It’s not often you get to be in a room with “greatness” – even virtually – but attendees at this year’s Public Sector Women in Leadership Summit will have that privilege when they share one hour with the 67th United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
As the summit’s virtual special guest, former Secretary of State Clinton will feature in a live Q&A with renowned Australian journalist Leigh Sales at QT Canberra. The conversation will also be streamed to summits in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The organiser, The Hatchery managing director Andrew Savage, said Mrs Clinton was the highest calibre guest speaker in the event’s seven-year history.
“It’s not often you’re in a room with greatness – even virtually – so it will be a real conversation starter,” he said.
“We’re just so excited to be able to bring someone of this kind of profile to an Australian audience. We’ve featured high-profile Australian politicians, including Julia Gillard and Julie Bishop previously, but this time we wanted to up the ante for our biggest-ever summit.
“We wanted to provide the audience with a different angle and get a world leader that could bring an international perspective to women in leadership.”
Mr Savage said Mrs Clinton would share her experiences from her varied career, having served as the First Lady of the United States to the 42nd President, Bill Clinton, before holding the position of US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 under President Barack Obama . She ran for president in 2008 and again in 2016.
“Former Secretary Clinton will have a really strong story to tell and I expect the conversation to be very interesting,” he said,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to hearing her broad insights into leadership and the challenges she has faced during her incredible journey.”
Mr Savage expects the audience to be inspired by her “experience and evergreen strategies of how to develop as a female leader” in her roles as a politician, practising lawyer and law professor, activist and volunteer.
“I think it will be one of those life experiences that you will remember forever,” he said.
“I would hope anyone that comes along will go back to their job feeling energised and inspired, with a load of practical takeaways that they can put in place from the whole event.”
He said multi-award-winning author and ABC Australian Story anchor Leigh Sales would make for an engaging conversation as she has previously interviewed Mrs Clinton and every living Australian Prime Minister.
Held over two days, the summit has been tailor-made to inspire women to become remarkable leaders by connecting aspiring and current women in leadership with the collective wisdom of the leading women across Australia’s public sector.
Joining Mrs Clinton as guest speakers will be Australian Human Rights Commission Sex Discrimination Commissioner Dr Anna Cody, and Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek.
Female leaders, emerging leaders and their allies across the four venues will gain invaluable advice from the speakers across a range of important topics, including diversity and inclusion, gender equality, women’s health and work/life balance and the reality of gender discrimination.
Mr Savage said the summit provided a unique opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in a spectrum of empowering discussions that resonate with women and all public sector leaders.