When Marie Coleman landed in Canberra in 1973 - newly appointed as the first woman in Australia to head a national statutory agency - the sexism hit her like "a bucket of cold water".
It was her 40th birthday, and she had come from a long career in Victoria's health sector where hierarchies were more about who wore the doctor's scrubs than the trousers.
"I was young, relatively for the bureaucracy at the time, I was female, and I was an outsider, and those three things were more than some people could bear," Ms Coleman said.
"If you were as tough as the blokes in committees and things, you attracted certain names and I quickly became known as the dragon lady of Canberra. And this was me coming in at the top, as the boss."
As revealed in a new survey of Canberra women by YWCA, the workplace has changed significantly in the almost five decades since.
But with more than half of women surveyed still experiencing recent sexism or feeling unsafe at night, Ms Coleman said there was still a lot of work to do in 2019.
The report is the first of its kind conducted by the YWCA, surveying 1090 women aged 18 and older across every postcode, education level and income bracket in the city.
Chief executive of the charity Frances Crimmins said the research went beyond the usual statistics to capture the mood of Canberra women, who make up just a little more than half of the capital's population.
In a city well known of its affluence and progressive local politics, women had a lot to celebrate, more active on average in recreation and the workforce than their interstate counterparts.
But discrimination, violence and financial insecurity still cast a long shadow over many women's lives in 2019.
About 18 per cent of women reported experiencing domestic violence including physical assault or financial abuse, in the past year. Among the youngest cohort surveyed - 18-24 year olds - that number was the highest of all, at 24 per cent.
"That really stuck out to me, the young women affected [because] we're constantly told this won't be a problem for the next generation, that it's getting better, but the data isn't supporting that at all," Ms Crimmins said.
While YWCA said the ACT government had made good strides with its new family safety hub intervention pilots, the sector was still crying out for more beds and staff to support families in crisis.
Tulika Saxena, an expert in gender and domestic violence now leading response training across the ACT public service, said much of the support in Canberra was for women fleeing violence. But the capital could learn from states such as Queensland and Victoria where police could hand out orders to perpetrators on the spot.
"Here, it's seen as the woman's fault, she's dragging him to court for a protection order, it's all on her," Dr Saxena said. "If it's the police doing it for her, that changes things and it puts him on notice"
Having recently moved to Canberra, Romy Listo at Equality Rights Alliance said she had already been warned about the places to avoid at night - namely Haig Park.
"Public spaces are much darker in Canberra than other [cities]," she said. "It does create a barrier for you in getting around."
Many women surveyed reported feeling burnt out, often due to the pressures of unpaid caring. Others admitted they were in precarious financial situations in a city with record high house prices and rent, vulnerable to circumstance change like a job loss or a relationship breakdown.
Of those who had lived in Canberra for more than 10 years, almost 60 per cent said they were finding it harder to keep up with the cost of living.
While Ms Coleman said reforms like paid parental leave had made a world of difference for women, she was still fighting to close the wage gap that often left them far worse off come retirement.
"And that's why we have so many women ending up homeless now as the population ages and [they realise] they've got no savings of their own," she said.
"It's a huge problem."
But despite multiple entreaties from organisations like the one Ms Coleman founded, the National Foundation for Australian Women, gender disparity in superannuation was not included in the federal government's upcoming review of the system.
"It's appalling," Ms Coleman said. "This is why we need more specific data like this [YWCA report]. It's hard to extract it from government statistics."
Ms Crimmins said that much of the data that could help improve policy for women - from Commonwealth apprenticeship numbers to sexual harassment cases - remained behind closed doors.
"There's missing data that we need," she said. "We hope that governments will take this report and really listen to what it's telling us."
YWCA is celebrating 90 years since it first opened on the corner of Mort Street in Canberra. In recent months, it's two new affordable housing programs for women and families - Rentwell and Next Door - have helped more than 20 clients into homes.