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Deborah May

Deborah’s greatest wish is for Australian society to become more expansive, collaborative, creative and kind – a society in which everyone has a voice and the opportunity to contribute to the decisions that affect our lives, our planet and the future of our children.

Motivated by her personal vision she founded The May Group in 1998, grounding her work in her own extensive evidence-based research. She is a Fulbright Scholar, with an Arts/Law degree from the Australian National University and an MBA from Simmons Graduate School of Management, Boston.

Deborah was appointed Honorary Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) for her research into gender equity and unconscious bias in the Australian Public Service in 2012. She is regarded as one of Australia’s foremost authorities in this field.

Deborah’s research on the mobilisation of unconscious bias against women in the workplace is proving particularly influential in helping organisations to develop strategies to ensure that women realise their true potential free from inequitable cultural constraints.

Professor Meredith EdwardsChair, Australian Public Service Awards Panel

Deborah is a courageous, compassionate practitioner, highly skilled in helping people to look honestly at themselves and each other – without judgement, with trust and respect. The May Group’s work has enabled leaders in the public, private, and tertiary education sectors to advance gender balance, and cultivate diversity and inclusion.

Federal Government agencies and departments include: Prime Minister and Cabinet; Attorney General; Defence; Foreign Affairs and Trade; Treasury; Geoscience Australia; Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Organisations include: IBM; Kellogg’s Australia; Clayton Utz; Australian National University; Swinburne University.

Deborah is an avid reader, keeping up to date with the latest research in neuroscience and unconscious bias, and the role of mindfulness in ameliorating the effects of bias in organisations. Mindfulness meditation is an integral part of her personal and professional practice.

Download Deborah May’s professional profile

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