Skip to main content

International Women’s Day 2024 – EmpowerHER: Accelerating change in gender equality

8 Mar 2024

IPAA Victoria fosters important discussion about economic empowerment with prominent public purpose sector leaders at the International Women’s Day Gala Dinner 

Over 700 guests comprising public purpose sector leaders and professionals attended IPAA Victoria’s International Women’s Day Gala Dinner at Grand Hyatt Melbourne.  

To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), IPAA Victoria delved into the theme ‘EmpowerHER: Accelerating change in gender equality.’ We heard from three exceptional women leaders who champion equitable pathways and explored  the road ahead to ensure  greater gender equality in the workplace and beyond.   

I am proud to host this year’s International Women’s Day Gala Dinner. It is IPAA Victoria’s biggest event in the calendar and it is a wonderful opportunity for our members to network, celebrate and consider their role in accelerating change in gender equality.

Amanda Stevens, Chief Executive Officer, IPAA Victoria

The keynote address by Danielle Wood, Chair, Productivity Commission, made clear that economic empowerment isn’t an abstract concept, it gives women choice, dignity, opportunity and agency. 

Danielle Wood shared that in 2023, the proportion of women in senior executive roles in the APS rose to 55 per cent, an increase of 28 per cent in 2001, but the public sector is not immune to the gender pay gap, which reflects the differences in compositions of workforces. Her final remarks posited that economic equality and empowerment are a journey and called for public servants to place a ‘gender lens’ on policy.  

The observations and reflections through the ‘in conversation’ discussion between Manasi Wagh, Manager, Economic Equality, and Dr Morley Muse, Co-founder, iSTEM Co. and DEIR Board Director, gave practical insights on how to best support gender equality and generate positive change.  

When the discussion touched on what can the public sector do to achieve gender equality, the panellists noted the importance of identifying the root cause of inequality one cause is a lack of women in entry-level positions particularly in STEM; and encouraged leaders to view gender equality as “your” problem, not a woman’s problem and apply an intersectionality lens to developing policy for diverse groups.  

IPAA Victoria is the public purpose sector’s professional association and a place where all areas of government meet. IPAA Victoria looks forward to continuing support driving gender equality in the sector.   

IPAA Victoria would like to acknowledge and thank our partners Maddocks, Fisher Leadership and KPMG for supporting this event.  

I encourage us all to think about what we can do to lead and influence change. Progress can be made when organisations, departments and individuals take practical steps to promote and support gender equality in the workplace

Amanda Stevens, Chief Executive Officer, IPAA Victoria


Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens (Host)

Chief Executive Officer

Read More

Danielle Wood


Read More
Dr Morley Muse

Dr Morley Muse

Co-founder, iSTEM Co.

Read More
Manasi Wagh

Manasi Wagh

Manager Economic Equality

Read More


IPAA Victoria would like to acknowledge and thank its event partners for their continued support of the International Women’s Day Gala Dinner.