Victorian Government backs Women of Colour Australia to co-design and pilot the first Executive Leadership Program for Women of Colour


Women of Colour Australia (WoCA), an Australian not-for-profit organisation advocating for the advancement of Women of Colour through tailored education programs, community support initiatives, and advocacy work, today announced the start of a new partnership with the Victorian Government. WoCA will lead co design of a new Executive Leadership Program, with funding from the Victorian Government, to address the structural barriers to leadership for Women of Colour.

The co-design project with WoCA is one of many investments from the Victorian Government in a bid to further advance gender equality and to increase the participation of women in leadership positions. WoCA’s ELP aligns with the renewal of Victoria’s Gender Equality Strategy and the implementation of the Gender Equality Act in Victoria, aimed at fuelling a strong pipeline of diverse women serving, staying, and thriving in leadership positions over time.

The ELP, a joint partnership program by WoCA and Women’s Business, a First Nations owned and led organisation amplifying Women of Colour in Leadership will target Women of Colour and First Nations women who currently hold or aspire to hold senior executive positions of leadership and influence in their workplaces, communities and areas of interest. It will be designed to support high potential Women of Colour to identify and navigate the structural, cultural and organisational barriers in their workplaces, offer strategies to address gender and cultural biases and gain hands-on knowledge and enhanced capability to further advance their careers at the senior level.

Brenda Gaddi, Founder and Managing Director of WoCA said, “First Nations women and Women of Colour continue to be significantly overlooked for key decision-making roles across almost all industries. More often than not, Women of Colour do not lack the capabilities, but what we lack is opportunities. This program will provide Women of Colour with the readiness to apply their skills and the tools to recognise and collectively address the systemic issues they encounter on their leadership journey.”

It is a great honour that the Victorian Government is trusting WoCA with this fund and it is not an assignment that we take lightly. We look forward to changing and helping shape the career paths of First Nations women and Women of Colour.

Kat Henaway, Founder and CEO, Women’s Business also said,  “Amplifying Women of Colour in leadership has always been our core mission at Women’s Business. To be at the forefront of co-designing and developing the ELP with Women of Colour Australia makes us enormously proud and our hope is that more Australian institutions will follow the courageous lead of the Victorian Government in supporting these types of programs.”