position of Marine Engineer Officer, HMAS Canberra in 2017.


Patrick Hill
Senior Vice President & General Manager - Buildings & Infrastructure, Asia Pacific at Jacobs Diversity & Inclusion Council Chair

Patrick’s career spans 20 years at Jacobs where he began as a water process engineer before quickly progressing to several leadership positions across various sectors and operations. His experience across multiple geographies in diverse markets has only reinforced his recognition that talent is not defined by demographics. And his professional and personal roles: as a people leader, a technical professional and a father of three daughters, drive his passion for creating a culture where all employees are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Patrick Chairs a Jacobs Diversity & Inclusion Council which sets out and delivers the strategic direction of the diversity and inclusion portfolios. This has recently included: setting leadership targets for women; making flexible working more widely and consistently available; undertaking an annual pay equity review for Australia and New Zealand, and implementing specific recruitment initiatives to attract more women to the business.

Patrick was also recently nominated a Pay Equity Ambassador by the Workplace for Gender Equality (WGEA) acknowledging the impact of gender bias in the workplace and declaring our commitment to addressing pay equity.


Professor Karen Hapgood
Head of School, Engineering Deakin University

Professor Karen Hapgood is the Head of School of Engineering at Deakin University. She has five years’ experience in the US pharmaceutical industry before joining, beginning her research career on pharmaceutical manufacturing at Monash University in 2006. She works with a range of companies on research to solve industrial problems, particularly in pharmaceuticals.

Karen received the 2006 AAPS New Investigator in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology award, the 2011 ADC Future Summit “Australian Leadership Award” and the 2013 Chemeca Caltex Teaching Award of Excellence.

She was Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University from 2012-2016 and started as the Head of School at Deakin in 2017. Karen is a Fellow of IChemE and Engineers Australia, and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Helen Fraser
Director, Human Resources, Australia New Zealand

Over a Human Resources career spanning almost 25 years, Helen has worked across government, banking and engineering consulting sectors, driving organisational change through a focus on programs, people, and high performance.

A member of the AECOM team for 14 years, Helen has held a number of leadership positions focusing on HR strategy, people, team and leadership development, and is a champion of AECOM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Working closely with AECOM Chief Executive - Australia New Zealand, Lara Poloni and AECOM’s Executive Committee, Helen is currently leading the development and launch of an ambitious series of people-focused initiatives/programs that empower AECOM’s 4000-strong team, contribute to business growth and success, and build on AECOM’s reputation as the best place to work and to develop a career.

Peter Bailey

Peter Bailey
CEO and Chair of Arup Australasia

Peter is the Chair of Arup Australasia and a member of the Arup Group (global) Board. Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional services in 40 countries, across 92 offices and over 12,000 staff. Their aim is to shape a better world to ensure their clients receive smart design ideas with a social purpose, which will have a positive influence for current and future generations.

Peter has a Master of Engineering Science and Bachelor of Engineering both from University of Sydney. He began his career as a structural engineer with Arup in Sydney and has worked as a designer and manager of many award-winning building projects in Arup offices in Canberra, London, New York and Frankfurt.

Under Peter’s stewardship Arup have been recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (formerly Employer of Choice for Women) every year since inception; awarded the Most Innovative Professional Services firm in the BRW Client Choice Awards in 2011 and shortlisted in 2012 – 2016; and recognised as one of Australia’s leading private companies in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by the peak body for the fifth consecutive year. Peter was the winner of the National Association of Women in Construction NSW 2012 Crystal Vision Award.

Ross Jones

Ross Jones
Vice President Buildings & Infrastructure Eastern Region - Jacobs
Master of Environmental Planning, Macquarie University, 1998
Bachelor of Social Science (Geography), University of New South Wales, 1990
Certified Practicing Planner - PIA

Ross Jones is Jacobs’ Vice President Eastern, responsible for leading more than 700 engineers, planners, scientists and architects to deliver Transport, Water Environment & Spatial, Built Environment, Power Consulting and Project Management/Construction Management projects.

The Eastern Region is currently involved in iconic projects such as the Westconnex M5-East (for which Ross is on the Joint Venture governance committee), the Sydney Metro Northwest, the Sydney Metro Northwest to CBD, the Sydney Light Rail, the Parramatta Light Rail, St George and Blacktown hospitals and the proposed aerotropolis around Sydney’s 2nd airport. Ross is a Company Director of Jacobs, having been with the organisation for over 18 years.

Ross strongly believes that diverse teams strengthen our delivery to clients and, in an industry traditionally dominated by men, is committed to creating a more gender equitable region. He believes that we will subsequently deliver more innovative solutions that benefit our communities across NSW.

Jacobs has recently set women in leadership targets at 28%, with cascaded targets established in each area. Ross is responsible for delivering his local target over 5 years by overseeing a number of processes and programs to achieve greater gender equality, supported by his Eastern leadership team and an employee led diversity and inclusion network.

Partner With Us

Engineers Australia is committed to raising awareness as part of its diversity strategy, and with women representing only 12.4% of the engineering workforce we are looking to partner with organisations who are driving tangible change in the diversity space.

Why Partner?

  • Position your organisation as a proactive leader committed to change
  • Promote your brand across a multi-channel marketing campaign including digital, website and social media platforms
  • Access key stakeholders engaged in senior decision making from all industry sectors along with Government representatives
  • Network with over 800 delegates across the 2 events
  • Build your brand awareness to over 50,000 Engineers Australia members and key stakeholders

For more information

Download the Partnership Proposal or contact Amanda Rodgers, Corporate Engagement Manager to discuss further.

Our Partners



AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organisations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital.

In Australia and New Zealand, AECOM has more than 4,000 professionals working in more than 20 offices. Our technical knowledge, local connections and broad market experience allow us to deliver specialised solutions across the entire project life cycle.

As an industry leader in gender diversity, AECOM is implementing innovative strategies for eliminating gender pay gaps, progressing women into senior roles and making a difference for young women embarking on careers in STEM.

AECOM is proud to be the 2016 Engineers Australia Most Outstanding Company in Gender Diversity and a WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Diversity. Following a number of senior female hires and internal promotions, AECOM is well on the way to delivering on its commitment of 20% female leadership by 2020. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at and @AECOM.



Engineering Education Australia

Engineering has never been more global. With standards, practices and knowledge continuously advancing, professional development is crucial to retain currency within todays evolving profession.

As the training arm of Engineers Australia, Engineering Education Australia offers an authoritative suite of technical, business, and management courses that provide the necessary training to stay relevant locally and globally.

Engineering Education Australia courses are designed specifically for engineers and related professionals, and are recognised for Continuing Professional Development in accordance with Engineers Australia's guidelines.

Lighthouse and Engineering Education Australia have partnered to deliver a world class diversity program for engineering firms. This exclusive offering will launch in 2017.



The Lighthouse Group is a Leadership Strategy and Training specialist firm that supports corporate and enterprise clients in Australia and New Zealand.

Lighthouse's approach is to source world leading IP from organisations such as Leading Women to ensure that their customised programs are best practice solutions for their clients looking to build core leadership capabilities across their enterprises.

Along with Advancing Women, other key core capability programs are: Building Business Acumen, Innovation Mindset and Culture and Manager as Coach.


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