Meet: Siobhan McKenna, Global Women CEO

Siobhan McKenna has recently joined Global Women as CEO. Siobhan has a broad background in business, including media, digital and utility sectors and was founder and CEO of MediaWorks Interactive. She has held leadership positions in a global management consulting company, working in a variety of international markets and has most recently been leading transformation initiatives in part of the education sector in New Zealand. Siobhan was also appointed a Future Director with Ports of Auckland in 2017.

We grabbed five minutes to catch up with Siobhan and find out a bit more about Global Women’s CEO.


I wanted to lead Global Women because…

Changing the world seemed like a nice full role.

I made my first dollar…

When my sisters and I would empty out Gran’s fridge and cupboards and sell all her stuff back to her and the extended family…and keep the coin. (Can you believe the brazenness of us!!)
The other was when I was maybe 7 or 8 at St Mary’s Primary and various parents would take turns at guest-starring at school and teaching us how to do some new skill, activity etc. – kind of like Bruce Forsyth’s Generation Game but without the conveyor belt and prizes.

One day someone’s angel of a mother came in and taught us how to arrange petite dried flowers and glue them on the back of a bog standard wooden spoon and then get a very small piece of narrow ribbon and fashion it into a bow and place it at the base of the arrangement to cover the intersection of all the stems… (I thought that bit was very clever). I had found my thing. In fact I so jazzed by the whole experience of making my first one that I made a whole bunch more and trotted along to the Copper Kettle craft shop in Blenheim (the home of dried flowers and wood craft) and asked the owner to sell them. She agreed. Of course I was in that shop every other day checking to see how many had sold. I recall the joy when I discovered one had – I’m still thinking it was the shop owner just hiding it to try and buoy my spirits. Eventually the unsold stock came home and the first one I gave away was to Gran in compensation for all the other stuff we’d nicked!

One thing I’m exceptionally good at…

Aside from the floral spoon thing, losing stuff.  And I’m getting better at my response to it too! Recently I’ve left my make-up bag in a hotel twice within quick succession. I’ve trained myself to think someone else is enjoying it and that my loss (sigh) is someone else’s gain… and that it might have really made their day/week/month, which in turn is my gain. Really we all have so much compared to so many.

One thing I’m epically bad at: …

Directions. I often don’t know how to get to places I’m meant to be. Then Jon Kabat Zinn coined “whereever you go, there you are”. Problem solved 😉

(Note: I WhatsApp’d my sisters about this one and there was an alarmingly rapid response resulting in a confrontingly longer answer…)

My journey to get here was…

Thanks to lots of amazing, generous, patient wizards believing in me at just the right time, in just the right way. A mix of powerful women who encouraged me to dream big (including my mum) and some enlightened men who insisted on it. It’s rarely all a bed of roses but if who we are consists of those we spend time with, I have been very fortunate and at Global Women continue to be.

The biggest issue facing women my age today is…

“Who’s going to look after me when I’m old, ‘cos both my kids will still be under 20?”

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