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Championing a new wave of leadership for the future of work.

Diversity is not a nice to have. It’s a global economic imperative.

Nicola Hazell is one of Australia's leading voices on women in leadership, gender equality and social innovation.

With a career spanning media, politics, public affairs, and tech, she is a driving force for women in leadership; working with companies and organisations around the world to build investment in inclusion and diversity across the startup, corporate and public sectors.

Current Work:

Recognised as one of Australia’s Top Business Thinkers, Nicola is a sought-after international speaker and advisor, holding roles on the OECD’s Expert Advisory Committee on Digital Transformation; Australian advocacy organisation The Parenthood; The Sydney School of Entrepreneurship; CEBIT Women in Tech Committee; and the Not in My Workplace Summit committee. She’s worked with a wide range of companies - from global tech giants like Twitter, Google and Microsoft, to emerging tech startups - to design and accelerate innovative solutions to boosting the inclusion and empowerment of women.

Nicola is a passionate believer in a collective effort to achieve gender equality, and is a mentor, judge and activator for a range of programs including Telstra Business Women's Awards, Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards, Walkley Awards and SheEO Australia. She is regularly approached by national media for commentary on gender equality, women in business, social policy, startups and innovation, and is a highly sought after MC, interviewer and panel moderator, with a passion for drawing out the unique stories and experiences those she interviews, so their stories can inspire others and change the world.

Previous Experience:

Speaker: Nicola has presented on leadership and inclusion to global audiences, at multiple OECD Forums on Inclusive Growth and Digital Transformation in Paris, the APEC Women Business Leaders’ Summit in Seoul, International Women's Forum Australian Symposium, Tech Inclusion, Myriad, Pause Fest and Vogue Codes.

SheStarts: A champion for women in tech and entrepreneurship, Nicola was the founding director and designer of the SheStarts accelerator for female-led startups. Under her leadership, SheStarts was named Australasian Accelerator of the Year and attracted significant international backing, including Google for Startups as their flagship diversity partnership, connecting female entrepreneurs from all over Australia to an international network of mentors and advisors to help turn their ideas into globally scalable, high-impact tech companies.

Nicola executive produced the award-winning SheStarts documentary series, which reached more than half a million views in its first season and secured a world-first distribution partnership with LinkedIn for season two; showing women that you don’t have to be a bloke in a hoodie and sneakers to be a tech entrepreneur.

Media and Social Affairs: Nicola holds significant pedigree in media and social affairs, and has worked with leading political journalist Laurie Oakes, as senior advisor to Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, and as a senior leader with national NGOs Mission Australia and the Foundation for Young Australians.

Talking Points

Design for Diversity.

An innovator’s guide on how to change the ratio for women in leadership, and embed inclusion across your organisational strategy. In this talk, Nicola challenges her audience to think beyond pink logos and morning teas, to identify and understand the barriers to inclusion and take real action to remove them.
Learn from local and global examples; be inspired by real outcomes; and hear the compelling argument for why diversity is not just a nice-to-have, it’s a global economic imperative.

Women and the future of work

Digital transformation is rapidly changing the way we live and work.

But the possibilities of technology and innovation will never be truly realised if we're missing out on the ideas and creativity of half the population.

In this talk, champion of women in tech, Nicola Hazell will share her insights and experience - from the frontline of tech startups to the centre of international policy making - on creating a more inclusive innovation agenda and why driving gender equality must be embedded as a central plank of the national strategy. Be prepared to be energized, inspired, and perhaps even a little bit angry.

Breaking the code

How a media and political junkie wound up in the heart of tech, on a mission to change the ratio of women in leadership.

Gender equality advocate and ‘accidental’ tech champion, Nicola Hazell shares her unlikely journey - from media, to politics, to the community sector, and into tech - and reveals the common thread that joins the dots between the various phases of her career. An inspiring story that shows the power of defining your purpose, following your passion, and finding your place in the universe.


  • Mastering Leadership
  • Entrepreneurship & Entrepreneurs
  • Future of Work


  • Science & Technology
  • Digital

Politics & Advocacy

  • Women's Rights
QUT’s Real World Placement Program engaged Nicola Hazell as our Key Note Speaker for our RWPP Appreciation & Networking Event. Nicola embraced our topic ‘The Future Of Work’ and delivered thought provoking information that catered to the diverse audience we had. Nicola used her experience to empower students and employers to embrace the changing employment landscape and promoted excitement about the opportunities and flexibility of future options rather than the fear of uncertainty. The RWPP team has since received only positive feedback about Nicola’s presentation and we strongly recommend Nicola as an engaging and articulate speaker. Leading Australian University
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