Joan Kirner Emerging Leaders Program Now Open

20 February 2022

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting more Victorian women to develop their leadership, management and negotiation skills through the Joan Kirner Emerging Leaders Program.

Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams today opened the first round of applications for the program, which honours the legacy of the late Joan Kirner AC, Victoria’s first and only female premier.

Women continue to face structural barriers that prevent them from participating equally in the workforce, such as unconscious bias, gender stereotypes and a lack of workplace flexibility. The program is one of a range of initiatives designed to progress gender equality and improve women’s representation.

The program supports women aged 22 – 40 to advance their careers by providing them with the strategies and skills they need to pursue leadership opportunities. The program’s first round is open to women across all industries.

A second round, set to open in late June, will focus on women employed in non-traditional and male-dominated industries, given the challenges women experience in career advancement in those industries. The program will support women from diverse backgrounds who can face additional barriers in leadership.

The program will run from 27 June to 18 November. Women will be supported to access this year’s program with reimbursements for childcare, accommodation and travel costs.

Applications for round one of the Joan Kirner Emerging Leaders Program are open to all women in Victoria aged 22 to 40, and close on Monday, 25 April. For more information or to apply, visit Link

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams

“Systemic barriers continue to limit women’s leadership progression. This program supports and empowers women to develop the critical skills, networks and experience they need to advance their careers and to break down rigid stereotypes.”

“This program honours the legacy of the formidable Joan Kirner who blazed a trail for women in public life, by increasing the number and diversity of women ready to take on key leadership roles across government and the community.”

Reviewed 20 February 2022

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