Event Recap: Unleashing the power of mentoring for LGBTIQ women

On March 28, Out for Australia was proud to co-host its first major event aimed at LGBTIQ women this year with Unleashing the power of mentoring for LGBTIQ women held at Out for Australia’s principal sponsor Baker McKenzie’s new Sydney offices.

Attendees heard from three inspiring LGBTIQ women mentee/mentor pairs about how mentoring impacted their lives and careers.

The event, emceed by OFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Emily Scott and Sapphire Convener Sarah McCarthy featured stories and conversations about the power and importance of mentoring and the way these relationships offered support during unique challenges in each person’s lives.


“Sarah and I were blown away by the response to this event. So often we struggle to see ourselves represented at events and are met with spaces that are over represented by our male counterparts. It was such a powerful feeling hosting a sold out 200+ event, over 90% of which were LGBTIQ women. We hope this the beginning of further events tailored for LGBTIQ women and generally greater visibility of us in the workplace,” Emily Scott said.


Speakers encouraged LGBTIQ women from all stages of their life and career to seek a mentor and/ or mentee as a path to further personal and professional growth.

Attendees and aspiring mentees also had the chance to win a mentoring session with a variety of LGBTIQ women leaders from politicians and senior executives to community leaders from across industry and sectors. 

The event also saw a special performance from Kim Sheehy , along with a networking session where everyone from student and young professional LGBTIQ women to senior executives were able to discuss key issues facing the LGBTIQ women in the workplace and make supportive social and professional connections.

Alison King, Chairperson of the Aurora Group who attended the event noted "Tonight was something I wasn't sure I'd ever see - a room of professional LGBTIQ women networking and talking meaningfully about their collective power"

For more information on Out for Australia’s mentoring program visit: www.outforaustralia.org/mentoring-program



Out for Australia sincerely thanks the inspirational LGBTIQ women leaders below who made this event possible.


Speakers at Unleashing the power of mentoring for LGBTIQ women included:

  • Sam Turner – Head of Inclusion & Diversity for Westpac Group

  • Nic Brennan – Executive Manager of Retail Banking Services Productivity at the Commonwealth Bank

  • Kamalika Dasgupta – Accountant at Westwood Accountants & Advisors

  • Julie Cairns – Managing Director Trading Pursuits Group 

  • Savannah Jackson – CEO of Trading Pursuits Group and Simulated Trading Systems Ltd 



LGBTIQ women leaders who donated mentoring sessions included:

  • Katherine Maver - Senior Managing Consultant, ‎IBM

  • The Hon Penny Sharpe MLC -  NSW Shadow Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Shadow Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events

  • Cr Christine Foster - Councillor, City of Sydney

  • Mon Schafter - Journalist & Documentary Filmmaker

  • Alison King - Chair Person and Director, The Aurora Group - A Ruby Foundation Ltd

  • Elaine Czulkowski - Operations Manager, Pride Inclusion Programs

  • Gerry Voon - Director, Responsible Business, Deloitte

  • Jax Jacki Brown - Disability and LGBTIQ Activist

  • Kimberly Olsen - CEO, Trans Employment Program Australia

  • Lara Husselbee - Lead Experience Designer & HCD Researcher

  • Luci Ellis - Assistant Governor (Economic), RBA

  • Mikhara Ramsing - Social Entrepreneur

  • Robyn Sorensen - Manager, PwC Consulting

  • Peta Friend - Founder, Trans Sydney Pride

  • Sally Rugg - National Director, Change.org

  • Sam Turner - Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Westpac Group

  • Dr Vanessa Lee - Social Epidemiologist & Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney