Perth in Focus
Attracting and Retaining Female Talent


Wednesday, 04 May 2016
11:30 - Registration Opens
12:00 - Event Start
14:30 - Event Concludes


Hyatt Regency Perth
Grand Ballroom
99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth


Table of 10 $1,650
Table of 8 $1,320
Per Person $175

This includes a two course lunch with wines.

OPEN TO PUBLIC Registration has now closed

This Perth in Focus luncheon featured a keynote address from prominent Non-Executive Director and President of Chief Executive Women, Diane Smith-Gander. Diane reflected on the recommendations of Filling the Pool from the perspective of both her personal career journey and her aspirations for a bright economic future for WA.

Event Overview

View the presentation.
View the photo gallery.

Lunch Learnings: Attracting and Retaining Female Talent

Just under a year after the Committee for Perth released the landmark Filling the Pool gender equity report, the topic for the May Perth in Focus luncheon was Attracting and Retaining Female Talent.
The Governor's opening address set the scene by talking about how on average, when it came to a return on equity, companies with the highest percentage of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 53%.
The Governor also spoke of the need for more women to do STEM subjects. She referred to actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson launching the HeForShe campaign where she said that gender equality was just as an important issue for men as it is for women.
Keynote speaker Diane Smith-Gander used her well-read and highlighted copy of the Filling the Pool report as a reference tool. Diane said when it comes to gender equity, Perth's in a better place than we’ve ever been but there’s still a long way to go.

Other points made during the presentation included:

  • If a workplace isn’t friendly for women, it isn’t friendly for anyone.
  • Organisations need to realise that having a flexible workplace shouldn’t just be for women but for everyone.
  • Don’t let failure define you, let the way you respond to that failure define you.
  • Be strategically opportunistic. Women need to take on difficult assignments. There are lots of women who been handed a 'poison chalice' and come through the experience stronger for the experience.
  • Acquire mentors but for every mentor you have make sure you also have three supporters. Think about who your true supporters are, they’re the ones that can actively advocate for you.
  • Mentoring is not a marriage. It’s episodic. Don’t be high maintenance and don’t overuse your mentors.
  • Self-promote. Your work doesn’t speak for itself, someone has to speak for it.
  • Advocate for what you want.
  • Networking is real work, but it is worth it. Don’t be embarrassed about doing it.
  • Be authentic and be true to yourself.
  • Don’t take style feedback. Your style is the best one to take you forward.
  • When someone gives you feedback, say thank you very much. Feedback is a gift, you then decide what you want to do with that gift.
  • Self-confidence is a state of mind that can be learned and can be trained.
  • Be prepared to try and to fail. When you do, pick yourself up and try again. 

Meet our speakers and panellists

Diane Smith-Gander Image

Diane Smith-Gander

Diane Smith-Gander is Chairman of Broadspectrum Limited, non-executive director of Wesfarmers Limited, Chairman of Safe Work Australia, a board member of CEDA and President of Chief Executive Women, Australia’s pre-eminent women’s advocacy group.  

Diane has held a wide range of non-executive roles in the past including Deputy Chairperson of NBNCo, non-executive director of the CBH Group, commissioner of Tourism WA and board member of the Committee for Perth.

Diane’s last executive role was Group Executive at Westpac; a member of the leadership team of the corporation, responsible for all Information Technology, back office operations, global vendor management and property.  Diane was a General Manager at Westpac for 10 years in the 1990s responsible for back office functions, retail networks and support functions.  

Prior to re-joining Westpac Diane was a partner at McKinsey & Company in Washington and New Jersey serving clients in diverse industries globally. Diane became a senior advisor to McKinsey in Australia in 2016.

Diane has been active in sports administration and is a past Chairman of both Basketball Australia Limited, the sport’s peak body, and the Australian Sports Drug Agency, the government agency responsible for deterring the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Diane holds an MBA from the University of Sydney and a BEc from the University of Western Australia (UWA).  In 2015 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Economics from UWA.  She is a Fellow of the AICD and Governance Institute of Australia and an adjunct professor of corporate governance at UWA where she serves on the advisory board of the Business School. She is also a Council member of Perth’s Methodist Ladies College.

