United Nations Women Australia has just announced the theme for International Women’s Day 2024, to be held on Friday 8th March. The 2024 theme, ‘Count Her In: Accelerating gender equality through economic empowerment’, examines the pathways to greater economic inclusion for women, highlighting the vital role it plays in creating a gender equal world.
When you empower women with equal opportunities to build their capacity to earn, learn and lead, it doesn’t just help them – it helps entire communities. Economies grow, families thrive and women have the critical resources they need to leave abusive or untenable situations.
To bring that vision to life, we need to shift behaviours and perceptions that marginalise women so they can reach their full potential. That includes removing the barriers that prevent them from improving their financial literacy and accessing funds that provide education and employment opportunities.
Thankfully, there are some remarkable women using their expert skills and knowledge to break down those barriers and pave the way for future generations of financially empowered women.
Let us introduce you to these incredible female changemakers inspiring a more inclusive and equal future. Their unwavering commitment to empowering other women, and their uplifting stories of resilience and determination, are guaranteed to captivate the audience at your International Women’s Day 2024 event.
Planning for International Women’s Day 2024 starts now!
Larisha Jerome is a proud Jarowair, Wakka Wakka & Wulli Wulli woman, passionate about using stories to inspire and empower women to achieve long-term financial prosperity and economic independence. With an extensive background in banking, government and the not-for-profit sector, specialising in women’s health and legal services, Larisha is committed to her role as First Nations Foundation’s Manager, Women’s Economic Empowerment. Along with her work as host of her Rich Blak Women podcast, Larisha is dedicated to redressing the economic injustice faced by Indigenous women. Read more about Larisha here.
Rosie Batty turned her own personal tragedy into a tireless crusade against domestic violence, earning the Australian of the Year title as well as a Pride of Australia National Courage medal and Order of Australia honours. She believes that women’s economic inequality and insecurity are at the heart of gendered violence, and her role as Ambassador for Good Shepherd sees her engage with policymakers to advocate for increased investment in economic safety measures to combat the issues impacting women, girls and families. Her work has contributed to the development of the new National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children. Read more about Rosie here.
Elizabeth Broderick is Australia’s longest-serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner, renowned for her tireless commitment to promoting gender equality and breaking down barriers preventing women from reaching their potential. Elizabeth founded ‘Male Champions of Change’ to tackle gender inequality in the workplace, and her review into the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force led to comprehensive cultural reforms. Elizabeth also chairs the UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls, is a trusted adviser to the UN, the World Bank and NATO, and is an Officer of the Order of Australia and NSW Australian of the Year recipient. Read more about Elizabeth here.
Effie Zahos is a leading figure in personal finance, passionate about making financial advice accessible and comprehensible to all. She started her career in banking before transitioning to broadcast TV, becoming the go-to finance expert for shows including the Today Show, A Current Affair and Sky Business News. As the former editor of Money Magazine, Effie turned her journalism skills, Economics degree and real-world experience into best-selling finance books that include ‘Real Girl’s Guide to Money: From Converse to Louboutin’s’ and children’s financial literacy book, ‘The Great $20 Adventure’. Read more about Effie here.
With more than 17 years’ experience in financial services with CBA, Macquarie Bank and Zurich, Jessica Brady is one of Australia’s leading Financial Advisers. She founded The Greenhouse Money Growing Program and co-founded award-winning Financial Advice firm Fox & Hare as well as free online platform Ladies Talk Money, advocating for financial empowerment – especially for women and the LGBTIQ+ community. As resident financial advice expert for Domain and Yahoo Finance, she also regularly appears in major media, with her shame-free, stigma-free approach to money helping thousands of people make smarter financial choices. Read more about Jessica here.
CEO of the Western Australian Cricket Association, Christina Matthews, is a game-changer in the famously male-dominated sport of cricket. As Australia’s most capped female Test player who also holds the record for the most dismissals by an Australian wicket-keeper, she is one of only three women in the world to hold the position of CEO of a first-class cricket association. She has inspired players of all genders and abilities while actively working to create a more gender-equal sport. And she’s succeeding. Female cricket participation has increased 550% across WA, and the WACA now has equal gender representation in leadership positions. Read more about Christina here.
Dr. Clio Cresswell is a talented mathematician and University mathematics lecturer determined to highlight the many mathematical elements that make up everyday life. Widely renowned for her best-selling book ‘Mathematics and Sex’, Clio also contributes articles to various magazines and Q&A columns and is a regular guest on popular TV and radio programs. Her international background and actuarial experience brings diversity to her perspective, while her authentic, funny and thought-provoking style never fails to incite a good chuckle along with genuine lightbulb moments. You’ll never look at maths the same way again! Read more about Clio here.
