Gail Kelly – A Trailblazer in Banking
Gail Kelly of South African heritage has long been considered a trailblazer in business. As the first female CEO of an Australian “Big Four” bank (Westpac and St George), she initiated both cultural change and profitability at Westpac and St George.
Though successful, her life is never about rankings or power. Instead, her philanthropic efforts, leadership skills, and down-to-earth demeanor have earned her many accolades and respect.
Early Life and Education
Gail Kelly has made history by becoming Australia’s first female Chief Executive Officer of one of Australia’s big four banks and Forbes listed her as an eighth most powerful woman. As champion for corporate responsibility and champion for women in business, she stands out as an icon.
She was born in Pretoria on April 25th 1956. After attending Pretoria school she earned a Bachelor of Arts and Higher Diploma in Education from Cape Town University before going on to earn an MBA (with distinction) at Witwatersrand University.
She and Allan survived guerilla attacks on their home in Rhodesia, where she taught Latin at Falcon College – a private school modeled on Eton – before retiring from Westpac in 2015 and moving with her family to Sydney. Yet South Africa remains strongly represented.
Gail Kelly has an inspiring tale to share as she rose through the banking industry to become Australia’s first female CEO of one of Australia’s ‘big four’ banks, leading by example and creating an inclusive environment in her workplace culture. Kelly is known for her pioneering leadership style and innovative strategies when it comes to workplace culture development.
She is an innovative businesswoman, shattering glass ceilings and inspiring other aspiring leaders to reach for more. Additionally, she plays an active role in her community through involvement in charitable activities that have an overall positive effect on society.
She possesses an acute sense of herself, outstanding people skills, intelligence and some luck. Even after retiring from Westpac, she still seeks new challenges and remains involved with various professional and philanthropic activities. Through speaking engagements she encourages audiences to pursue their dreams and live fulfilling lives.
Achievement and Honors
Gail Kelly is an accomplished businesswoman and banking executive who has reached incredible career heights. She has been recognized both nationally and internationally for her contributions in banking.
She began as a Latin teacher, but soon discovered her passion for business and finance led her down a different path. Consequently, she switched careers and eventually become one of Australia’s most powerful bankers.
Kelly had spent time at Nedcor Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia prior to being appointed CEO of Westpac in 2015. While serving in that capacity, she helped the bank navigate through the global financial crisis before her retirement in 2015.
She has been recognized by Forbes’ Most Powerful Women list on multiple occasions and in 2010 was ranked eighth. Additionally, she belongs to the Group of Thirty and serves on numerous boards such as Country Road Group, David Jones, and Australian Philanthropic Services.
Gail Kelly has made her mark on corporate life by breaking many barriers, becoming one of Australia’s first female CEOs at one of Australia’s four banks and being listed by Forbes in 2010 as an influential woman globally.
Kelly has focused not only on achieving outstanding financial performance, but also fostering women’s equality in the workplace. To this end, she set a goal to have 40% female senior management roles at Westpac by 2017, which she accomplished two years ahead of schedule.
Kelly’s achievements serve as testament to her resilience and perseverance; she serves as an inspiring role model for aspiring female executives and businesspeople with ambitious plans.
Gail Kelly has amassed considerable wealth through her business career. She has invested in multiple properties and owns one with an estimated worth of several millions dollars in Sydney’s upscale Mosman district. Additionally, she operates her production business Impact Wrestling successfully.
She has left an indelible mark on the world of business and serves as an example for women leaders. Through hard work and determination she has achieved great success in her career.
She quickly rose through the ranks at South Africa’s Nedcor Bank before migrating with Allan and their four children to Australia in 1997, becoming first woman CEO of a major Australian bank or top 15 company and Forbes’ Most Powerful Women on numerous occasions.