driving success through diversity





Women Into Leadership is located in Melbourne, Australia. It was created with the vision of ensuring that Australian companies continue to innovate and excel in the global marketplace by embracing all of its rich resources.

Tass Schmidt has amassed a wealth of commercial expertise through managerial involvement across a diverse range of industries including telecommunications, banking, media, food production and distribution, major tourism and cultural events, China/Australia trade and e-commerce. She is dedicated to constantly expanding her life of learning and pushing into the challenges of both commercialisation and innovation in which she holds considerable skill and experience.

She is the veteran of numerous start-ups, including leading projects in culturally diverse situations and in heavily male dominated environments. From her first foray into business as Australia’s only female sheep-shearing contractor 30 years ago, to being engaged in the ASX environment, she has demonstrated agility and boldness.

Drawing from her experience and observations across a range of environments, she is inspired to contribute to the achievement of more balanced gender distribution ratios at leadership levels through organisations and boards. She is convinced that attainment of such outcomes will be beneficial within the current economic paradigm and essential in dealing with the current and future challenges of our changing world.

She is passionate about people and maintains extensive networks both in Australia and China where she lived and worked for several years. 

One of her primary assets is her interest and ability in building and servicing her relationships.

With a commitment to excellence, a lively curiosity, and drive to get the job done, Tass is dedicated to delivering the highest possible outcomes in all dealings with clients, colleagues and business associates.


Kylie Duffy co-created Women Into Leadership in order to drive change in an area that she believes most businesses want to achieve: increased diversity, but don't know how. She is the CEO.

Kylie is passionate about seeing more women in senior leadership roles. She believes that female representation in senior positions inspires and encourages other women to consider leadership opportunities. She knows that women leaders path the way for aspiring female leaders. Her vision is to see equitable representation of men and women in the boardroom and to drive superior organisational performance and results by doing this.

Kylie's executive background is in Key Account Management. She has worked for, and with, some of the biggest companies and brands within Australia. She loves a challenge and has dealt with large and complex negotiations in order to drive beneficial outcomes for both parties. Kylie has extensive experience in senior stakeholder management and draws on this to implement the WIL approach.

Kylie's other roles include: Manager, Business Development at Qantas Airways and Mother to a beautiful baby girl, Lola.


Vicky Mann is passionate problem solver of communication, marketing and organisational challenges. With 20 years of experience, Vicky has lead diverse teams across the Asia Pacific region’s largest corporate and government departments. Passionate about mentoring, Vicky is well known for proactively supporting and developing emerging leaders across a broad range of operational and executive roles. Vicky currently serves on the Board of Woman Chiefs of Enterprise in Victoria, is a member of AQBN and is a mentor for RMIT.  A regular keynote speaker and panel member, Non-Executive Director and Entrepreneur, Vicky focuses on business acceleration using empathy and authenticity. Vicky’s qualifications include an Adv. Dip Marketing Management, Certified Practicing Marketer(CPM), MBA and a Certificate 1V in Workplace Training & Assessment.


Melissa Lewis, the founder of  The Ascension Group, is regarded as the leading expert on 'the power of a woman's presence.' She works with female talent and organisations to elevate their Executive Presence so they can achieve the career rewards and recognition they deserve. At the heart of her work is the knowledge that it's not a lack of talent holding them back, but the way they are perceived by others. Her tailored approach includes using the world's only science-based assessment tool for Executive Presence, (Bates Communications’ EXPITM), her own proprietary diagnostic tool PQ® (Presence Quotient ®), workshops, keynote speaking, image consulting and one-on-one coaching and mentoring. She has worked alongside leaders from organisations such as KPMG, EY, Telstra, Amex, Bendigo Bank, CBUS Superannuation, Eventbrite and Coles.

About The Ascension group – its unique set of services
The Ascension Group works with top companies across the APEC region to assist female talent step into leadership roles and overcome any unique challenges that prevent them getting to the next level.

