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Meet the 15 female CEOs of the ASX 300

Jessica Yun
Pictures of six women of 15 who are CEOs of ASX300 companies.
Just a few faces of the only 15 women CEOs of ASX300 companies. (Source: various)

At the highest echelons of big business, it’s still very much a man’s game.

Much has been said and spoken about regarding the barriers that need to be removed for women to get the top job.

Indeed, many strides have been made, with the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors reaching its target of 30 per cent women directors on ASX200 company boards in June.

But the reality is that change takes time.

As it stands, 95 per cent of ASX300 companies are led by men, leaving only 15 women among a sea of 285 male chiefs.

Here’s a look at who they are and the companies they lead:

Jayne Hrdlicka, a2 Milk Company

An image of Jayne Hrdlicka, a2 Milk Company's female CEO.
Jayne Hrdlicka, a2 Milk Company CEO. (Photo: Getty)

Before joining a2 Milk, Hrdlicka was the chief executive of Jetstar for five years, and prior to that led the business transformation of Qantas between 2010 and 2012.

Marnie Baker, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank

Image of Marnie Baker, women CEO of Bendigo & Adelaide Bank.
Marnie Baker, CEO of Bendigo & Adelaide Bank. (Source: Bendigo Advertiser)

Before being appointed as chief executive, Baker had a 29-year career at the bank where she held various executive roles, including being in charge of leading the company’s entry to the New Payments Platform.

Alison Mary Watkins, Coca-Cola Amatil

A photo of Coca-Cola Amatil's female group managing director Alison Watkins.
Coca-Cola Amatil group managing director Alison Watkins. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Before Watkins joined Coca-Cola Amatil, she held roles of CEO at GrainCorp, Berri Limited, and was regional banking managing director at ANZ. She also spent 10 years at McKinsey & Co between 1989 and 1999 and eventually became partner.

Kate McKenzie, Chorus Limited

An image of Kate McKenzie, Chorus' women CEO.
Kate McKenzie, Chorus CEO. (Source: Telecom Asia)

McKenzie is a former chief operating officer at Telstra, where she held a number of senior executive roles after joining the telco in 2004. Prior to that, she was CEO at the NSW Government’s Departments of Commerce, Industrial Relations and Workcover Authority.

Julie Coates, CSR Limited

A photo of Julie Coates, CSR's woman CEO.
Julie Coates, CSR CEO. (Source: SBS)

Incoming CEO Julie Coates will take up the top job on 2 September after long-term boss Rob Sindel retires. At the moment, Coates is CEO at major food products manufacturer and distributor Goodman Fielder.

Catherine Norman, FAR Limited

A photo of Catherine Norman, FAR Limited's female CEO.
Catherine Norman, FAR Limited CEO. (Source: Supplied)

Norman is trained as a geophysicist with 20 years’ experience in the mineral, oil and gas exploration industry. She has worked across the UK, Europe, Africa, the Middle East as well as Australia, and was the managing director of Flow Energy for 6 years.

Elizabeth Gaines, Fortescue Metals

A picture of Elizabeth Gaines, Fortescue Metals' woman CEO.
Elizabeth Gaines, Fortescue CEO. (Source: FMGL)

Gaines has previously served as CEO at Helloworld and Heytesbury, and has also worked as chief financial officer at Stella Group and Entertainment Rights.

Katie Page-Harvey, Harvey Norman

A photo of Katie Page, Harvey Norman's female CEO.
Katie Page, Harvey Norman CEO. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

Page-Harvey has held the CEO role since 1983, and has played an instrumental role in expanding retail complexes under the Harvey Norman umbrella across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Ireland, Malaysia, Slovenia and Northern Ireland.

Jeanne Johns, Incitec Pivot

Jeanne Johns, female managing director of Incitec Pivot. (Photo: Supplied)
Jeanne Johns, managing director of Incitec Pivot. (Photo: Supplied)

Johns’ background is in chemical engineering and has formerly held several senior executive positions across different locations with petrol company BP.

Amanda Lacaze, Lynas Corporation

A photo of Amanda Lacaze, woman CEO and managing director Lynas Corp.
Amanda Lacaze, CEO and managing director Lynas Corp. (Source: Supplied)

Lacaze has been CEO and managing director since 2014. She has held several c-suite roles at Orion Telecommunications and is a former CEO of AOL7. She also held a managing director of marketing role at Telstra as well as a number of business management roles at ICI Australia (now Orica and Incitec Pivot).

Sue Lloyd-Hurwitz, Mirvac Group

A photo of Sue Lloyd-Hurwitz, Mirvac's female CEO.
Sue Lloyd-Hurwitz, Mirvac CEO. (Source: Green Building Council of Australia)

Before joining Mirvac, Lloyd-Hurwitz was a managing director at LaSalle Investment Management and has held senior executive roles at MGPA, Macquarie, and Lendlease.

Shemara Wikramanayake, Macquarie Bank

An image of Macquarie's female CEO Shemara Wikramanayake.
Macquarie CEO Shemara Wikramanayake. (Source: Fairfax)

Wikramanayake joined Macquarie in 1987 and has held a number of senior positions in various arms of the bank, working across New York, the US, and Canada. She also established and led corporate advisory offices in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Linda Mellors, Regis Healthcare

A picture of Regis' woman CEO Linda Mellors.
Regis CEO Linda Mellors. (Source: Gazella)

Mellors is a former chief operating officer at Mercy Health and will join Regis as CEO on 4 September this year. Mellors has held various executive roles in Victoria’s public health sector across 15 years.

Jacinth (Jackie) Fairley, Starpharma Holdings

A picture of Jackie Fairley, female CEO of Starpharma.
Jackie Fairley, CEO of Starpharma. (Photo by Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

Fairley has held senior management roles at CSL and Faulding (now Pfizer), where she was responsible for product development, regulatory affairs and business development. Before joining CSL in 1989, she was a practicing vet surgeon.

Susan Channon, Virtus Health

An image of Susan Channon, female CEO of Virtus Health.
Susan Channon, CEO of Virtus Health. (Source: Ccentric Group)

Prior to her appointment as CEO at Virtus Health, Channon was CEO at IVF Australia and has held state manager or national director positions at Medical Imaging Australia and Nursing for Mayne (now part of Ramsay Health Care). She has also held CEO roles at multiple local private hospitals in Sydney.

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