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.
Hon Mary Wooldridge - Director
Mary Wooldridge commenced as Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) in May 2021. She leads the Agency in driving gender equality in workplaces ensuring that women and men are equally represented, valued and rewarded.
Mary brings to the role a wealth of experience from a distinguished career in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Mary served from 2006 to 2020 in the Victorian Parliament, including a term as Minister for Mental Health, Community Services and 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 - Leading Practice Executive Manager
Vanessa leads the team responsible for 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.
Lucy Bradlow – Communications and Engagement Executive Manager
Lucy leads WGEA’s communications and campaigns team, working with our partners across business, government and policy makers to raise awareness of Australia’s gender pay gap and advocate for action to drive gender equality in the workplace.
Lucy brings to the role extensive global experience developing and executing communications campaigns for organisations across industries. Prior to joining WGEA, Lucy spent over a decade working in public affairs in Washington, D.C. and London. Most recently she was a vice president in strategic communications at FGS Global. In this role, she led social impact campaigns for a range of clients, including working with Bloomberg Philanthropies to launch its global healthy cities campaign, and the Emerson Collective to build and implement its Dial Fellowship program to strengthen the voices of some of the world’s most impactful social entrepreneurs. Prior to FGS Global, Lucy was the director of public relations for Bridge International Academies, a network of independent schools in Africa and Asia.
Lucy is a qualified lawyer with an Llb/Ba from Monash University and a Masters in African Studies from the University of Oxford. She is passionate about women's empowerment and is the founder of The Salon, an intimate networking space for women.
Dr Samone McCurdy (PhD) – Executive Manager Capacity Building
Samone is an experienced gender equality strategist, researcher and change management professional with expertise in gender equality programming, strategy and gender attuned leadership capability development.
She has post graduate qualifications in psychology and social work and holds a certificate in Gender Mainstreaming from the Civil Service College (London) where she studied under the Hon. Meg Munn - former Minister for Women in the Blair Government (2005-2007).
Samone has published research and analysis on a range of gendered workplace drivers including paid parental leave, flexible work practices and gendered workplace harm such as sexual harassment and workplace incivility.
She comes to WGEA with a depth of experience working in public and private sector enterprise, training and consulting to Government, NGO’s and small business on Gender Impact Assessment, gender metrics and designing people systems and processes that drive gender equal outcomes and experiences for employees and the community.
Samone joins us from her most recent position as the inaugural Gender Equality Adviser for Victoria Police, where she developed their first gender equality strategy and action plan in response to the Victorian Gender Equality Act (2020) and developed a gender attuned leadership capability framework and change methodology for gender segregated policing operations.
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.