Zara Kimpton has spent most of her career in the company of men especially when she was a stockbroker in the 1970s. Her secret weapon was her voracious appetite for current affairs, reading five papers before getting to the office which helped her know what was happening in the world. She never felt that she was discriminated in the workforce but looking back she thinks some firms probably didn’t pay her the same as men. ‘They got me on the cheap,’ she says.

This year, Zara represented Australia at the third Women 20 Summit (W20) in Berlin. The W20 is an offshoot of G20 and was set-up to promote economic empowerment of women.  Zara was there in good company with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, IMF boss Christine Lagarde and Bank of America Vice-President Anne Finucane.

The objective of the group is to reduce the gender employment gap within their 20 nations by 25 percent by 2025. Three key areas were discussed across labour inclusion, financial inclusion and digital inclusion and with her background, Zara was placed in the finance group. Together they developed a one-page communique which she shared with the girls and which will be tabled at the next G20 summit in Hamburg in July.

Zara told the Year 10 girls that they are liberated women who will all have careers.  When she speaks to audiences about her work with the W20, the feedback she often gets is “that females should be running the world.” Zara finished by clarifying that her hope for her work is to help foster greater equality of opportunity – where men and women run the world together.