Activating allies for gender equality

Explore a public conversation about allyship for gender equality with leaders including Elizabeth Broderick AO; internationally recognised diversity and inclusion scholar Mustafa Ozbilgin; Tom Snow, Chair of Snow Medical and Chair of Equality Australia; and host Antoinette Lattouf, journalist and broadcaster.

Allyship from men is essential to the cause of dismantling the patriarchy and achieving gender equality. But simply calling yourself an ally for gender equality misses the point of allyship altogether. 

Together with the University of Sydney’s Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program, Sydney Ideas presents a conversation moving beyond labels, to ways we can engage and activate allies in solidarity and support to promote gender equality.

This conversation discusses intergenerational perspectives on allyship for gender equality – its importance, how to activate allies, and what effective and accountable allyship looks like.

Hear insights from our esteemed panel: 

  • Elizabeth Broderick AO, UN Special Rapporteur and Independent Expert on discrimination against women and girls; and Founder and Convenor of the Champions of Change Coalition (formerly the Male Champions of Change); 
  • Professor Mustafa Ozbilgin, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Brunel Business School in London, whose research focuses on workplace equality, diversity and inclusion; 
  • Tom Snow, Chair of Snow Medical board and Chair of Equality Australia; and
  • Host Antoinette Lattouf, multi-award-winning leader and journalist; and co-founder of Media Diversity Australia.

This event was held on 21 November 2023 at the University of Sydney Business School and presented with the University's Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Program.


The speakers

Elizabeth Broderick AO

As Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007-2015), Elizabeth has worked tirelessly to break down structural and social barriers faced by women and men, and to promote gender equality.

She established and convenes the ‘Champions of Change’ strategy, a strategy engaging over 260 CEOs and their organisations to lead on diversity, equity and inclusion. As principal of Elizabeth Broderick & Co. she has led numerous reviews of workplace culture in organisations across the private, public and NGO sectors.

In 2017, Elizabeth was appointed by the United Nations in Geneva as a Special Rapporteur and Independent Expert on discrimination against women and girls. In this role she leads UN country missions and engages with nation states to lift the status of women and girls globally.

In 2016, Elizabeth was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia and was named 2016 NSW Australian of the Year.

She is an Adjunct Professor at The University of Sydney, an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, and holds Honorary Doctorates of Law from the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales and University of Technology Sydney and Honorary Doctorates from Deakin, Edith Cowan and Griffith Universities. 

Professor Mustafa F. Özbilgin, Brunel University London

Mustafa F. Özbilgin is a Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Brunel Business School, London. His research focuses on workplace equality, diversity and inclusion from comparative and relational perspectives. He is an engaged scholar, driven by values of workplace democracy, equality for all, and humanisation of work. 

Mustafa has authored and edited more than 20 books and published over 200 papers in leading academic journals. He has also conducted research, consultancy and training at a large number of organisations, including the House of Commons, Barclays Bank, Bank West Australia, Google, National Health Service, L'Oreal, OECD, and more.

Tom Snow, Chair of Snow Medical and Chair of Equality Australia

Tom Snow is Chair of the Snow Medical board and was a founder and Co-Chair of the Equality Campaign, which led and won the successful YES postal plebiscite on marriage equality. He is a Rhodes Scholar, with a Masters in Economics, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Economics (Actuarial Studies).

He is a founder of Whitehelm Capital, one of the world’s largest independent infrastructure managers with $6 billion in assets under management. As a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, he has had roles including director of Perth Airport, Canberra Airport, Bankstown Airport, Port of Adelaide / Flinders Ports, Etihad Stadium, Peninsula Link, International Parking Group and Whitehelm Capital. Tom Snow was born and raised in Canberra and has served as chair of the Canberra Convention Bureau, chair of Equality Australia, director of the Australian Science Festival and director of the Rhodes Scholarships in Australia. He is also a proud father of three kids. 

Host: Antoinette Lattouf 

Antoinette Lattouf is a broadcaster, columnist, author (How to Lose Friends and Influence White People), TEDx speaker, diversity advocate, mental health ambassador and can't do a cartwheel.

The multi-award-winning leader and journalist is the co-founder of Media Diversity Australia — a not-for-profit organisation working towards increasing cultural and linguistic diversity in the media.

In 2019, Antoinette was named among AFR’s 100 Women of Influence. In 2021, she was awarded a Women’s Agenda Leadership Award and B&T Women in Media’s Champion of Change. In 2022, she was an Influencer of the Year Finalist at the Third Sector Awards. In peer-selected awards at her year 10 high school formal, Antoinette was awarded Most Likely To Die A Virgin.

She is the co-host of The Briefing podcast and a Sydney Morning Herald columnist. 

Header image: Photography by Nicola Bailey for The University of Sydney