Gender Diversity in the Workplace ‘Perception Versus Reality’ (V171027)

7:30am Friday, 27 October 2017
2:00pm Friday, 27 October 2017
Grand Hyatt Melbourne - Mayfair Room
123 Collins St
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

The 2017 Gender Diversity in the Workplace Conference, ‘Perception versus Reality’, will address some of the most discussed topics in the world. It is a movement that is here to stay. The API with the support of the REIV invite all their members to attend this event where they will be given the opportunity to listen to each speaker’s firsthand experiences and gauge what issues actually influence perception from reality.

The conference will also address:

  • What are some of the fundamental reasons some work places have sustained inequality in their working environments and explain how best to review their practices.
  • Explain how a company can explore different solutions to equip them with effective and best practices.
  • What are the key drivers that create and motivate tangible and sustainable change in organisational culture.
  • Explain why it is important to take note of the messages their organisational brand sends to people of all genders.
  • Recommend how organisations can adopt a more effective approach to achieve gender equality at work.
  • Dispel the myth that gender equality has only women in its sights and that gender equality is inclusive.

It is anticipated that all API and REIV members who have the opportunity to champion this auspicious event will recognise its current social standing and significance and drive home the movement’s core values.

All conference delegates have the chance to win 2 nights accommodation at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne valued at $1,500. 

The API is also offering a 20% discount on tickets for YPP Committee Members- Please contact the Victorian Office to take advantage of this special offer


Proudly Supported by the REIV






Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers

Read more about the Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speaker
Troy Roderick

Troy Roderick has specialised in diversity and inclusion for around 20 years. In his current role with the Male Champions of Change, Troy advises MCC program directors on key insights and trends in gender equality, shaping the agenda for bold initiatives to create more gender balance in business. As Catalyst Australia’s Executive Ambassador, Troy provides leadership and support to Catalyst supporter companies in Australia committed to more inclusive cultures.

In 2015 and 2016, Troy was recognised in the “Top 50 diversity professionals in industry” in the Global Diversity List, supported by “The Economist”. Troy’s impactful work in Diversity and Inclusion has been recognised with the: 

  • 2010 global Catalyst Award for Gender Diversity
  • 2011 Australian HR Award for Best Workplace Diversity Strategy
  • 2012 Australian HR Institute Awards for Gender Equity and HR Champion
  • 2015 Australian HR Institute Awards for Flexibility and Inclusive Workplace
  • Recognition as a Silver tier employer for LGBT+ Inclusion in the 2017 Australian Workplace
  • Equality Index and the 2017 Community Business LGBT+ Inclusion Index for Hong Kong

Guest Keynote Speaker
Dr Susan Alberti AC

Susan Alberti AC is one of Australia’s pre-eminent philanthropists, having donated millions of dollars to medical research and other charitable causes over her successful business career. 

Susan developed a passion for medical research when her only child, Danielle, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the 1980s. Danielle tragically died from the complications arising from the chronic disease. It was at that point Susan’s lifelong commitment to raise funds for better prevention, treatment and to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes became a dedicated mission. This has subsequently led her to focus on medical research more broadly. 

 Susan Alberti was a finalist in the Australian of the Year Award in 1997 and again in 2009. In 1997 she received an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) for her contributions towards the cause of diabetes research. Susan was awarded an AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) on January 2007. This recognised her long and outstanding contribution to major medical research institutions, particularly as a philanthropist, fundraiser and advocate for Type1 diabetes care and research. 

On Australia Day 2016, Susan was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) Award in recognition of her eminent service to the community, particularly through philanthropic and fundraising support for a range of medical research, education and to young women as a role model and mentor. Susan is Chair of the Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation, Retired Chair of the St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research Foundation, Director of the Western Health Foundation, Chair of the DANII Foundation, Chair of the Victoria University Foundation, Retired Vice President of the AFL Western Bulldogs Football Club, Director of the Western Bulldogs Forever Foundation, Retired President of the VFL Footscray Bulldogs, Director of the AFL National Women’s League Advisory Group, Director of the National Australia Day Council, Susan is also (Alma Mater) Patron of Siena College Camberwell and Governor of the Siena Philanthropic Society in addition to holding the many honorary philanthropic positions. Susan was also featured on ABC Australia Story ‘A League of Their Own ’ aired on 29 August, 2016.


Read more about our Presenters and the Conference MC

Angela Athena Pippos
Journalist, TV Presenter, Radio Personality, Author & MC 

Angela left her native South Australia in 1997 to pursue a sports journalism career with the ABC in Melbourne. She’s best known for anchoring the sports segment on the ABC TV News for almost a decade. 

Searching for a new challenge in 2007, Angela ventured where no woman has dared go - the testosterone-charged world of breakfast sports radio. 

She’s appeared on a number of sports programs including Network Ten’s Before the Game and The Back Page on Fox Sports. 

Angela’s first book, The Goddess Advantage – One Year in the Life of a Football Worshipper (Text Publishing) loosely follows her life during the 2005 AFL season. Angela has contributed to a number of publications including The Footy Almanac (Malarkey Publications), It Happened on a Fishing Trip (Affirm Press) and From the Outer (Black Inc). Her sharp, thought-provoking columns appear in The New Daily. 

Angela has just released her second book, Breaking The Mould – Taking A Hammer To Sexism In Sport and the television documentary she wrote, produced and presented about the rise of women in Australian Rules football, League of Her Own, aired on the Seven Network in February 2017. 

Angela’s second documentary about the inaugural AFL Women’s competition will screen on ABCTV in September 2017. 

