Ka huri te kei o te waka ki te pae tawhiti

kia hoe ngātahi ki te pae tata

ki te whai ao ki te ao mārama


The waka turns towards the distant horizon

Let us make headway and paddle as one through

the glimmer of dawn to break of day

Over the last two decades, Global Women thought leaders have advocated for practical strategies and policy reform to address the multiple barriers to women’s progression and economic security.  As part of Global Women’s platform of change-making initiatives, the Breakthrough Leaders programme builds on the legacy built by our founders. The programme is an extraordinary accelerator  – a chance for participants to widen their lens to take in the big picture, and to see their own leadership in the context of the futures they want to be part of creating.

The invitation to be part of the Breakthrough Leaders Programme is a frontier of self-determination. We have designed a programme set apart from other leadership development offers because of its experiential nature, its grounding in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand, its focus on gender equity. Uniquely, the programme stitches together intergenerational perspectives to create a view that combines the wins of the past, the intelligence of the present, and an understanding that the future can and should be more than the sum of these parts.

Participants will be challenged to set aside what they currently understand about organisational and leadership principles and models so that their imaginations are unconstrained.  The explicit challenge is to understand how the past and present can be interpreted, embodied, and encoded within a hopeful view of the future.

Turning up the volume relies on us asking ourselves the questions that none of us yet know the answers to, exploring new perspectives and trusting in ourselves to hold the complexity.  These questions endeavour to discern deeply practical insight from the past, present, future precedents, which may transpose directly to redesigning our organisational form, not at all or require some degree of bespoke fusion with other knowledge and practices.

Nation-builders intentionally build organisations with the intention they will endure for generations, that are derived from knowledge and values that create a context in which self-determination can flourish.

The Programme

“Be an exceptional Futurist”

Over the last four years we have become used to navigating uncertain, and at times treacherous, waters. The pathways through might be different, but empathy, grit and determination have formed the pou of our successful wayfinding. We need new mindsets and capabilities to navigate the challenges ahead, to regenerate our own capacity to respond, and to conceive what new might look like. To create leaders of the future, we need to challenge our leaders to think differently.

Join us on this journey of discovery alongside influential thought leaders, explore place based leadership wisdom, and discern and sharpen your own sense of purpose: Te Tai Tokerau, Wellington, Christchurch, Samoa, and Auckland.

What does success look like?

Wāhine who:


Programme Dates and Navigating Themes to guide your experiences

“Boldness has genius, power and magic in it” – Goethe

Get in touch

We are now taking applications for Breakthrough Leaders 2025! Spaces are limited.

Contact us directly if you are interested in the 2025 cohort – chantelle.lincoln@globalwomen.org.nz or phone 022 312 6127

These are our stories

Lasy year we marked 10 years of Women in Leadership celebrating 10 years of breakthrough leaders. The Breakthrough Leaders legacy has seen significant growth in the number of women in leadership roles in business, government, community, and the non-for-profit sector.


Meet the Graduates

We have an exceptional alumnae of Breakthrough Leaders that are reflective of both the Global Women vision and success. 


Meet the Breakthrough Leaders