Why is change so slow and taking so long to achieve?

Join us for an important and different conversation to explore the gap between the rhetoric and reality of women in leadership in Australia and what we might do to make progress on this complex and difficult issue.

Come and join a conversation about Leadership and Gender with three provocative and different thinkers; Saara Sabbagh, Ed O’Malley and Anne Giugni. The conversation will be facilitated by Frances Feenstra, with opening remarks by Mike Bertolino.


Saara is a social worker of Syrian origin, who arrived in Melbourne at the age of six. In her early 20’s, she travelled to Syria and studied under eminent female, Islamic scholars. In 2008, with five other like-minded women, Saara established ‘Benevolence’, a not-for-profit community organisation, which provides space for people to have their own spiritual journey. Saara frequently appears in mainstream media and is an alumnus of the Williamson Community Leadership Program and key contributor to the Islamic Women’s Leadership Initiative.


Ed O’Malley has worked with some of the most complex issues the world faces. He founded (and is currently President & CEO of) the renowned Kansas Leadership Centre, fundamentally reshaping the State. He has been instrumental in progressing leadership in hundreds of businesses and communities in the US and Australia. Ed is an adjunct Harvard faculty member and has built a global reputation through his straightforward Your Leadership Edge model.


As the Oceania Leader for EY People Advisory Services, Anne leads a team of 495 staff and 34 Partners who work with clients every day to help them harness their people agenda. As part of her role, Anne is also the Global Client Partner on various accounts looking after international mobility issues and consulting on factors associated with expatriate transfers and cross border tax planning. Anne was a previous Partner at Arthur Andersen and she has been a Partner at EY for 17 years. Anne is married and a mother of two teenage daughters so the topic of leadership and gender is both professional and personal for her.


Frances Feenstra is a director of People Measures, a firm of organisational psychologists, and a member of The 100% Project’s research committee. She founded The 100% Project in 2007 and was the Chair of the organisation from 2007 – 2013. Frances has a longstanding commitment to gender equality, is often invited to speak on the topic of gender leadership and has led a number of research studies to enhance our understanding of the slow pace of change in Australia.

The evening is hosted by Ernst and Young, and will be opened by Mike Bertolino, EY Global Leader who is recognised via various awards for his outstanding contributions to providing a better working environment for EY’s people and advancing women at Ernst & Young LLP.

Date & Time: Tuesday 17 April, 6.30 – 8pm. Please join us at 6pm for networking drinks

Venue: EY Building, 8 Exhibition St, Melbourne (check in with ground floor Concierge on arrival)

Cost: $55 +gst Drinks and canapés provided

Tickets: Click here to register at Eventbrite

This event is subject to limited availability and tickets will be strictly allocated on a first come first served basis.