Known as the ‘bug whisperer’, Dr Paola Magni is a globally-recognised forensic science specialist. Her expertise on the behaviours of insects and other small creatures is used by law enforcement to solve murders and cold cases, even inspiring a character on Italy’s ‘CSI’ where she consulted to ensure a realistic portrayal. Currently a Lecturer at Murdoch University, she shares her insights through podcasts and publications – including her first forensic entomology book, which she published at just 25. Paola also volunteers her skills to investigate animal cruelty and wildlife deaths for the RSPCA, demonstrating her commitment to the local community. Read more about Paola here.
Margot Faraci challenges conventional thinking about leadership and business in today’s corporate world. With two decades of experience leading cultural transformations at prominent Australian companies, she emphasises the importance of leading with love to create a more respectful culture, better performance and a better society. She believes that by leveraging our most powerful human emotion, businesses reap the rewards of profitability and growth – they get the best out of their people, create engaging and respectful workplace cultures, create meaningful connections with staff and clients and attract the right talent. Read more about Margot here.
Perth locals will recognise Roanna Edwards’ voice from her hosting duties at ABC Radio’s Saturday Breakfast program and Aunty’s hugely popular gardening program ‘Roots & Shoots’. She is a proud Ballardong and Whadjuk woman who is loving living back on Noongar boodjar (country) after spending much of her life in regional WA. Since 2011, Roanna has worked in a variety of Aboriginal Affairs roles, including Media representative for the nation’s most powerful Aboriginal Land Council, and in the utility industry working for a remote government trading enterprise. Roanna now focuses on economic development in her role leading the WA office of PwC’s Indigenous Consulting, is the Chair of the Aboriginal Lands Trust and serves on the board of her beloved Swan Districts Football Club. Read more about Roanna here.
As former Executive Director of UN Women Australia, Julie McKay dedicated a decade to empowering women and advancing gender equality on a global scale. She’s served as the Gender Advisor to the Chief of the Australian Defence Force and has led the QLD Male Champions of Change for over a decade, advocating for gender equality in male-dominated industries. Julie has received several awards for her leadership and cultural change work, including Young Australian of the Year, Young Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year and the National Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership. Read more about Julie here.
Jan Cooper is a trailblazer in the AFL community, and one of the driving forces behind the AFLW national women’s league and the talent pathway for women, growing AFL female player numbers from 16,000 to over 480,000. She has worked hard to overcome societal bias and implement strategies for improved diversity, inclusion and wellbeing in the AFLW, and was recently inducted as the first woman into the WA Football Hall of Fame for her tireless efforts. She also holds a number of other accolades, including an Order of Australia Medal, number one Ticket Holder of West Coast Eagles FC and Football Woman of the Year. Read more about Jan here.
Prabha Nandagopal is a world-renowned human rights and discrimination lawyer with 18 years of experience across various domains from business and human rights to asylum seeker and refugee policy. An innovative changemaker who challenges the status quo, Prabha is known for coming up with achievable solutions to intricate systemic problems. She’s played a pivotal role in numerous groundbreaking workplace cultural reviews, including the National Music Industry Review into sexual harm, sexual harassment and systemic discrimination, and recently worked alongside Elizabeth Broderick AO on the Independent Review into Workplace Culture at Ernst & Young Oceania. Read more about Prabha here.
Vanessa Stoykov has been championing financial empowerment for over 25 years. A born storyteller, Vanessa’s award-winning TV productions – including ‘Secrets of The Money Masters’ and ‘The Bottom Line’ – feature identities like Bryce Courtenay, Ita Buttrose and well-known finance industry experts. She is also a regular in the media, where her level-headed conversations around money empower people to take an active interest in their own financial strategy. As well as running her own financial content and communications business, Vanessa has also created Australia’s largest video education portal for financial advisers. Read more about Vanessa here.
Following stints hosting broadcast programmes at CNBC International in London and working as an on-air correspondent across Europe, Gemma Acton is now the 7 News Network Finance Editor, presenting the latest financial and business news to audiences across the country. With credentials including a background in investment banking and wealth management at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, and an MBA from the Lauder Institute and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Gemma is incredibly well qualified to interpret and communicate how changes in the economy and society affect all of us. Read more about Gemma here.