International Women’s Day 2024 Inspiring Inclusion

Friday 8 March 2024 is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

It’s also a day dedicated to raising awareness about the negative biases, stereotypes and discrimination that still hold women back, and the action needed to drive gender parity.

As part of City’s International Women’s Day celebrations, we profile eight incredible team members whose achievements and contributions have not only driven our business forward, also but seen them forge careers and pathways to inspire others to follow.

To inspire inclusion means to celebrate diversity and empowerment on International Women’s Day 2024 and beyond.


“Be bold, courageous and take opportunities when they present themselves.”

Leanne Carson – Chief People Officer Asia Pacific

Leanne has been a senior leader at City for 11 years and is currently the Chief People Officer in the Executive Leadership Team.

“It’s an amazing time to be in the workplace because we are recognising as a society that diversity makes us all stronger,” she said. “City is making great inroads in this space, but we still have work to do. Unfortunately, women (and disadvantaged groups) still face double-standards and negative biases, however, as a society, we have come a long way to not only accept differences but value those differences.”

In male-dominated environments, it’s important for women to, “be bold, voice your opinion and be your authentic self, because you are modelling that strength for future female leaders.”

“Differences are a strength and when we embrace that, we all win.”

Kathy Freeth – Head of Cleaning

In her current role as a Senior Manager, Kathy leads by example and encourages other women to embrace and make the most of their natural differences and talents. “Women tend to work a bit differently. We’re more collaborative. We multi-skill a lot differently and our emotional intelligence is often a strength,” she said.

These differences bring greater diversity and richness to the workplace which makes teams stronger and more resilient to understand and solve problems together. Kathy advises women to, “be a mentor, encourage each other, and call out discrimination when you see it.”

“It takes a village, but not everyone’s lucky enough to have one.”

Liz Tomic – Field Operations Supervisor

Liz started her career at City nine years ago holding several office-based roles – but her heart was always drawn to working in field operations. So when an opportunity for a Field Operations Supervisor role came up, she went for it!

Liz believes a supportive and empowering working environment is the key for women to thrive and realise their full potential. Balancing family and caring responsibilities with a demanding field-based role means Liz relies on the support and flexibility of a family-friendly workplace while acknowledging the benefits of high professional expectations and pathways, “where you feel the sky’s the limit.”

She said, “It’s important to share your story, share your journey and encourage other women to reach for the stars.” Inspiring others is mutually beneficial because, “when we encourage other women, it helps us believe in ourselves more also.”

“Inclusion matters because it’s hard to be what you can’t see.”

Monique Reeves – Quality Manager

Monique has held a number of diverse roles with City over the years, and in that time has seen many positive changes for women in the workplace, including representation in senior leadership, field-based and technician roles. She said, “It’s these examples that inspire women to put themselves forward.”

Representation is vital to help propel more women into careers that they couldn’t previously imagine themselves in. “Seeing is believing.”

Monique said part of the answer lies in, “including women in the conversations, decision making and planning processes to add value, diversity of thinking and greater relevance to the final outcomes.”

“We think we have to do everything on the position description when applying for roles and that perhaps holds us back at times.”

Fran Constable – National Manager

Fran has worked at City for 13 years, rising from Help Desk roles to National Manager for our Australian Red Cross Lifeblood partner.

Along the way, Fran has gained such a depth and breadth of insight and knowledge that she is referred to as ‘The Oracle’. Yet Fran says that she still has moments of self-doubt. “As women, we sometimes hold ourselves back and wait to be recognised, rather than ask for what we want,” she said.

Fran believes one of the ways to inspire inclusion is to offer workplace flexibility as the norm, to remove the stigma around the commitments that many women face as primary caregivers needing to balance career and family needs.

“Actions speak louder than words… setbacks are an opportunity to grow.”

Ayah Kraidie – Apprentice Refrigeration/HVAC Technician

Ayah is thriving in her role as a first-year Refrigeration and HVAC apprentice and is paving the way for other young women to learn a trade. She says the stereotype she often faces is the assumption of physical limitations, but Ayah’s “here to prove them wrong.”

Ayah’s older sister who works as a carpenter, was her inspiration to learn a trade. When Ayah saw her sister fixing stairs and rendering houses, she thought, “if she can do it, I can do it.”

Likewise, Ayah hopes she can give other women the confidence in their own abilities and strengths to pursue their passion. She said, “Having just one woman in the industry makes all the difference.”

“Women face unique challenges so it’s important to be intentional with strategies.”

Faye Kapsalis – Critical Program Manager – Engineering

Faye joined City 10 years ago in a technical procurement role. She now works as a Critical Program Manager in Engineering.

Faye believes the best way to ‘Inspire Inclusion’ is through targeted and thoughtful actions such as building support networks, mentorship programs for women, and seeing women represented in management positions at all levels.

She said, “It’s also important to include men as allies; to help them understand and value different perspectives.”

“Inclusion and equality should be at the forefront of our minds, regardless of our gender.”

Sarah Grant – Workforce Planner

Sarah worked at City for five years prior to starting her family and rejoining City five years ago as a part-time workforce planner.

For Sarah, “the introduction of dad/partner leave has had a great impact in the workforce to improve equality.” The flexibility to make family and career responsibilities more equitable means that women can share the load more effectively with their partners.

It’s also important to look out for each other and stay vigilant, supporting and celebrating each other’s achievements and “raising awareness if something doesn’t feel right.”

“Ultimately, it’s up to all of us to create an inclusive workplace free of gender prejudices.”

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