Gilbert + Tobin has this week launched The Perth Women’s Circle, a 12 month networking and career enrichment program designed to further accelerate access to professional opportunities for the city’s rising female executives.

The Women’s Circle, which was first launched by the firm in Melbourne in 2016, aims to enhance the capabilities, and strengthen the networks, of executive women in business in Western Australia.

Convening once per month, the program will feature 12 successful and influential women leaders who will share their personal stories, career development in their respective fields as well as their experience and insights on the challenges facing women in business.  The program participants have been handpicked by their Chief Executive Officer or equivalent and identified as future leaders within their respective fields from some of Perth’s largest organisations.

The program of keynote speakers includes The Hon Julie Bishop, the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Diane Smith-Gander, Non-Executive Director, Dr Fiona Wood, world leading burns specialist, Ms Moya Dodd, Executive Committee Member of the Asian Football Confederation and Ms Narelda Jacobs, TEN Eyewitness News Perth anchor.  

G + T Perth lead Partner, Michael Blakiston said extending the program into Perth is a natural fit for the firm which has a long and proud history of celebrating diversity and advocating for equality.

“Thirty five percent of our partners are women, and women make up sixty two percent of our total employees. Our people come from a broad range of backgrounds and points of view and we really see the value diversity brings to the firm. It is therefore important that we support the next generation of talented women to step up into leadership roles and achieve gender balance in our businesses, institutions and across society more broadly.”

G + T Perth partner, Claire Boyd said that networking opportunities in Perth for professional women can be limited.

“It is true that in focusing on professional success and the challenges that come with that, women often look up after reaching a certain level of success and find they have a narrower circle than their male counterparts.

This program has the framework to provide each member with an opportunity to build professional working alliances across sectors that have the potential to help guide them through their entire career.

We are extremely proud of the program we have developed and it is our hope that more women will be selected to have a seat at the decision-making table in all spheres and that sooner rather than later, women will run more organisations, sit on more boards and help determine government policy in greater numbers.”

Further information about The Women’s Circle

The number of women invited to participate has been limited to 50 individuals, and have been handpicked by their Chief Executive Officer and identified as future leaders within their respective fields.  They represent a diverse cross section of organisations including leading corporations, industry sectors, the arts, community and government entities.

In addition to the keynote speaker address, an important component of each session will be industry sector insights by speakers from both the public and private sectors including mining, medical research, property and media. The participants will gain valuable information and learn about important developments regarding Perth’s social and business communities that they might otherwise not be aware of. The more they know about key policy initiatives, community and commercial issues, major projects and future planning, the more capable, knowledgeable and equipped they will be to take on these leadership roles.

The Women’s Circle was born out of the Gilbert + Tobin Melbourne Office in October 2016 by the head of Litigation, Janet Whiting AM.

G+T Diversity and Inclusion statement

“We believe that diversity is powerful.  It creates a safe place where everyone is valued and can contribute. It helps us to live well. It means we understand and better engage with our clients and our community.  It improves performance and helps us to think creatively.

We expect our firm, in all of its parts, to be a safe, diverse and fun place to be – where our people are free to be themselves and are able to meaningfully participate. 

We are a community that enjoys celebrating the things that make us different as well as those things that we share in common.”

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