We were absolutely honoured to interview Lisa Annese on ARNA Talks, she is an amazing leader in Australia supporting businesses to truly and authentically embed diversity. She really challenged us to think differently and the notion of 'female behaviours' being untrue but rather that we all have human behaviour and it's on a spectrum. 

Listen to this podcast episode here on Spotify or Apple, or any good podcast app. 

You can also play it here. 


Lisa Annese has been the Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Council Australia since 2 June 2014. In this role she leads debate on diversity and inclusion in the public arena, and as a result appears regularly on ABC’s The Drum and in wider Australian media.

Under her leadership, DCA delivers innovative diversity practice resources for Australian businesses and supports in them improving their inclusion capability. She has led a broad array of ground-breaking, evidence based research, including Australia’s first national index on workplace diversity and inclusion, seminal research on the economics of the gender pay-gap and original work on building Asian Leadership Capability, as well as research supporting individuals being “Out at Work” and main-streaming flexible work. 

In 2018, Lisa was named one of the AFR’s 100 Women of Influence. In 2019 she was elected to the Board of Amnesty International Australia.  Lisa is also Executive Producer of DCA’s podcast, The Art of Inclusion.

Lisa has had a long career in the diversity and inclusion space across the corporate, government and not-for-profit sector.

Lisa Annese CEO of Diversity Council Australia interviews for ARNA Talks podcast, discussing diversity, leadership, feminism, the patriarchy, protest - ARNAonline women leaders, work and laptop bags for women

Some of her career highlights include:

  • Advocating for policy action in areas including government funded paid parental leave, closing the gender pay gap, achieving Australian Marriage Equality, maintaining protections in the Race Discrimination Act (Cth 1995) and more recently advocating for greater representation of women and girls in STEM careers, reducing the incidence of sexual harassment and violence against women and for greater multi-faith inclusion without regressive religious freedom laws. 
  • Presenting DCA research internationally, recently at a UNESCO Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, at the University of Patras, Greece and the University of Texas, US.  She has also represented DCA at the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations in both Doha (Qatar) and Kerala (India).
  • At the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (formerly EOWA), developing the first ever census of ‘Australian Women in Leadership’, the first ever ‘Business Achievement Awards’, the creation of the ‘Employer of Choice for Women’ citation and the development and implementation of the policy framework for the EOWA Act (1999) with Australian businesses. For her contribution at EOWA, she was awarded a Medal for Significant Contribution to the Australian Public Service.
  • Co-authoring “Chief Executives Unplugged: CEO’s Get Real About Women in the Workplace”.

Lisa has a business degree from UTS (Sydney) and a Graduate Diploma in Human Resources. She is raising three independent and broad minded daughters with her husband in Sydney, along with a large contingent of dogs, birds and rabbits.

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