Global Women members win huge at Women of Influence 2015

Global Women members stole the show at last night’s 2015 Women of Influence Awards at a packed-out dinner at Sky City Grand in Auckland. Congratulations to all!

Global Women member Joan Withers was named supreme winner to a standing ovation.

Of the nine categories, Global Women members won four – Vicky Robertson, public policy award; Frances Valintine, innovation award; Linda Jenkinson, business award; Joan Withers, board and management award – and a participant in next year’s BTL programme, Katie Milne, won the Rural award.

Many more well-deserved Global Women members were among the finalists.

The awards were sponsored by Global Women major partner Westpac and Fairfax Media. Fairfax coverage detailed all the winners, and excerpts on our members from the article are below:

Supreme award winner

Judges said Withers’ work championing board diversity and striving to close the gender gap resulted in a unanimous decision.

Withers left school at 16 years old and worked as a junior bank teller before moving up the ranks of the advertising world.

She is currently the chairwoman of Mighty River Power and TVNZ, a director of ANZ and a member of the Treasury Advisory Board.

She also spent two years as The Radio Network chief executive, fours years as Fairfax Media chief executive and about 15 years as an Auckland International Airport director and chairwoman.

Business enterprise

Linda Jenkinson won for her entrepreneurial success in the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand.

From Palmerston North, but now based in San Francisco, Jenkinson is a serial entrepreneur and was the first New Zealand woman to take a company public on the NASDAQ exchange.

She is currently the chairwoman and owner of LesConcierges, the largest luxury corporate concierge company in the world, catering to more than 65 million members.

She is also a member of the New Zealand Olympic Counsel, an advisor for leading New Zealand incubator The Icehouse and a director and secretary of the Massey University Foundation.


Education futurist and The Mind Lab founder, Frances Valintine, won for being at the forefront of change in education. The Mind Lab is a 21st century digital and creative learning facility for students with a focus on science, technology and discovery.

Valintine stood out in this category and judges commended her vision, passion and results in creating a new approach to education.

Public policy

Vicky Robertson won for her continued focus on results and ability to work effectively across a wide range of stakeholder groups.

Whether it was speaking about the competition policy at the 1995 APEC summit in Osaka, reviewing the Climate Change Policy and KiwiSaver scheme or leading Treasury to explore new approaches to policy design, judges said she makes a huge impact for a prosperous New Zealand.


The other new category was won by Katie Milne, who has been instrumental in the agriculture and farming industry, regularly addressing issues that impact farming and agriculture on a provincial and national level.

As a young mum and farmer, Katie did the hard yards juggling farming, parenthood and an off-farm job.