Good evening, it is a pleasure to be here tonight in a room full of dynamic, successful women. A room filled with idea creators, strategic thinkers, entrepreneurs and business founders. You are the women who drive our state forward every day. 

This year, the NSW Government created the state’s first Women’s Week. It is a week to not only enable a broader focus, discussion and celebration of women’s achievements, but to also reflect on what lies ahead to achieve gender equality. 

The women of NSW have made, and continue to make incredible contributions in all fields of endeavour, including the arts, science, health, sports, social welfare, business and politics, and also in our families, communities and neighbourhoods. 

NSW Women’s Week is a time to recognise all the incredible ways women contribute to society, while also coinciding with the NSW Government’s commitment to improve the lives of women across our state. 

NSW Women’s Week was established to as part of the NSW Government’s NSW Women’s Strategy (2018-2022). The Women’s Strategy is an action-oriented policy document, which aims to advance social and economic equality between women and men, boys and girls. 

The strategy affirms the NSW Government’s commitment to empowering women and girls to have full access to opportunity and choice, be valued for their diversity, recognised for their contribution, and able to participate in all aspects of life freely and safely. 

At a time when NSW is one of the strongest, fastest growing economies in the developed world, women are leading the way. 

Of the 420,500 jobs created in NSW since April 2015, 260,000 – over 60% – have been taken by women. Women are entering or re-entering the workforce in NSW in record numbers, taking the participation rate to an all-time high of 60.6%.  

This is contributing to a stronger NSW economy, and most importantly, it means more choices, greater opportunities and a better quality of life for all families in every community across our state.

As part of the establishment of NSW Women’s Week, the NSW Government launched a grant program for local organisations that reflect these priorities, to increase community engagement and support the organisations who work to celebrate women. 

The NSW Women’s Week grants have given local organisations the opportunity to deliver a range of education, mentoring and participatory activities that will benefit women and girls across the state.

Women Chiefs of Enterprises International was one of many successful 2019 NSW Women’s Week grant recipients. 

Tonight’s ‘Step into your Power’ event is exactly what NSW Women’s Week is all about, mentoring, supporting and uplifting women to become the best version of them self in every aspect of their lives.

We are all so fortunate tonight to have such high-achieving women in our midst to celebrate the diverse contributions of women and girls in our state. The NSW Government is proud of the achievements we have made to support women so far, and with your support, will continue to accelerate our work towards gender equality.