Transforming Women's Leadership Pathways


While gender equality is improving in higher education institutions, professions and industry, globally women are still in the minority amongst CEOs, board and executive members of major companies, professors and political leaders. This pioneering digital event brings together opinion shaping women and men to examine the evidence on the critical factors that limit women’s pathways to senior leadership in their fields, and to develop ten action plans that articulate the practical actions Government, Universities and Industry must take to close the leadership gender gap. The Transforming Women’s Leadership Pathway digital event is an initiative of the PLuS Alliance (Arizona State University, Kings College London and UNSW Sydney) and is a foundational event in our joint work towards gender equity in leadership.

The ten action plans will be produced into a single Action Plan titled What will it take: women in leadership by 2030.

Why now?
The #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements have shone a spotlight on the social, reputational and economic costs of ignoring injustice. If we were ever in doubt of the importance of diversity and inclusion, not just to economic prosperity but also to the very fabric of our society, that has been dispelled by these global movements. Countries cannot thrive without the inclusion of all women. We must expand the pathway to see more gender diverse women, more women of colour, more women with disability, and more LGBTIQ women reach senior leadership. It is crucial that we are in the room. 
The gendered impact of COVID-19 has wiped out much of the progress that had been made. COVID-19 has changed the way we work globally. We must overcome the barriers, and leverage the opportunities that will accelerate the pathways for women getting to the top.

The time is now. We must step up and strengthen the current pathways and forge new ones where needed, to ensure future generations benefit from women in leadership. We can’t afford to wait.  


What is distinctive about this event?

This will be the first time a group of top international universities have come together to work with Industry and Government to tackle this global challenge. Together we will identify what it will take to dramatically increase the representation of women in leadership in ten key areas of our economies by 2030. 

This is not a one-off event. It is a practical planning session building on previous work to workshop action plans for each key sector. We will publish the action plans and work individually and in concert with Industries and Governments to drive change.

The working group areas are: The Arts, Corporate, Engineering, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Higher Education, Media & Communications, Medicine, Policy & Politics, Science and Technology.

Each working group will test their recommendations against the guiding principles of intersectionality, sustainability and changing work and work patterns to ensure that the solutions are inclusive and adaptive for future ways of working. 


Call to action

We must be ambitious, innovative and bold to accelerate change, and we need to act now.

We are asking participants to leave no stone unturned in identifying what it will take to increase the representation of women in leadership in each sector. We need to be clever and potentially radical in our problem solving, and we need to be impactful.

We are on a cusp where we can leverage the extraordinary work that has gone before, seize the pivotal time created by the Black Lives Matter & MeToo movements, and use the critical mass we have achieved to propel women’s leadership forward. The global leadership profile needs to transform to be more inclusive and representative of the world. Progress on closing the gender gap has slowed, and we must accelerate our progress and keep up the momentum. What will it take? The time is now.


The Launch and Final Plenary

The Event Launch and Final Plenary will be recorded and live streamed to the public. 

The Event Launch keynote was delivered by former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who was interviewed by Professor Rosie Campbell, Director of the Global Institute for Women's Leadership. 

Watch the recorded Event Launch here.

In the Final Plenary, the ten action plans will be presented in 3 blocks, each followed by a panel session with a Q&A component. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions about the action plans. 

Click here to access the live link to the Final Plenary, which will take place in the last week of October.

Please note as this is a live event, the above Final Plenary link will only activate when the event is starting. Each participant has also been sent this link directly. 

We encourage participants to circulate this link to those who may be interested in watching. 


The Working Groups

We are bringing together by invitation, expert staff from our three universities; students; and industry and government leaders. Participants will form ten Working Groups each focussed on pathways to leadership in a professional area in the sciences, technology, humanities and the arts. Each of the Working Groups will be lead by expert leaders from the sector.

The Arts



Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Higher Education

Media & Communications

Medicine & Life Sciences

Policy & Politics




The PLuS Alliance

The PLuS Alliance combines the strengths of three leading research universities on three continents – Arizona State University, King’s College London and UNSW Sydney – to solve global challenges and increase access to world-class higher education in high-need areas.