Ann Sherry – A game changer for Women

First Published: APRIL 17, 2013

We have been lucky enough to have some of Australia’s most accomplished women on The Bottom Line. None more so than Ann Sherry: the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Australia.

Ann is one of those women that you wish was your mentor, or even better; friend. Her corporate achievements are more than incredible, having been a CEO of a major bank, an adviser to the Prime Minister and currently the CEO of a major cruise line. However it is her role as a mother and wife together with all her extraordinary achievements that leaves you in awe.

Ann Sherry is truly a game changer for women in the workplace, having led the charge for Westpac to adopt paid maternity leave for women, paving the way for successful return to work. She is also a great example of a working mother who is passionate about her family. Ann gave birth to her son, Adam, when she was 21. Adam was born with Down’s syndrome, which Ann and her devoted husband not only took in their stride, but built an incredible and exciting life for their family – a family which Ann says kept her grounded.

It is wonderful to hear from a successful woman who talks as much about her achievements and experiences as a mother and wife, as she does her life as a leader and CEO. Not an easy position to take for women, as they strive to prove their worthiness as a dedicated leader in what is often a male dominated business environment.

Ann’s handling of the much publicised Dianne Brimble case when taking over as the CEO of Carnival really demonstrated her grace under fire and her ability to make the tough decisions about leadership. Banning schoolies on board, putting restrictions on alcohol and changing the very culture of the cruise ship experience has created a whole new type of business for the cruise liner.

Ann has never been afraid to stand by her beliefs and take a hard line, and is certainly not done yet. Her passion to help change the world and make it a better place is infectious. Her call for a long term leadership view that is 10 to 20 years out is shared by many who have joined The Bottom Line project. If enough leaders like Ann raise their voices, we just might see the change Australia is looking for.