CASSANDRA KELLY AM
CLASS OF 1991

 

My best memories of Queenwood are the times spent with friends and particular moments with teachers who either opened my eyes to new learning or whose teaching style moved me, even if only for a lesson.

 
As a coach to leaders, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Cassandra Kelly has worked in most continents of the world with leaders who not only dare to lead but dare to care. Along the way she never lost sight of the women and paved the way for them to take prominent roles in the workplace, most notably with her non profit initiative, The Glass Elevator. From her current home in New York City, she is very clear that her work isn't done.

We have the good fortune of being born into a country of relative stability and peace. Giving should be part of our everyday routine
 

It is important for women to pursue careers, so that they can make a contribution to a world that urgently needs wisdom and capability from the whole talent pool to ensure a more sustainable future. It can be lonely in leadership, particularly when you are outnumbered. This is why I established The Glass Elevator; to provide support and nurture leaders, to help them build networks and offer development opportunities. We needed a way to continue to connect, inspire and engage senior women who are statistically most at risk of leaving the workplace. They are selected by the CEOs of their organisations to participate and in accepting the opportunity they agree to pay it forward to at least one other woman: we call it the ‘ripple effect’. Philanthropy shouldn’t be an afterthought. We have the good fortune of being born into a country of relative stability and peace. Giving should be part of our everyday routine.
 
My best memories of Queenwood are the times spent with friends and particular moments with teachers who either opened my eyes to new learning or whose teaching style moved me, even if only for a lesson.  My Principal at the time, Judith Wheeldon, was my biggest inspiration and remains one of my biggest influences. She believed in the power of the individual, and the importance of finding ways to nurture the needs of all students, to extend the student who couldn’t see that they were capable of more.