Geelong entrepreneur launches gender equity awards

May 21, 2022 BY

Geelong businesswoman Lisa Sweeney is the driving force behind a new national awards program to uncover the “best of the best” when it comes to driving gender equity.

The local entrepreneur has launched the Recalibrate: Gender Equity Awards after being frustrated by what she says is a “continual gender imbalance in the workplace”.

The awards will be held on August 17 at Crown Casino in Melbourne.

Ms Sweeney is the executive director and CEO of Business in Heels, an organisation which helps to connect and fast-track female professionals, with over 160,000 connected women as part of its network.

She said the awards would feature 19 categories for businesses and individuals, with a panel of 20 judges representing all backgrounds.

“These awards are aimed to encourage competition between businesses especially in the ‘war for talent’,” Ms Sweeney said.

“By striving to achieve, we hope to create a groundswell of activity driven by best practice and inspired by the stories of individuals.

“Every little bit counts and maybe this will be the tipping point in driving change. I would like to see some major change in my lifetime.”

Ms Sweeney said she hoped the awards would bring many positive stories to light and create a groundswell of good news stories about gender equity.


The awards will be held on August 17 at Crown Casino.


She said through the mentoring programs run through Business in Heels she had seen and heard it all in relation to gender equality, gender bias, stereotyping, and pay-gaps.

With a vision for equality for all in the workplace, Ms Sweeney has founded the awards with the aim of challenging and working with organisations nationally to put their best foot forward.

“Let’s change the focus and bring the positivity forward to inspire other organisations and individuals,” she said.

“Findings from the WGEA March 2022 report show little shift for women in leadership; 17 per cent of chair positions; 31.2 per cent of directorships; 19.4 per cent of CEOs; and 34.5 per cent of key management personnel.

“Still a long way from 50 per cent.”

Entries close on May 31 and finalists will be announced on July 1.