By Hollie Hughes

Established with the desire to create a corporate world within the Hunter region where inclusivity, diversity and gender equality is not only respected but valued, the Equal Futures Project (EFP) is displaying initiative to combat gender inequality in today’s society.

Through the EFP’s annual events - the International Women’s Day (IWD) Business Breakfast and the Hunter Diversity Awards - the organisation has been continually successful in raising funds for projects benefitting local women and families. 

On March 8, 500 attendees made up of business leaders, community members and students will gather at Wests City (NEX) to mark International Women’s Day and reflect on how they can contribute to and support a more inclusive, diverse and equal corporate community. 

The IWD event has featured a range of local leaders and national keynote speakers who have explored a range of topical gender gap issues such as equal pay and quotas. The event run by the EFP has also sparked deeper conversations regarding how unconscious bias can be a barrier to the appointment of women to senior leadership roles and Directorships.

This year’s event will support the Hunter Women’s Centre which provides a safe-haven for women in need and promotes the health and wellbeing of all women within the Hunter region. 

Over the last nine years the Hunter International Women’s Day Breakfast has raised over $137,000 for not for profit organisations such as Jenny’s Place Women’s and Children’s Refuge, United Nations Women and the Hunter Medical Research Institute with this years event supporting Hunter Women’s Centre.

As well as fundraising the EFP strives to support and recognise individuals and businesses within the Hunter community who demonstrate diverse and inclusive workplaces, such recognition achieved through the Hunter Diversity Awards. The awards encourage all businesses in the Hunter region to follow in the footsteps of the winners and celebrate individual and industry champions who are making a positive impact within their organisations and communities inspiring change and striving towards more equal and diverse workplaces. 

The Equal Futures Project are pleased to announce that this year’s IWD Business Breakfast keynote speaker will be Jo Burston (pictured). Jo is founder and CEO of Job Capital, founder of the entrepreneurial movement Inspiring Rare Birds, an author and a mentor supporting and advocating for women within her field. In 2018 Jo was named in the Australian Financial Review's ‘Women of Influence’ awards, and her company Rare Birds was recognised in Westpac's Businesses of Tomorrow.

Hollie Hughes is a second year Communication/Law student at the University of Newcastle and a Member of the Equal Futures Project Committee. In 2019 Hollie coordinated the promotion of the IWD Breakfast including social media, media interviews and opinion articles. 



Secure your ticket to the 2019 Equal Futures Project International Women's Day Business Breakfast now to hear leading Australian entrepreneur Jo Burston.

Thanks to our event partner and major sponsor Port Waratah Coal Services.

We look forward to seeing you at our new venue, NEX Newcastle, on Friday 8th March.