Leadership programs to address the lack of diverse female leaders



Ms. Braid graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Politics after becoming a single parent. “I had a very good guidance counselor at Centrelink who said to me, ‘Why don’t you go to university?’ “, she said.

She then worked as a project manager at the Indigenous Land Corporation and held positions with AFL SportsReady, Red Dust Role Models, National Indigenous Pastoral Enterprises and the Federal Civil Service.

“My manager when I worked for the Commonwealth Government was really supportive of me taking leadership courses under my belt,” Ms Braid said. “They gave me time to study and partly funded my master’s degree (in management), which made it a little more affordable.”

Ms. Braid recently participated in ECHO (Elevating Connections, Healing Ourselves), a pilot leadership program for First Nations women in Victoria.

She said she learned a lot from listening to other women’s stories about what worked and what didn’t in their business.


“I have always wanted to have my own bush food business and after participating in the ECHO forum I am even more determined that this is where I will be in five years.”

Chief Executive Women President Sam Mostyn said a diversity of women should be represented at all decision-making tables.

Chief Executive Women, in partnership with the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation, is offering up to three scholarships at Harvard Kennedy School for rising and mid-career women leaders of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent.

Diversity Council Australia CEO Lisa Annese said affirmative action plans have traditionally benefited a select group of women of Anglo-Celtic descent.

Ms Annese said organizations need to look at how they recruit, how they identify and promote talent, and their own culture.

“It’s great to invest in people and although it can help them develop their own capabilities, unless you really invest in activities that change the system, they will always rely on a biased system and , therefore, there will be difficulties.” she says.

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