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TMA Network of Women (NOW) Dinners

A message from Jennifer Ball, TMA Australia Director

As the past Chair and Board member of TMA Australia, it is personally important to me that the TMA do what it can to embolden, motivate and inspire our emerging young professional women, and to do what I can in my position to achieve those ends.

TMA can provide unique networking opportunities to promote the career growth and empower our talented young women. We can become instrumental in connecting our talented young women with our senior members, who can advocate for our emerging talented young women and help them to break through the glass ceiling.

That’s why I encourage you to take part in our Dinner Initiative. In 2022, our four successful NOW Dinners nationally were generously hosted by:

  • McGrathNicol in New South Wales;
  • KordaMentha in Victoria;
  • Deloitte in Queensland; and
  • Clayton Utz in WA.

In 2023, the first NOW Dinner was kindly hosted by MA Financial and was a huge success. We are actively planning events in other cities for the balance of 2023.

The format is a Jeffersonian Dinner; for those who have yet to enjoy one, this is a small number of guests around a table engaging in a single conversation, with only one person speaking at a time. Having been fortunate enough to attend a Bell Shakespeare dinner hosted by a former TMA President, Lachlan Edwards, a few years ago, I can vouch for their effectiveness, and I unashamedly borrowed and adapted the Jeffersonian Dinner concept for the TMA NOW Dinners.

The purpose is simple; to listen, learn and inspire each other through meaningful dialogue and cultivate a connection, which will provide opportunities and career progression for our young women TMA members. The focus has been on how the TMA can help our younger women connect with our more senior TMA members, who have the power and influence to drive change in advocating for and in empowering our younger TMA women to achieve gender equality, advance their careers, and increase leadership roles.

We very deliberately limit the numbers at each dinner to 16 to ensure that we are able to have a single conversation around the table. We also carefully curate attendees at the dinners to ensure an appropriate mix of TMA leadership and emerging women, with the intention of introducing the emerging women to the senior people, and expanding their opportunities and connections: we want to hear from the emerging women, to understand their experience and ambitions. We prioritise our TMA sponsors and members for attendance at the dinners, of course, and try and avoid duplication so everyone gets a turn.

If you are interested in attending a dinner, please register your interest –

So far, I have been delighted by the very encouraging feedback from our younger female guests and our senior members, which is enormously positive. Our dinner guests felt free to speak personally and gave heartfelt answers which allowed them to get to know each other, to bond and to learn from each other to gain different perspectives and new ideas and initiate working relationships. They tell us they have formed deeper human connections by sharing perspectives and personal stories in ways that are not as common on a day-to-day basis, and gained new insights into dealing with professional and personal challenges.

We also recently held the successful inaugural NOW Breakfast as a part of the 2022 TMA National Conference, and I am delighted to announce that that a NOW lunch will be part of the 2023 TMA Australia Conference (15-16 August) in Melbourne. More information here

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