Honorary Appointments

Deborah MayHonorary Fellow



Deborah May is a Fulbright Scholar, graduating from the only business school in the world specifically designed for women, Simmons Graduate School of Management, Boston, Massachussetts, USA. Deborah developed her coaching skills in Boston, while working with diversity firm, Ibis Consulting Group. She is one of Canberra’s most experienced coaches, an alumnus of the Institute of Executive Coaching and Institute of Human Excellence and has a particular passion and expertise in coaching women to achieve career and leadership success.

She is on a number of departmental coaching panels currently coaching individuals at all APS levels, including up to Secretary and Deputy Secretary levels. In addition, Deborah coaches many executive clients across the private and tertiary sectors. In recent times Deborah has conducted research into the perspectives, practices and biases involved in the promotion of women in the workplace, and developed strategies to improve the prospects of women in their careers with a number of agencies, including the Australian Treasury.

Deborah is passionately committed to advancing women and has specific expertise in developing women’s leadership and creating diverse workplace cultures. Her interest in gender and diversity was sparked during her 10 year career with IBM when it was an issue yet to be addressed.

Public Service Excellence Awards

Deborah was awarded the Institute's Public Service Excellence Awards in 2012 for her research and advocacy on gender equity in the workplace. The Public Sector Awards are presented to public servants at different levels of governance who have made an outstanding contribution to their field. Award recipients also receive an Adjunct Professorship or Honorary Fellowship, and Deborah was awarded an Honorary Fellowship with IGPA.

“Deborah has been at the forefront of promoting gender equity in the workplace in Canberra especially at the Executive level through her practical contribution and research in this area which we would like to celebrate here. She has worked as an executive coach to many senior women and their male colleagues, developed and facilitated numerous women’s leadership and gender awareness programs, helped organisations develop more women-friendly, inclusive workplace cultures, and most recently launched an on-line resource site for women. Deborah's research on the mobilization of unconscious bias against women in the workplace is proving particularly influential in helping organizations to develop strategies to ensure that women realize their true potential free from inequitable cultural constraints.”
Professor Meredith Edwards (Chair, IGPA's Public Service Awards panel)

Deborah May receiving the Public Service Excellence Award from the former Special Minister of State and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity the Hon. Gary Gray AO MP in October 2012 at the University of Canberra.



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