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Panel announced for 2020 International Women’s Day event

January 21, 2020
By Alana House

The Drinks Association’s Embrace Difference Council has announced the panelists for its 2020 International Women’s Day event.

Rose Scott (VP Sales, CUB), Trish Unwin (General Manager Organisational Effectiveness, Coles Liquor) and David Smith (Managing Director, Diageo) will  join the “in-conversation” panel.

These Change Champions will share their perspective on what “embrace difference” means to them and the importance of the International Women’s Day event to the drinks industry. They will also elaborate on the diversity and inclusion achievements made by each of their companies to date.

The Embrace Difference Council has also revealed that the MC for the day is television journalist and chat show host Anjali Rao.

Anjali Rao International Women's Day

Rao is a multi-award-winning television journalist and chat show host who has spent 17 years in the top tiers of broadcast news, current affairs and entertainment. Formerly an anchor at Sky News in London, she spent the last six years as anchor of CNN International’s weekday breakfast show and host of the network’s weekly chat show, Talk Asia; both of which air globally to 220 million households.

Her honest yet relaxed interview style has made for many revealing conversations with some of the world’s highest profile personalities including US President Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, pop star Rihanna, armed robber turned best-selling author of Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts, sporting legends Roger Federer and Kobe Bryant, and fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, among countless others.

Rao has also covered numerous breaking news events, such as the 9/11 attacks, the 2004 Asian tsunami, the death of Pope John Paul II, the 7/7 bombings in London, the 2008 siege of Mumbai, and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.

Now based in Melbourne, Rao is pursuing her career as a host and presenter. Rao will introduce the event’s keynote speakers, sports journalist Erin Molan and her father, Retired Major General and now Senator Jim Molan AO.

Erin Molan International Women's Day

The Molans will share their inspirational stories of navigating careers in environments where diversity and inclusion have been challenged.

Sports journalist Erin Molan broke down barriers as the first full-time female panellist and co-host in the Footy Show’s 22-year history, while, after an illustrious career spanning 40 years with the Australian Armed Forces, Major General Jim Molan, has recently been re-elected to the Australian Senate.

Erin will discuss her experiences building resilience to work in a male dominated environment, while influencing the industry to Embrace Difference and pave the way for more female commentators in the sporting environment.

Jim will explore the politicization of the role of women in the Parliament and draw on his experience of how the military is championing women’s rights, plus the role of women in business, consultancy and advocacy.

New direction for International Women’s Day

With the first Embrace Difference event of the year upon us, Simon is calling on senior leaders in the industry to throw their support behind the International Women’s Day event.

He says that the event will feel different to attendees this year, evidence of a turning point in the gender equity discussion.

“You will feel the difference in tone as the event takes a more balanced approach, inclusive of both genders. Gender equity needs buy in from all of us and it benefits all of us. While we celebrate the achievements of women in industry at the event, we hope that all genders will find the event accessible,” he explained.

“The Embrace Difference Council calls on all senior leaders to attend the event and show their support by being there.”


When: Friday, March 6, 2020, 11.30–3.30pm

Where: Doltone House Hyde Park, Level 3, 181 Elizabeth St, Sydney, NSW

Cost: Member price $280 per person (includes three-course lunch and all beverages); Non-members $290 per person


$10 from each ticket goes to WomenCan funding cancer research. Tickets are limited, get in quickly to avoid disappointment.