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100 Women of Influence 2016

28 October 2016

Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer Overall Winner Moya Dod Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood

(Left to Right - Westpac CEO- Brian Harzter, Overall Winner - Moya Dodd & FairFax CEO - Greg Hywood) 

The world’s most popular game – soccer – hasn’t always had an open door policy when it comes to women. This year’s top Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence awardee, lawyer Moya Dodd, is doing her best to influence the contentious world of football politics for the better, especially for women who have been systemically excluded from the sport. While many criticised football governance from the outside, Moya had a different opportunity to work for change from within.

A partner at Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers, Moya is a former Matildas vice-captain, board member of Football Federation Australia (FFA), the first female vice president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and one of the first women on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Executive Committee. Her award as Australia’s most influential woman is in recognition of her global efforts fighting for transparency, governance and gender inclusion for women in sport, particularly football (soccer).

Moya’s work includes leading the global #womeninFIFA push for gender equality during the recent FIFA reform process, campaigning on women’s right to attend stadiums in Iran, and helping to change the rule against women playing football in headscarves.

“I have learned that to change something, you must first understand it. You must suspend judgement in order to deeply understand the individual perspectives, fears and ambitions of the key players. I have also come to understand that no movement to empower a minority ever succeeded without the permission of the majority. Gaining that permission is the key to making change,” Moya says.

“My passion is to promote women in soccer, to overcome a legacy of exclusion and enable the game, and the women in it, to fulfil their potential. I want to do this at the highest level, because even small improvements, when extrapolated globally, can have a huge impact – and be leveraged to their lives beyond sport. I want others to join this mission.

“It’s a great honour to be named as the overall winner. There’s a saying that you’re only as good as your next game. I hope to live up to this award by persuading more people to recognise and address gender biases, not only in sport but also in society,” Moya says.

The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards is committed to increasing the visibility of women’s leadership in Australia, highlighting the important contribution women make in creating a bold, diverse and vibrant future.

In its fifth year, this year’s list adds to the fact that you can’t typecast a Woman of Influence, says Ainslie van Onselen, Director Women’s Markets, Inclusion and Diversity: “There are introverts and extroverts; reserved and gregarious personalities; women that you notice as soon as they enter a room and women whose influence creeps up on you - evident by their results and actions only.

“They all have common defining traits – courage, resilience, positivity, perseverance, agility, intellect and the ability to think outside the square. They are change creators not change followers, and they are visionaries,” she finishes.

The 100 Women of Influence Awards recognised 10 other well-regarded women across the categories of Board/Management; Public Policy; Diversity; Business Enterprise; Young Leader; Global; Local and Regional; Innovation; Arts, Culture and Sport, and Social Enterprise and Not-for-Profit.

Brian Hartzer, Westpac CEO notes: “Moya’s impact on the sporting community in Australia and abroad is paving the way for women to be rightly acknowledged as serious competitors in sport. By agitating to change the culture of football on a global scale, she has become an incredible advocate for reform, integrity and gender equality. Her relentless campaigning has seen huge, and deserved, advancement for women under the amended statutes of FIFA, resourcing and increased opportunity for women on and off the field. 

“As Australia’s oldest company, we have a long and proud history of helping women who are capable of inspiring and leading the next generation to reach their potential. Moya is a powerful example of how diversity can help influence change well beyond our backyard,” says Brian.

Westpac is a market leader when it comes to gender diversity. Nearly 48% per cent of Westpac’s leadership roles are held by women and the company mandate is to reach 50 per cent women in leadership by 2017. Gender diversity makes good business sense by bringing together varied perspectives and dynamic solutions for better decision-making.

Westpac was the first Australian bank with a business unit (Women’s Markets) exclusively dedicated to supporting women – working alongside women to educate and provide financial advice every day and at key life stages for women and girls, including starting their first job, buying their first home, having a child and providing advice on superannuation to enable women to retire well.

This year, Westpac Group has made a series of significant announcements supporting women including changes to the Group’s home lending policies to support families on parental leave and a partnership with the Victorian State Government, designed to tackle unconscious bias in recruitment by piloting an anonymous applications program.

In 2015, Westpac launched The Equilibrium Program which recruits experienced women from other industries to widen the bank’s “pipeline” of female leaders for senior management roles. The Equilibrium Program offers a structured program for accomplished women leaders, both internal and external to the Westpac Group, who have the ability, engagement and aspiration to succeed in a more senior, more complex role or critical leadership position outside of their current specialisation.

2016 The Australian Financial Review and Westpac Women of Influence category winners

  • Arts, Culture and Sport: Moya Dodd, Partner, Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers
  • Board/Management: Janice Reid AC, Chair, Pacific Friends of The Global Fund
  • Business Enterprise: Cyan Ta’eed, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Envato
  • Diversity: Kristy Masella, Chief Executive, Aboriginal Employment Strategy
  • Global: Prof Julie Bernahrdt, Head of Stroke Division, Florey Institute Neuroscience & Mental Health
  • Innovation: Jennifer MacDiarmid, Joint Chief Chief Executive/Director EnGeneIC
  • Local and Regional: Leith Boully, Chair, Sunwater
  • Public Policy: Mary Crooks AO, Executive Director, Victorian Women’s Trust
  • Social Enterprise and Not-for-Profit: Lyn Swinburne, Founder, Breast Cancer Network Australia
  • Young Leader: Caitlin Figueiredo, Ambassador, Global Resolutions

Category Winners

To view the complete list of The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2016, or receive further information on the awards, click here.

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