Gail Kelly is the 2018 National Award Winner for Excellence in Women’s Leadership for her pioneering work as the first female CEO of a major bank, Westpac.

Gail Kelly holds a number of international roles: Senior Global Adviser to UBS; Director of Woolworths Holdings in South Africa; member of each of the Group of Thirty, Bretton Woods Committee, McKinsey Advisory Council, PLuS Alliance Advisory Board and Optus Advisory Committee. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales, Director of Australian Philanthropic Services, and Ambassador for Women’s Empowerment for CARE Australia. In addition, she is the author of Live Lead Learn: My Stories of Life and Leadership and in 2017 established The Gail Kelly Global Leaders Scholarship between the University of New South Wales and the University of Cape Town.

Gail previously served as the first female Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of two banks – St George Bank from 2002 to 2007 and Westpac from 2008 to 2015. In 2008, these two banks came together under Gail’s leadership in what was the largest in-market merger in Australian financial services. At the time of her retirement in February 2015, the Westpac Group was the country’s second largest bank and the 12th largest bank in the world in terms of market capitalisation.

Women in leadership is one of Gail’s passions and in 2010 after the two banks merged, she committed to seeing 40 per cent of the Group’s leadership positions held by women. She achieved this in 2012, two years ahead of target, and established the new goal of 50 per cent by 2017, the bank’s bicentenary year, which it has achieved.

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