Libby Lyons, Director, Workplace Gender Equality Agency
Tuesday 16th March, 2021 – Uni of Canberra
Recording of event at: ABC Big Ideas here
Gender equality is at a crossroads in Australia’s workplaces. After seven years of data collection by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the findings indicate progress towards gender equality is in danger of stalling. The Agency’s Director Libby Lyons has overseen the Agency’s data collection and work with Australian private sector employers for the last five and a half years.
Ms Lyons’ lecture will examine how the movement for workplace gender equality and equal opportunity for women has fared over the last decade. She will use the Agency’s comprehensive, world-leading dataset to show how Australia is in a better position than ever before to understand the gains made by women in contemporary Australian workplaces and the barriers they still face. By understanding the findings of the data, she will identify the key challenges now confronting Australian women in achieving genuine equality in the workforce and what employers must do to overcome them.
Libby Lyons was appointed Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in October 2015. She oversees the statutory reporting process that gathers gender equality data from more than 10,000 employers, covering more than 4 million employees. Soon after taking up her appointment at the Agency, Libby initiated the development of a strategic plan focused on maximising the Agency’s world-leading dataset and expanding the reach and impact of gender reporting nationally and internationally.
As part of this strategic vision, Libby has travelled to Singapore, Chile, Argentina, Mauritius, Indonesia, Vietnam, The Philippines, South Korea and Japan to speak with government and private enterprise on the business case for gender equality and the Agency’s dataset. She also presented at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York in 2018 and 2019.
In leading the Agency, Libby is focused on working closely with employers to achieve gender equality and takes part in regular roundtable and speaking events with business leaders and their peers to share their experiences, challenges and successes in creating workplaces where the skills and ambitions of employees are equally recognised and rewarded regardless of gender.
Libby was listed in Apolitical’s 100 Most Influential People Working in Gender Policy for both 2018 and 2019, she was featured in 200 women who will change the way you see the world and was awarded Woman of the Decade for Gender Policy by Women Economic Forum in 2019. She is a member of Chief Executive Women and is a proud Ambassador for Honour a Woman, a volunteer organisation working to achieve gender balance in the Australian honours system.
Prior to joining the Agency, Libby had a distinguished career in corporate affairs and government relations, including heading up BHP’s Olympic Dam corporate affairs division, as well as senior roles at Atlas Iron, CITIC Pacific Mining, Alcoa of Australia, the Western Power Corporation and Telstra.
Libby has a strong personal commitment to public service, having started her career as a primary school teacher. She also sat on the boards of non-profit organisations SIDS and Kids WA, and was Executive Chairman for Kalparrin, a charity that supports the families of children with special needs and disabilities.
NOTE LOCATION: Uni of Canberra, Bldg. 1 UC Refectory, 11 Kirinari Street, Bruce
The Pamela Denoon Lecture is held under the aegis of the National Foundation for Australian Women and is hosted by: The Pamela Denoon Planning Committee & 50/50 by 2030 Foundation at the University of Canberra