Welcome our March 2024 New Members!

Launching into 2024 with 14 wāhine trailblazers joining Global Women from various industries! Extend a warm welcome and delve into their impressive aspirations for women statements below.


Sarah Wood

CEO, realestate.co.nz

New Zealand women should think big with their ideas and not let resources limit their thinking. Then, we will work out how we deliver in that unique way that Kiwis do.

We make time for innovation in the businesses that we run. I’m a firm believer that innovation needs a process and that everyone should be included in idea generation and problem-solving.

We are responsible for ensuring women are invested in creating opportunities for them in leadership.

Rowena Davenport

Director, New Zealand Rugby

My aspirations for women of Aotearoa New Zealand are that they feel inspired and supported to fulfil their potential through connections and environments that allow them to have the confidence to pursue their ambitions. This comes from a desire that my children’s generation, and the generations that follow, will experience greater diversity, inclusion, and equity in Aotearoa that will benefit us all.

For me personally, sport has been a great catalyst for empowering women. During my involvement as a leader in the sporting sector, I’ve been a strong advocate for equity in sport, on and off the field, and especially in our boardrooms across the country. I believe sport is an excellent vehicle for building strong, well-connected communities that allow us to thrive.

Rebecca Russell

CEO, Auckland Rugby League

My aspirations for the Women of Aotearoa are that we grow deep roots and wide wings. By drawing strength from our roots, we have the courage to soar into new realms of experience and opportunity, showing us that nothing is impossible. To achieve this, we must promote inclusivity, challenge stereotypes, and work towards creating environments where women can fully participate and thrive in all aspects of life.

Annabell Chartres

Partner – Sustainability, Climate & Nature Leader, PwC New Zealand

In holding up half the sky, women have a right and obligation to claim their space on this planet we call home. Our planet is in crisis, however she is not called Mother Earth lightly: Just as I am optimistic that her resilience, tenacity and creative responses in the face of challenge will ensure her future, so I trust that those same attributes will continue to shine through in the wāhine of Aotearoa. In applying those attributes in a careful and considered way, we women have an opportunity to steward our country to a sustainable, equitable and prosperous future.

Belinda Clark

Independent Director & Consultant, B Clark Consulting

My aspirations for women of Aotearoa New Zealand are that we create an environment where women can flourish in both their personal and professional lives. This means not only women having opportunities for full participation and growth in the careers of their choice, but also that women can live in safety, free from family and relationship violence.

Jodi O’Donnell


My aspiration is that all women in Aotearoa New Zealand have the freedom and opportunity to create a life of their choosing.

Realising this ambition takes the collective effort of all of us. We must lead by example – giving voice to those that do not have one, creating pathways where there are none, and providing an extra seat at the table when it was previously missing.

Ultimately we succeed together, and my commitment is to work towards a future where every woman can reach her potential without limitations.

Kylie Archer

New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner to Japan, NZTE

My aspiration for the women of Aotearoa is to see us held in high regard around the world, and to feel proud of how we support women in New Zealand.

I’m ambitious for our global opportunities and constantly inspired by incredible kiwi women I meet living outside New Zealand, along with the difference they make in their adopted communities.

I’m also passionate about normalising menopause discussions in the workplace and supporting women with reproductive health challenges. I strongly believe that if we actively remove the stigma around this discussion, we can reduce the personal and professional impact of menopause.

Helen Osborne

Property Lead, Heritage New Zealand

My aspiration for the women of Aotearoa New Zealand is that they are nourished to be able to grow and flourish; are empowered by their inner strength; they stand tall against injustice and show braveness and kindness to themselves and others. Aspirations on their careers and the opportunities along their different stages of life’s journey, are that I hope they are able conquer barriers and discrimination for all the citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand, both present and future so the legacy left to us from former women leads women to be supported and be able to stand on the shoulders of others to continue effective change and equality.

Vivian Valbuena

Founder & Director, Risk Global Ltd

Time and again, I have seen young men succeed more quickly than young women because young women will often not apply for a role unless they already have 100% of the skillset, while young men are often encouraged to go ahead and apply with only 60%-70% of the skills. Part of the appeal in mentoring and coaching women while in college or early in their careers is to help build their confidence and skills so they can apply for roles that allow them to stretch and grow at the same pace as young men.

