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.
Kate Lee - Engagement Executive Manager
Kate has recently joined the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as the Executive Manager of Engagement. Kate’s team drives the Agency’s communications and engagement with the media, employers and the community.
Prior to joining WGEA, Kate spent 10 years in politics as Ministerial policy advisor to state and federal governments as well as in opposition. Kate provided research and advice on women’s economic security and their position in the workforce as well as on a number of areas within the health portfolio. She has also worked as a union official representing nurses and public servants in enterprise bargaining.
Mikhail Dudarenok - Executive Project Manager/Product Owner
Mikhail joined the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in 2019 as the Executive Project Manager/Product Owner. Mikhail’s team drives the Agency’s digital transformation of reporting project.
Prior to joining WGEA, Mikhail was the former Chief Customer Officer for Flight Centre Travel Group, responsible for the customer experience of over 10,000 customers and 1.5 million users annually across five corporate brands, including FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, Stage & Screen Travel Services Campus Travel, and two countries, Australia and New Zealand.
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.