Angela is a regular contributor to 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Grandstand and 891 ABC Adelaide. 

Angela has an Honours degree in Politics from the University of Adelaide. 

You will have the opportunity to purchase Angela’s latest book Breaking the Mould.

Kathy Mac Dermott 
Chief Operating Officer 
Property Council of Australia 

Kathy Mac Dermott is the Chief Operating Officer of the Property Council of Australia, the leading advocate for Australia’s $670 billion property industry.  

Over 2,352 organisations are members of the Property Council across the country, comprising the nation’s major investors, property owners and developers – as well as the industry’s professional service and trade providers.  

Advocacy is the Property Council’s core business. The Property Council also provides networking, professional development, industry specific research, and tools for its members.  

As COO Kathy is responsible for the three national business units: National Events, Conferences and Advertising; Research; and The Property Academy, which provides professional development courses to the industry.  

Kathy also leads the Property Council’s work on building a diverse and inclusive industry. These includes forming with the support and guidance of the Australian Human Rights Commission the Property Male Champions of Changes (PMCC) in 2015. This group comprises 21 CEO’s of Australia’s largest property companies working together to increase the number of women leaders in property, growing our pipelines of talent and building inclusiveness. Kathy is program director of this group.  

Kathy was appointed COO in November 2014, after acting in this role for two months prior. She joined the Property Council in November 2010 as Executive Director of its Queensland Division. 

Before joining the Property Council, Kathy was General Manager – Property and Finance, at the Rowland Group –one off Australia’s largest privately owned communications and corporate affairs consultancy, where she worked for a number of listed property and mining companies for five years. 

Her 30-year career in property includes 11 years as a journalist for The Australian Financial Review, seven as the Queensland bureau chief.  

Kathy has also worked in corporate communication roles in Australia and London.  

She has a Bachelor of Business, Communications from QUT and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Directors’ Course.

Sadhana Smiles
Chief Executive Officer
Harcourts Group Victoria

Sadhana Smiles is Chief Executive Officer of Harcourts Group Victoria, the state division of one of Australia’s leading, well respected and fastest growing real estate brands.

She is one of only two female CEOs in her sector which is commonly referred to as the “boy’s club”. Starting her career as a receptionist Sadhana has created a brand that has placed her amongst her peers as a thought leader, industry commentator, corporate activist and a contemporary feminist.

Under her leadership, Harcourts Victoria is one of the leading business units globally within the group and is the fastest growing franchise group in Victoria, consistently increasing their market share while being the most recognised, most quoted and most heard brand.

With a focus on performance and satisfaction Sadhana has doubled their EBIT over the last two years and increased franchisee satisfaction, sitting at 96th percentile in the sector benchmark. All this in an industry that has the 2nd worst pay gap and one where some of her male counterparts have labelled her just about everything a woman can be. “I am a coloured woman playing in a male dominated industry, earning my seat at the table through my results. Numbers never lie.” She is passionate about the issues of violence against women and diversity - “our workplaces must reflect the communities we work in.” In 2012 Sadhana brought Walk a Mile in their Shoes to Victoria. This is now a national event for the Harcourts Group with over 1000 men and women walking in high heels, raising money for White Ribbon and making a clear statement that violence towards women is not OK. The group has raised over $300K for White Ribbon and funded over 100,000 students to participate in the award winning Breaking the Silence program teaching the youth about respectful relationships. She is also working with various organisations in Australia to highlight the issue of dowry deaths of Indian women and the violence some of them face in Australia post their arranged marriages.

In 2013 Sadhana published her first book People Power: Did You Have Them @ Hello, a step by step guide to developing and managing performance driven teams. In 2016 she published a personal development journal for women based on her own experiences – I want what she’s having. In 2013 Sadhana was named the Victorian Telstra Business Women of the Year, as well as the winner of the Victorian Telstra Private Corporate Sector award. In 2016 Sadhana was named one of 100 women of Influence in Australia.

Sadhana is the founder of Links Fiji, a not for profit, with a focus on conducting pap smears for women in rural areas of Fiji and reducing the incidence of cervical cancer. A single mum to nine kids, Sadhana’ s drive comes from her desire to leave the world she influences a better place.


7.30amRegistrations Open.
Tea and Coffee served
8.30amKathy Mac Dermott
9.05amAngela Pippos
9.40amSadhana Smiles
10.20amHigh tea in the morning and networking
10.45amTroy Roderick - Keynote speaker
11.25amDr Susan Alberti - Guest Keynote speaker
12.35pmGourmet Buffet Champagne Lunch and Networking
2.00pmProgram Concludes

Registration Fees

Early Bird registrations close on September 1st, 2017

API Members and Non-Members Early bird$244
API Student and Retired Members Early bird$159
For students and retired members wishing to attend the conference please call the Victoria API office on 03 96447500 and book through Laura Campione. 
API Members and Non-Members Standard$265
YPP Committee Members$212 Please book through Laura Campione.
API Student and Retired Members Standard

For students and retired members wishing to attend the conference please call the Victoria API office on 03 96447500 and book through Laura Campione.

Table of 5 includes a 5% discount$1258.75 please click here to book 
Table of 10 includes a 10% discount$2385 please click here to book 

CPD Points

Full attendance at this event accrues 4 CPD points.

Do you need some assistance?

A comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section is available to help you with any event registration related question.  A few of the common questions are:

For the full FAQ list please go to and look for the API Events sub-heading. 

View the Event Registration Terms and Conditions

Sold Out
Login to view your member price

Contact Information

Christine Collins, CPD Services Officer

Please contact the API Office in Melbourne if you have any queries relating to this event.