For senior executive roles, I have often observed women becoming the “first female” company CEO when the company is in significant trouble. If she succeeds in navigating the company through its issues, she often is replaced with a male CEO. If the company’s troubles continue, she often gets the blame for what she has inherited. This suggests that expectations of female senior executives and male senior executives are imbalanced and is a key driver why I am also passionate about mentoring young men as well, as they will become the colleagues of our future female leaders. So my aspirations for New Zealand is to move beyond the “first female executive” mindset to one where women’s capabilities are accepted and acknowledged. This can be facilitated by passing on the learnings and experiences of today’s female leaders to the next generation of leaders.

Vanessa Eparaima

Director, Trustee, Council Member, Te Wananga o Aotearoa

What I know is this; the greatest challenge a woman faces, is to believe in one’s own self-worth, and therefore to know and be comfortable about our connection and place in relationship to wairua.

The journey of acknowledging one’s own self-worth is, in my experience, normally preceded by an awareness of societies’ pressures to conform to the ‘norms’, the standards and expectations of what it is to be a good woman.

Understanding one’s own programmed beliefs. that has us conform, provides the opportunity to consciously make decisions to move toward wellbeing, happiness, joy and success.

If I , in some small way can open a door to another’s self awareness through example, I would consider myself fortunate for having contributed to the well-being of another.

Kelly Newton

Co-Managing Partner, Boston Consulting Group

My aspiration for the Women of Aotearoa New Zealand is threefold:
First, we support each other in achieving our goals and ambitions. Second, we live in a culture where women are represented and supported in their career regardless of gender, race or ethnicity. Third, women are represented not just in leadership positions, but leadership positions that matter.

First, supporting each other. We choose to build each other up, unlock doors and cheer on each other. Sometimes women can be envious of other women in leadership and, at its worst, tear down other women. The freedom to make choices is extraordinarily powerful, and we should support each other wherever that path may go.

Second, progressing our culture to support representation in business. This can take the form of education on the importance of diversity & how to foster inclusion as well as putting systems in place to support people in the workplace. For example, in many developed nations, childcare is a major source of anxiety for parents – finding effective childcare, paying for childcare – and it is typically the woman’s responsibility. My work colleagues, clients, and people who I interact with at my children’s school all assume that I am the one to be on point.

Lastly, my aspiration is that women are equally represented in leadership positions that are leading businesses. Today, women are increasing representation in the C-suite, but it is typically in roles related to People / HR, Legal, Sustainability and audit. Unfortunately, CEO jobs are rarely filled from any of these positions and decisions within the company are still often made by those in commercial roles.

Mary Los’e

CEO, Pacific Business Trust

Ko taku kaha e rere ana i roto i au mai i oku kuia.

Everything I do, I have my great, great granddaughters in mind, as I will never meet them. Yet, I want them to know that I contributed to creating pathways for financial freedom for women, particularly Māori and Pacific wahine. Creating intergenerational success factors is important for everyone’s future.

   “My strength flow from my female ancestors.”

Carolyn Kerr

CEO, Anthem

My aspiration for Aotearoa New Zealand is we become a place where we no longer need to spotlight the power of diversity, equity and inclusion or to agitate for more women in leadership roles or feel the need to insert “female” in a sentence to define a person who has succeeded. It is a given, the status quo and a proven societal norm.

Growing up in regional New Zealand in the ‘80s in the “Girls can do anything” era, I’m proud of how far we’ve come. We’ve navigated a period when the concept of women doing “men’s” jobs or even working outside the home was gaining momentum. We now live in a time when women are trailblazing, inspiring and motivating girls and other wāhine toa in a limitless range of sectors and areas.

My hope is that my teenage daughter, and her children should she choose to have them, belong in a world where their dreams are unshackled, embraced and enabled by our society, and that the girls in the regions and small towns around the country have role models that show them their potential is far greater than the environment they see around them.

 Belinda Leslie

General Manager People & Communications, Kotahi

I believe in a future where every woman is empowered to lead authentically, breaking barriers and inspire generations to come. Together, we will forge pathways of opportunity, cultivate cultures of belonging, and ignite change across industries and borders.

Our journey towards gender equality is not just a pursuit of fairness, but a celebration of the limitless potential in every individual. With determination and collective action, we pave the way for a world where diversity thrives, leadership knows no bounds, and every voice is heard and valued. Indeed, this is a world where workplaces become more human, and we all can flourish.

I am committed to growing my own leadership skills so I can make bigger change impacts. I look forward to unlocking perspectives, experiences, and talents that enrich our organisations and communities.