The media has an “outsized and special role” to play in eradicating biases and stereotypes that are proving tough to shake.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered this message at the national conference, saying it can be the “catalyst for the connections and new shared understandings that can drive us forward”.
Ms Gillard worked with now World Trade Organization director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Women and Leadership, a book identifying barriers faced by women.
“We learned through speaking with women leaders around the globe, about the impacts of unconscious bias, appearance, role modelling, education, and yes, the perpetuation of sexism in the media,” she said.
“The issues that face these women would be the same that many of you have confronted throughout your careers – being stereotyped and underestimated, being required to carve out a pathway in a workplace designed for men.
“Our research showed these are common problems facing women.
“But it also enabled us to identify solutions, including the role the media can play, in eradicating stereotypes and sharing innovative answers.
“That means you have an outsized and special role to play. I urge you to grab it with both hands.”
Watch Ms Gillard deliver her address in this video.