Diversity Council Australia is deeply saddened by the passing of former chair, Anna McPhee.
Anna was an advocate on business issues across industry and politics but was also known for her advocacy on diversity and equal opportunity.
Anna was the Director of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency from 2004 to 2008 and she created the Equal Pay Day campaign in Australia in 2008.
Anna was Chair of DCA’s Board between 2010 and 2015, and continued as a Director until 2016.
In 2013, with Korn Ferry and DCA she authored The Diversity & Inclusion Study to learn the profile of diversity functions within organisations and the professionals leading and implementing diversity strategy.
As CEO of The Retail Council, she was the driving force behind her organisation’s support for DCA’s Future-Flex: Mainstreaming flexibility by design project in 2016 which provided employers in the retail sector with new tools to embed flexible working and careers.
DCA’s current Chair, David Morrison AO, said Australia is the poorer for Anna’s passing.
“Anna was a beacon of courage and resilience for all of us who seek to make the world a better and more equal place. Her commitment to diversity and inclusion was recognised nationally. The Board and staff of DCA are so grateful for all that Anna has given and the leadership she has shown – and we offer our sincere condolences to all her family, friends and colleagues,” said David.
Lisa Annese, DCA’s CEO said Anna was a truly impressive and inspirational woman who will be greatly missed.
“Anna’s commitment to gender equality and diversity was in her DNA and she was advocating for change right up until her untimely passing. She has left a significant legacy from which many Australians will benefit for years to come.
“Personally, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity she gave me in 2014 when I was appointed CEO of DCA. Because of Anna, I am proud to be able to dedicate myself to providing more equitable outcomes in the workplace for women and others who represent the diversity of our community,” said Lisa.
To commemorate Anna’s contribution to equal opportunity and diversity, DCA will rename its annual Diversity & Inclusion Oration to The Anna McPhee Memorial Diversity & Inclusion Oration.