Researcher biography

Helen Conway has 30 years’ experience, primarily in business and, more recently, in the public sector. She spent 10 years in private legal practice, including 7 years as a partner in a major law firm in Sydney, and then moved into the corporate sector where she worked as a senior executive in the insurance, transport, energy, retail and construction industries for 18 years. At the same time, she undertook various directorships in the health, transport and superannuation sectors.

In March 2015, Helen completed her term as CEO of the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency. During her term, she stewarded the seamless implementation of new legislation governing the Agency and led the development of the Agency’s strategic vision and long-term change agenda for driving improved gender equality outcomes in Australian workplaces. This included delivering world-leading unique standardised benchmark gender data, and conducting bold change campaigns and developing innovative educational resources.

Helen has a long track record of undertaking a broad range of voluntary activities including those in support of women. She was a member of the New South Wales Equal Opportunity Tribunal for 10 years including 3 years as its Senior Judicial Member. She is an expert in workplace gender equality.

In 2005, Helen was awarded the Australian Corporate Lawyer of the Year by the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association and in 2015 was inducted into the National Australia Bank/ Women’s Agenda Hall of Fame.

Helen is currently a director of ReachOut Australia, Australia’s leading online mental health service for youth, and a member of the Australian Advisory Board of AON, Australia’s leading provider of broking and consulting services relating to risk, insurance, human capital and financial planning.