Skip to content

CEW’s voice is a voice for all women

CEW’s voice is a voice for all women
Women are sometimes accused of being their own worst enemies, professionally speaking.
CEW member Christine Christian

Women are sometimes accused of being their own worst enemies, professionally speaking. They do not put their hands up for promotion; they aren’t confident enough about promoting their skills and achievements; and they don’t do enough to find sponsors who will help them progress their careers.

Well yes, there is some truth in those assessments. But I learnt long ago that women can be their own harshest critics and this is not a winning tactic.

If you work in isolation or don’t seek feedback, then yes, it can often be hard to judge when confidence is being “pushy”, when displaying a modest ego is really “hiding your light under a bushel”.

When senior women get together and share war stories, all these issues come up. And that’s one of the very important networking aspects of Chief Executive Women. In almost 30 years since CEW was formed, every new member, no matter how senior a leader she is, has been supported by the knowledge that we have all felt the same way at one time.

CEW still puts a lot of energy into supporting its members, but these days we also raise a powerful voice in Australia’s national conversation around increasing women’s participation in work and leadership.

Members of CEW live and breathe leadership. Many of us have been the first women in our fields to take on a C-suite role. Some of our lessons have been learned the hard way and we’ve been hearing the same promises and bland statements of intent around gender equality for decades.

We believe that now is the time for a strong culture of genuine gender diversity in Australia.

Through our various executive education scholarships and training programs, CEW offers future women leaders the benefit of our collective wisdom, and we engage with business, government and the community as advocates for women in leadership. You can read more about the Leaders Program and our scholarships on this site.

We aim to grow this website into a hub for discussion on greater representation of women at senior levels of Australian business, government, academia and the not-for-profit sectors. We also want to share what we have learnt about the culture of leadership.

This website will be where CEW and its members will present an evidence- and experience-based case for greater representation of women in leadership.

Through our Voice of Experience blog posts, CEW members will also tell our personal stories of struggling to achieve career success in the face of gender bias, conscious and unconscious.

It is only with this kind of leadership that Australia will bring about change which will benefit us all.

Christine Christian


Christine Christian is Non Executive Company Director, ME Bank Limited, Lonsec Fiscal, Powerlinx Inc., State Library of Victoria


New data from Workplace Gender Equality Agency released today shows that progress on closing the workplace gender pay gap has stalled. Women are on average earning $26,600 less than men. The WGEA 2021-22 Employer Census also found: ❌ Just 22% of CEOs are women. ❌ Men are more likely to hold managerial positions, even in...
The Chief Executive Women Leadership Summit, hosted on Tuesday, 6 September 2022, brought leaders together for an uncensored conversation about what can be done to break through the malaise and achieve gender equality for the benefit of all in Australia. In a day of inspiring discussion and keynote speeches, attendees were left empowered to drive...
Chief Executive Women welcomes the Albanese Government’s Federal Budget and Women’s Budget Statement, which recognise that gender equality is at the heart of Australia’s future prosperity and resilience. CEW supports investments in measures to address cost of living pressures and enable women’s workforce participation, economic contribution, health and safety. READ MORE
Leveraging women’s participation and leadership is one of the most effective actions for business and government to boost the Australian economy. As we build for recovery, while facing critical labour and skills shortages, we need to invest in our people and place care at the centre of our economy. We cannot afford to delay this...
Chief Executive Women welcomes the Albanese Labor Government’s announcement to boost Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave (PPL) from 18 weeks to 26 weeks. CEW has long advocated for a package of reforms, of which PPL is a critical lever, in unlocking women’s workforce participation and boosting the economy. The increase to 26 weeks paid parental leave,...
The progress on women reaching the most senior leadership roles in corporate Australia is going backwards, according to the 2022 Chief Executive Women (CEW) Senior Executive Census, and at this rate it will take 100 years for women to make up at least 40% of all CEO positions on the ASX200. Now in its sixth...
The CEW Senior Executive Census is collected annually in partnership with Bain & Company, from data available on company websites and in annual reports. Data on the executive leadership teams for the companies in the CEW Senior Executive Census was collected in July 2022 from company websites, including Annual Reports and media releases. This methodology...
Having the desire to create more gender diversity in senior leadership ranks within your company is one thing, but putting practical measures in place to achieve this is something completely different. Often, the hardest part is knowing where to start. After speaking to 22 Australian companies who are leading the way when it comes to...
21 July 2022, 12AM: The three people tasked with leading scientific efforts for defence in the UK, US and Australia will meet in Sydney today, to discuss how to improve women’s representation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) leadership roles: Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro AC, US Under Secretary of Defense for...
In the wake of Enough is Enough, the final report of Western Australia’s parliamentary inquiry into sexual harassment of women in the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) mining industry, Chief Executive Women (CEW) is urging all businesses and organisations across all sectors to access free resources it has developed to help stamp out harassment once and for...