Books and articles written by Wendy McCarthy AO

jump to


  • Let’s not return to the Mummy Wars

    Wendy McCarthy responds to Brigitte Dwyer’s comments in ‘Country may need you, but your kids need you more,’ published by the Australian Financial Review, Monday 8 February 2016.


    Let’s not return to the Mummy Wars.

    I had never considered that my decision to be a working mother was a choice between my country or my children.


  • How far have we come?

    The Deal Special Issue: 30 Years of Chief Executive Women.
    Thirty years after CEW began, the long-standing members reflect on what’s really changed for women and the advice that actually matters

    Story by JENI PORTER
    The landscape for a 20-something woman embarking on a career is vastly different from three decades ago when these pionee…

  • Quality childcare requires regulation

    We must not turn back the clock on the quality framework for early learning. Arguing that childcare deregulation supports feminism ignores the history of the issue.

    Trisha Jha invites feminists to support childcare deregulation using the spurious reasoning that somehow feminists want to work so badly that they would be prepared to settle for an …

  • Feminism’s breakthroughs have hit a barrier

    Australia prior to feminism was a very different place. Women fought to have their voices heard while imagining a different Australia, where all girls had the opportunity to complete secondary education, where women who had missed out on education had a second chance; where there was equal pay and a rate for the job and universal access to safe con…

  • Childcare maze needs a productivity commission fix

    “Childcare has always been seen as a suitable job for a woman,” states Wendy McCarthy in a piece published by the AFR 15 May 2013.
    “Well brought up girls in my country town were encouraged to become kindergarten teachers and places at kindergarten training colleges were highly competitive. An alternative was a qualification in infant care….

  • Daughters of the revolution

    by Wendy McCarthy, Griffith Review edition 32

    FOR five years from 1970 I pushed a stroller, with a baby or two or three, in passionate street marches with hundreds of other women. As our voices grew stronger it was easy to believe that the future would deliver equity and equality for women. With the assurance of a youthful true believer I told Edna Ryan, one of my heroines who had been at the …

  • Mentor Me

    by Wendy McCarthy, Company Director (AICD), Spring 2009

    What is the role of a mentor? The role of a mentor is to assist you to grow and learn with the support of an independent trusted adviser. A mentor provides advice, listens, encourages, inspires, takes an interest, shares time, gives attention, clarifies a direction, questions, provides constructive criticism, opens doors, guides, supports, builds …

  • A Common Humanity

    by Wendy McCarthy, Vive, 20 November 2007

    For those of us whose world is larger than Australia we might wonder why we have not heard a word about aid in the election promises to date. Encouraged to think globally and in terms of trade I want to hear what is on offer for people and especially women and children whose lives are so affected by globalisation.

    Read the article….

  • Fireworks and frangipani won’t sustain our ageing beauty

    by Wendy McCarthy, Sydney Morning Herald, December 22-24, 2006

    I love December. It’s the month our family gets married – all three children chose December for their weddings, as we did. Weddings bring out the best in our family, creating an optimism about life and love. They are inclusive event where all the generations are present and valued …read the article …

  • McGrath’s Award Winning Community-Business Partnership

    by Michael Walsh, Ethical Investor, November, 2006

    When a sales focussed, high profile Sydney Eastern Suburbs real estate company won an award for its corporate-community partnership, Ethical Investor felt compelled to investigate: Now that’s a story! What’s that about? A good part of the answer to McGrath Estate Agents’ Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Award lies with the identity o…

  • What do women have to do to make it?

    Letter to the Editor by Wendy McCarthy, Australian Financial Review, September 5, 2006

    The more things change the more they stay the same (“Old boys’ club chooses comfort over skill” and “Women’s march to boardroom power now glacial”, September 1). The biannual Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency’s report is the same old stuff. No change at the boardroom table … read the letter 

  • Women at Work

    by Anna Gibson, Vive, Feb-March 2006

    Within 45 minutes of speaking with Wendy McCarthy, I find myself considering the prospect of sponsoring a child through Plan International, the global children’s aid agency on whose international board she is a director …read the article 

  • Education only the first step towards leadership

    by Wendy McCarthy, Australian Financial Review, July 2, 2005

    Recently the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade invited me on a speaking tour of the Middle East to discuss the achievements of Australian women in business and education. Australia has long been in the forefront of status of women issues in national policies and in the United Nations system. As a player for more than three decades, I have a j…

  • A helping hand

    by Sandy Halley, Women's Money, Summer, 2004/05

    There is a mentoring explosion in big and small business. Google ‘mentoring’ and you will get 89,900 items in Australia alone. In the US a mentor is expected with every executive package in big corporates. Why does everyone suddenly need a mentor? Have traditional support, guidance and business / professional education mechanisms broken down? Does …

  • Mentoring gets the thumbs-up

    by Emily Ross, Business Review Weekly, May 4, 2001

    The software of executive life – the unspoken rules of the corporate world – fascinates Wendy McCarthy. The higher people climb on the corporate ladder, the more it is expected that they use and understand this software, says McCarthy, who has a career spanning management consulting, company directorships, university chairs, and roles in the femini…

jump to


  • Don’t Fence Me In

    2000, Random House Australia

    Wendy’s autobiography provides a unique insight into the past few decades of Australian life via the various aspects of her story. It’s a journey that takes her from 1950s country schoolgirl to campaigner for abortion and contraception, from ‘colonial’ teacher to deputy chair of the ABC at one of the most turbulent times in the broadcaster’s histor…

  • A Fair Go – Portraits of the Australian Dream

    1999, Focus Publishing

    50 years ago every Australian was technically a British citizen. The introduction of Australian citizenship in 1949 saw renewed pride in our country and in what it was to be an Australian. And for our many immigrants, the commitment expressed in coming to this land could now be proudly reflected with an Australian passport.

    A Fair Go – Portraits…

  • Sex Education and the Intellectually Handicapped

    1984, Health Tech-Service

    Co-authored with Lydia Fegan of the Autistic Association of NSW, then updated with the Family Planning Association of NSW’s Anne Rauch and re-released in 1993 by Maclennan & Petty as Sexuality and People with Intellectual Disability, this book teaches how to provide honest, accurate information about about all aspects of sexual development fro…

  • Raising Your Child in a Sexually Permissive Society


  • Teaching About Sex; The Australian Experience

    1983, George Allen & Unwin Australia

    Written with the Australian Federation of Family Planning Associations.

    This book provides the basis for teaching about sex. The contributors are all experienced teachers who believe that it is not too much sexual knowledge but too little accurate knowledge which may damage the intimate relationships of many people. Sex education is here to stay…