Diane is a keen down hill skier and operates a vineyard in Margaret River.

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Michael Schoch

General Manager – Crux Project, Shell Australia

Born and raised in WA, studying Economics at Murdoch University, graduating with an Honours Degree in 1985.

Joined Shell in 1986 undertaking a variety of operational, commercial and governance roles in Australia (Perth & Melbourne), Central & Eastern Europe (London & Prague), and China (Beijing).

  • Decision Executive - Shell’s new Australian head office at Perth CityLink; &
  • Chief of Staff – Shell Australia’s Crisis Management Team.

Michael chaired the Steering Committee for the Committee for Perth’s ‘Filling the Pool’ Project between 2013-15, and became a Director of the Committee for Perth in August 2015. 

Michael is a keen long-distance open water swimmer, is married to Karen, and Dad to 3 teenage children.

Karen Dill-Macky Image

Karen Dill-Macky

Partner at EY

A Partner within the Western Region’s Tax practice, Karen drives Ernst & Young’s focus on transaction taxes, GST, fuel excise and customs duty.

Known for her commercial approach, Karen advises companies on the adoption of strategies to effectively manage the implications of large transactions.

A chartered accountant with more than 20 years experience, Karen is highly regarded for her experience in acquisitions, disposals and merger transactions. She has significant experience in cashflow management, fuel tax recovery methodologies and recovery of customs duties.

Karen is also known for assisting industry groups in lobbying and negotiating with Australian Taxation Authorities on GST, debt management and dispute resolution matters and is a frequent presenter for Industry conferences.

Karen is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, member of the Divisional Council of WA Property Council as well as a member of the National Tax Committee and National GST Committee of the Property Council.

Karen has been the leader of the Women’s leadership group at EY for the last 5 years and has implemented a number of diversity and inclusiveness initiatives within the Perth office. 

She is also a member of the Women in Property committee for the WA Property Council and a mentor for the Women in Property mentoring program.

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Lloyd Smith

Chief Executive Officer, Gerard Daniels

Lloyd has more than 30 years’ experience in executive search and human resources consulting in key industry sectors in Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and the United Kingdom.

He has become a trusted advisor, having developed many long term relationships with clients, and has proven expertise in recruiting Chairs, Non-Executive Directors, Chief Executive Officers and senior level direct reports. Lloyd also has a strong career background in corporate governance assignments involving structure, strategy and board composition.

Lloyd has also been heavily involved in building capacity of Not for Profits in the community, culture and health space as part of the firm’s commitment to developing the environment in which we work.

Lloyd holds a Bachelor of Arts (Distinction) from Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia; is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; a Member of the Curtin Business School Advisory Council; and the Chairman of the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra.

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Adrianne Oliveri

Regional General Manager – Westpac Banking Corporation

Adrianne is the Regional General Manager, Retail Banking Metro East, for Westpac Banking Corporation in WA. Adrianne leads a team of 120 staff committed to helping our customers to prosper and grow.

Adrianne has over 20 years experience in the field of banking and finance.

An authentic leader, Adrianne has led teams in a variety of divisions across the bank including Retail, Commercial, Corporate and Institutional.

Adrianne is a member of Westpac’s Womens Markets and the Women of Westpac whose purpose is to support both our employees and customers by providing networking, mentoring and education opportunities.

Adrianne holds a Master of Business Administration from UWA and a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University.

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Conrad Liveris


Conrad Liveris is a workforce diversity specialist, focusing on the cost-benefit relationship for business and the economy. He advises and researches on issues of inclusion working with some of Australia's largest organisations and leading business people to develop effective policy and practice.

Featured in The Australia, Financial Review, West Australian and the News Corp network, Conrad commands the attention of industry and government on diversity. His research has been presented at leading conferences in Australia and abroad on topics such as women in management, flexible working, superannuation and corporate governance.

He holds qualifications in political science, risk management and human resources.