Category Archives: Committees

AmCham Committee articles

Aren’t we done with diversity? See you in 2186

Everybody’s been talking about gender diversity for a while now. We celebrate International Women’s Day. We proudly announce our boardroom targets. And we pat ourselves on the back for offering flexible working arrangements for mothers and fathers returning to work. So why keep it on the agenda at all?

I don’t think we should ever stop talking about diversity. At least not for the next 170 years, which is the estimated time to reach gender parity, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report.gender diversity Continue reading

Biting the Big Apple: export opportunities in the USA

The United States of America (USA) has long been an important trading partner for Australian businesses. With a similar demographic profile and lifestyle, Australian businesses are well placed to capitalise on the much larger market of more than 300 million people.

In fact, the USA ranks as number three in terms of exporting volume sent from Australia – and the second largest source of imports. However on the flipside, Australia is the 26th largest trading partner for the US. Continue reading

Female Leaders in the Spotlight – Susan Jennings, AbbVie

Director of HR – AbbVie ANZsusan jennings abbvie

Throughout her career, Susan Jennings has always had an instinct for an opportunity and where there were barriers she would always find another way.

In another life, she might have been an Air Force fighter pilot, or a professional cricketer – she certainly had those ambitions.  However, access to opportunity when she was starting out was often limited by the fact she was female. How things have changed in the 30 years Susan has been in the workforce! Continue reading

Recap: AmCham NEXT engages the start-up ecosystem

The key focus of AmCham NEXT’s first event of the year was the entrepreneur and, being held in the Tesla showrooms at Martin Place, the location could not have been more apt.  Alex Lynch (Google Australia), Robert Wickham ( and Malcolm Thornton (Cisco Systems) talked us through the ins and outs and ups and downs of launching a start-up and being an entrepreneur in today’s start-up ecosystem. Continue reading

Reflections on the unequal representation of women in leadership

It is an indisputable fact that women are not equally represented in leadership roles or management positions in Australian companies and governments, not even close. Even in 2016, this is the case in almost all arenas of business and politics and is most certainly a global issue, although Australia even appears to lag in this indicator among developed nations. This flows through to an under-representation of women on boards of directors of Australian public companies. Earlier this year consultant Conrad Liveris found that there were fewer women in CEO and chair roles in ASX 200 companies than there were men named either John, Peter or David in such roles. What an alarming statistic! In this piece we consider whether this under-representation is caused by a failure to recognise that women as much as men are able to achieve and sustain appropriate business outcomes, and conclude that this is a matter that good corporate governance can resolve. Continue reading

Shifting the paradigm – NSW NEXT: Network for Future Leaders goes back to basics

There is an interesting paradigm within modern workplaces when it comes to young professionals. Millennial workers spend many of their formative years after high school learning about the functional skills and knowledge required to carry out a job in their chosen field – be it through higher education or on-the-job training like an apprenticeship.

As their abilities develop through experience, so too does their industry expertise and many go on to rise through the ranks, until the day comes that they are given a team of people to leadership

And then what?


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The Career Success Equation and Why Women Aren’t Gaining Leadership Roles

The glaring dearth of women in leadership positions, both throughout Australia and the world, has been much documented in recent years, with calls to see the gender gap closed at the top levels of business and government.  Although there has been much discussion, gender parity and diversity are still struggling to be achieved in the workforce. Women are underrepresented in the leadership pipeline and aren’t ascending to leadership roles at the same speed or with the same ruthlessness as their male counterparts. The promotion and development of talent and essential leadership skills for female employees needs to be a business priority of organisations, regardless of size.

Susan Colantuono, as the CEO of Leading Women – one of the world’s premier consulting firms for companies committed to closing the leadership gender gap – recognises and speaks on the importance of developing women leaders at every level. Previous AmCham Women in Leadership events have focused on how in order to accelerate women to the top of the leadership chain, they first need to develop their skills and advance themselves as they move through the pipeline. Continue reading