Global Member and Champion for Change, Jolie Hodson, is heading into 2023 with an incredible accolade under her belt: she’s Aotearoa’s Chief Executive of the year, recognised at Global Women Partners, Deloitte’s, Top 200 Awards.
“I’m both humbled and proud to be recognised amongst my peers through this award,” Jolie shares with Global Women. “I always view my achievements as the result of the combined efforts of the people and teams who support and work alongside me, and so I want to recognise the contribution of the whole Spark whānau. I’m really proud to lead a business with the kind of culture and people who want to deliver progress for Aotearoa as well as Spark.”
“I’m really proud to lead a business with the kind of culture and people who want to deliver progress for Aotearoa as well as Spark” — Jolie Hodson, CEO, Spark NZ.
Jolie’s three-year-and-counting leading of Spark has certainly seen some triumphs. In particular, navigating the ups and downs of Covid since being appointed to the role in 2019 — a mere matter of months before the pandemic broke.
The 2022 ServiceNow Chief Executive of The Year award comes after Jolie received the Chief Financial Officer of the year at the 2016 Deloitte Top 200 Awards — where she shared her ambition of reaching Spark’s CEO post.
This very essence came through when Global Women asked Jolie what advice she’d impart women seeking a similar career path: “Aim high, be courageous and curious enough to try new things and keep learning, build the teams around you that will help you drive the change you want to see, and never lose sight of ‘your crew’ — the people who will support and challenge you through the good times and the bad.”
“Build the teams around you that will help you drive the change you want to see, and never lose sight of ‘your crew'”
In amongst positive financial performance, leading the way among NZX-listed gender-diverse boards, building flexible working into their ‘new normal,’ and prioritising diversity and equity — including this $1m scholarship pipeline programme we reported on in November 2022 – it’s clear that Jolie and the Spark team are carving out a positive trajectory.
Jolie shares that Spark’s challenge now is to make sure it stays relevant as technology shifts and moves with it, as stated in conversation with NZ Herald.co.nz.
When musing about what’s in store for 2023 and beyond, Jolie talks to the spirit of collectivity in Aotearoa: “Having worked offshore for a while, one of the things that I think makes Aotearoa so unique is our collective mindset. When I’m speaking to other businesses, big or small, it is almost universally true that they are focussed not only on their own growth, but on New Zealand’s as a whole. We all want to see our country succeed.”
“One of the things that I think makes Aotearoa so unique is our collective mindset”
“We’ve got some massive challenges ahead of us – recovering from Covid, battling cost of living issues, and responding to climate change being chief among them. And so my hope for New Zealand is that we tap into that amazing collective mindset to solve these challenges together. That’s our super power as a country, and that’s what will see us create a more prosperous and equitable Aotearoa,” Jolies shares in conversation with Global Women.
Considering Jolie’s passion and dedication to advancement, we’re sure that this — and more — is on the horizon for 2023 and beyond.