With a focus on Executive Presence, our Group supports gifted, driven women to transcend any barriers using a comprehensive, yet tailored approach offering a unique combination of strategies to unpack the elusive topic of executive presence, which we believe is the secret to leadership success in today's workplace.

Working with women we combine an internal assessment using the only science-based tool to measure executive presence, Bates ExPITM  360 Assessment Tool and our proprietary PQ® ( Presence Quotient) diagnostic tools  and programs (exploring leadership traits and behaviours to support professional growth) combined with providing image and wardrobe solutions for business women (improving image, brand and style).

Our services enable companies to better attract, retain and develop women that deserve success. Championing gender diversity can lead to greater results.


Andrew Fenlon is a Qualified Chartered Accountant with an MBA and over 20 years of professional experience in building and improving both public and private sector organisations. He now uses his extensive experience in his roles as a Director of Women Into Leadership and Founder of Fast Track Leadership Pty Ltd.

As well as his Australian work, Andrew draws on his wide-ranging international experience in Europe and America to enhance outcomes and projects. Andrew loves a challenge and creating solutions to complex and intractable issues.

A major ongoing focus has been helping to promote and develop women through coaching, mentoring and leadership programs which inspired the origins of Women into Leadership.

Andrew co-created the Women Into Leadership program to help organisations add significant value and drive results through increased diversity.

Neerja Srinivasan is a Consultant for Women into Leadership.

A biomedical engineer by training, Neerja has worked across multiple challenging environments including corporate healthcare, the frontline of medical care within a hospital, in research and with an education start-up over the last 5 years. A budding entrepreneur in the tech-verse, she currently also leads business development activities for a boutique education consultancy.

A recipient of a Women in Engineering scholarship during her post-graduate education, Neerja has a strong interest in women’s health and empowerment in education and the workplace, and blends that into her passions in health and education.

She has also been involved in many leadership, action and engagement teams operating across the Asia-Pacific region to address the diversity issue, and helped women representation grow from 30 to 60% in 12 months on a team that she worked with.

A global citizen, Neerja is also a professional dancer (Indian and Latin forms) and enjoys teaching and learning languages. She looks forward to working with Women into Leadership to deliver and grow their vision of building people and businesses.

Click on  Contact Us  to organise a time for one of our team members to talk with you about how we can help your organisation achieve increased diversity.

Melissa Griffiths is a Consultant for Women into Leadership.

Melissa is a Transgender Authority and advocate who lives in Melbourne. She is also an advocate for transgender rights, consultant, MC and keynote speaker who is a finalist for the Victorian LGBTI Person of the Year Award.

Melissa is raising awareness around how to make the workplace more inclusive for transgender people and has also managed to get a gender identity policy introduced at the Victoria Racing Club and the Melbourne Racing Club.

Melissa was recently featured on Channel 10’s popular morning show Studio 10. Melissa is also a Female Ambassador for YGap and their Polished Man campaign.



Vanessa Herskope is an Organisational Development Consultant with broad skills and demonstrated experience in learning diagnostics, design, development and in leading and implementing organisational change processes.

She began her professional life as a lawyer and practised in financial services regulation and litigation. Ten years on, she transitioned from law into Human Resources. Vanessa has developed HR and OD technical skills through the holding of business partner and manager roles in these disciplines. Vanessa likes to help people solve problems through creativity. 

Vanessa brings to her work a mix of agility, personability and commitment to action which has enabled her to successfully work with senior stakeholders and navigate complex organisations to deliver outcomes.

Vanessa has recently participated in a series of workshops connecting with other women to explore the challenges of transforming diversity barriers to move to a place of authentic female leadership. She looks forward to continuing this work with Women into Leadership.  

Meet the Team

And, yes, we practice what we preach!

  • We are 60% shareholder female.
  • We support flexible working arrangements for all our staff.
  • Our workforce is 95% female.
  • We are proud members of femeconomy.