Vanisa Dhiru MNZM

Director, public speaker & unconscious bias workshop facilitator

Vanisa Dhiru is one of Aotearoa’s most inspiring advocates for equity, inclusion and belonging: an equality champion with a strong sense of social responsibility who has worked in a variety of advocacy roles throughout her career. She has assembled an astonishing collection of skills across leadership, management, marketing, communication and strategy.

Born and raised in Manawatū, she is now based in Wellington, serving the community through a variety of both paid and volunteer commitments:
– Between 2017 and 2019, Vanisa served as the National President of National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ), using her time in the role to raise its profile, increase the diversity of its membership and advocate at the United Nations.
– During her time at InternetNZ between 2019 and 2023, Vanisa had various responsibilities including managing the organisation’s policy work, communication and philanthropy, connecting the wider community with partnerships, grants and in-kind support.
– She is a member of Global Women NZ, the Institute of Directors, the Wellington Interfaith Council and the Global BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network.
– She currently holds a number of governance and advisory roles.

Awards and recognition:
– Included in the 2016 Zonta District 16 ‘50 Women of Achievement’ list.
– Named a finalist for Kiwibank Young New Zealander of the Year in 2010.
– Led the NCWNZ delegation at the United Nation’s 70th session of the CEDAW Monitoring Committee in 2018, advocating for gender equality issues in New Zealand.
– Awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to community and gender rights, as part of the New Year’s Honours in 2020.