The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is passionate about promoting gender equality in the workplace. Our people lead the debate on gender equality, collaborate with organisations and industry to promote gender equality, and propose innovative solutions that result in lasting cultural and structural change.
Our leadership team
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is managed by a Director, supported by a small team of executive managers with diverse experience leading research, education, operations, advice and reporting, and public affairs.
Mary Wooldridge - Director
Mary Wooldridge was appointed Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in May 2021.
Mary brings to the role a wealth of experience from a distinguished career in the Private and Non-for-Profit sectors as well as having served from 2006 to 2020 in the Victorian Parliament. From 2010 to 2014 Mary was the Minister for Mental Health and Community Services and for the first 3 years also as the Minister for Women’s Affairs.
As Minister, Mary worked to implement the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 and was instrumental in establishing Our Watch, the national family violence prevention agency. Mary was the Minister responsible for signing Victoria up to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. She established the Victorian Commission for Children and Young People, including the nation’s first Aboriginal Commissioner, Parkville College – an award-winning Public School in Youth Justice Centres and Australia’s first Mental Health Complaints Commissioner and the Family Drug Treatment Court.
Prior to being elected to Parliament, Mary was the CEO of The Foundation for Young Australians and worked with McKinsey & Company and Consolidated Press Holdings.
Mary also serves as Chair of Global Citizen (Australia) and a Director of Carey Baptist Grammar School.
Anne Beath - Operations Executive Manager
Anne is Operations Executive Manager and leads the team responsible for delivery of the cross-agency support functions of IT, human resource management, finance, procurement, property management, records management, governance and compliance. An integral part of this role is to provide leadership in the optimisation of resource and business planning including the Agency’s data management system.
Anne has worked in the Agency since 2006 as HR Manager and has more than 20 years experience working as a human resource professional for corporate and non-corporate commonwealth entities. Anne holds a Graduate Diploma in Management.
Dr Janin Bredehoeft - Research and Analytics Executive Manager
Janin Bredehoeft is the Research and Analytics Executive Manager at the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, leading a team responsible for data management, analysis and benchmarking as well asthe research and education functions of the Agency. A key aspect of her role is unlocking the potential of the Agency’s world leading dataset through internal and external collaboration to enhance gender equality in Australian workplaces.
Janin has been with the Agency since 2015 and taken on a number of roles in research, data analysis and education. Janin has a strong background in research, having completed her PhD at the University of Sydney in 2019, analysing the developments of academic labour markets in Germany and Australia.
Vanessa Paterson - Program Delivery Executive Manager
Vanessa leads the team responsible for the reporting and related functions under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, and the leading practice functions of the Agency. Vanessa has worked in key roles in the Agency since 2001, having been integrally involved in the reforms of the Agency and its underlying legislation, and in the development and implementation of the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation. Prior to working at the Agency, Vanessa worked in a range of senior roles in the private sector.
Vanessa has a Bachelor of Science majoring in psychology, particularly focussing on her areas of interest, organisational psychology and neuro-psychology.
Steven Douek – Data and Technology Executive Manager
Steven leads the Data and Technology team. He is responsible for transforming the organisation’s technology and transformation capabilities and managing and supporting WGEA’s major campaigns and programs. Steven brings with him a wealth of experience in cloud-enabled transformation with a focus on organisational strategy, operational innovation, technical delivery and service efficiency. Over the past 27 years, he has worked across the private, not-for-profit and NSW public sectors as an advocate of technology automation and strategic change.
Steven holds a Masters of Business Computing, MBA, along with industry certifications in Cloud Computing, IT Governance, Enterprise Architecture, Project Management and certificates in Training & Assessment and Electrotechnology.
Murray Black – Communications and Engagement Executive Manager
Murray leads the team responsible for Agency’s communications and engagement functions. The team boosts the organisation’s reach and impact through traditional media, online and social media channels and events as well as supporting WGEA’s compliance reporting and partnership programs. Prior to joining the Agency in 2017 as the Media and Communications Manager, Murray worked as a media and communications professional in the Australian and NSW public sectors and the not-for-profit sector. Murray began his career in the classical music industry, working in editorial, marketing and communications roles.
He has been the Sydney classical music and opera reviewer for The Australian since 2003 and holds a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in History.
Diversity at WGEA
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) recognises that diversity in the workplace promotes improved decision making, creativity and innovation and leads to better overall performance.
We are committed to providing an inclusive work environment where diversity is valued. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, differences in gender, age, language, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, abilities, thinking and behavioural styles, educational level, professional skills, work and life experiences, socio-economic background, job function, and whether or not one has family responsibilities.
The Agency’s Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Action plan has been designed to include all of these factors and to focus on a number of key areas that have been identified for action. In our Annual Report, we report on our diversity outcomes in areas such as people with disability, people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and our gender diversity.
The Agency will achieve its commitments by linking objectives to five focus areas: recruitment, working arrangements, workplace culture, communication and leadership. Our priorities are in the areas of gender equality, people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, cultural diversity, LGBTIQ and mature age employees.
For an Agency of less than 30 people, it can be challenging to find ways to move the metrics. Our plan details the actions we are taking to improve our diversity. This includes setting targets where appropriate.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA, the Agency) is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from research institutions and/or organisations with significant analytical and research capacity to analyse the Agency’s reporting data and produce a research report/s based on insights from the reporting data through an in-kind research partnership. Ideally, this would be a multi-year partnership for up to three years. The Agency anticipates that the partnership will commence in December 2021. Using the Agency’s longitudinal data, the research should contribute to improving gender equality in the workplace and provide further evidence ‘on what works’.