It’s always a terrific pleasure to welcome new women into the Global Women Membership. This October, we’re proud to announce 19 women are joining the community, representing a diverse scope of perspectives, identities experiences, career paths and industries.
Please join us in welcoming each and every member, by getting to know them as well as their aspirations for the women of Āotearoa. We look forward alongside to making change alongside these wāhine toa!
Kei tēnā, kei tēnā, kei tēnā ano. Tōnā ake ahua, Tōnā ake mauri, Tōnā ake mana.
“Each and every one has their own uniqueness, life essence and presence.”
Partners in Performance, Chief ExecutiveWomen Australia
My aspiration for the women of Āotearoa is that they, and all in the land, live their lives able to unleash their full potential and in so doing inspire those in other countries to achieve this as well.
General Counsel & Company, Serko Limited
We are fortunate in Āotearoa New Zealand to have seen strong female leaders throughout our history, who have helped to shape our country’s culture and inspire women to pursue their passions.
While we’ve made significant progress as a nation, we have a considerable opportunity to further embrace the skills and perspectives that women from all cultures and backgrounds can bring to Āotearoa’s communities and businesses. This will ensure we have appropriate leadership and representation of the people who make-up those communities and the consumers of Āotearoa New Zealand’s businesses.
I was fortunate to be raised in a supportive family that made me believe that I could achieve anything I set my mind to. As a mother of two sons, my husband and I actively seek to break-down gender stereotypes within our home in the hope our sons will perpetuate those values in whatever field they choose. If they are lucky enough to lead others, we hope we’ve built a foundation of acceptance, value and celebration of all, regardless of their backgrounds.
My aspirations for Women of Āotearoa New Zealand, is for women of all backgrounds:
– To feel supported to realise their full potential by both men and women alike
– To trust themselves, own their power and act with passion.
– To not wait to be invited to the table, but to take their seat at the table and confidently express their opinions in supported and inclusive environments, surrounded by teams that genuinely want to see them succeed.
– To no longer need gender targets, because the contribution that women bring (including the softer skills brought to their roles) are highly valued and rewarded in the workplace and communities in which they live; and it’s recognized that these roles can be performed in non-traditional ways, alongside other roles they may be providing as caregivers.
– That there is even greater awareness and positive action taken to address unconscious bias that may adversely impact a woman’s ability to thrive and be recognized and rewarded as an equal in the workplace.
– As the world changes in a post-COVID landscape, the way that people work has fundamentally shifted. From those working remotely, to those working flexibly in a hybrid environment, we have an opportunity to actively engage the skills of talented women, who previously may have felt they had to make a difficult choice between career and family.
As Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”. I’m excited by the change the Global Women collective can bring to raise the collective consciousness of society to authentically empower women.
Investment Principal, Icehouse Ventures
I hope to see more women in business and entrepreneurship thriving with support and resources. My mission is to enable access to funding for women founders through a fund that exclusively invests in women. My dream is to see a more diverse landscape where we no longer need a special mechanism for women because they will be given equal opportunities. I’d like to see women taking more leadership roles paving the way for the next generation of women leaders.
Market & Alliances Lead Partner, PwC
My aspirations for the Women of Āotearoa are that we look to collaborate and embrace the wide range of talent that exists to drive equality and inclusion together. I believe we have a unique and amazing opportunity to do that here in Āotearoa that is more difficult in larger countries, and that by working together we can create and sustain the foundations for this and future generations to come.
CEO, Pāua Wealth Management
Despite the women of NZ having fought hard to win the vote first, I feel that since then we have lost a lot of that passion and conviction. I’m frustrated by the slow progress NZ has made on achieving diversity,
where we were previously so ahead of our time. I would love to see women have the confidence to say what they think in any situation and express their views in a compelling and impactful manner and be valued and respected for their views.
I would like us to stop talking about the importance of diversity in boardrooms and business as actions speak louder than words. Women are still under-represented in positions of influence and we can all do better by supporting each other to be successful. There are opportunities to do this every day – we all need to help lift other women up, but that’s only part of the solution. Throughout my career, I have been encouraged and supported by some incredible men. I believe that until men are committed to this, nothing will change unfortunately as out-dated attitudes persist. Men need to call-out inappropriate behaviour by their male colleagues and support women to progress. Having a career in financial services, I’m committed to doing what I can to support women achieve their ambitions as the industry is still very male dominated at senior levels including within industry bodies. It is my aspiration that this will change and I am committed to champion this change in my industry.
I have always been passionate about financial education as an enabler for people to make better informed decisions. Financial knowledge is power. Understanding the benefits of saving and the value achieved through compounding interest for example, gives you the freedom to make better choices. There have been numerous studies that show women are usually financially disadvantaged when divorced and have lower retirement savings, which doesn’t need to be the case if they were more financially literate and knew the right questions to ask. It can not only be liberating, but life changing.
As the mother of a son and daughter, I want them both to be respectful and supportive of each other and grow up to pursue lives and careers in a New Zealand that encourages the best minds, challenges tradition and accelerates talent. I hope that when they start careers pursuing their passions, we will not still be talking about equal opportunity and equal pay, we will instead be debating ideas to progress the country. I would hope my daughter has the same opportunities that my son has and live in a NZ where she will not be held back or feel less valued because of her gender. This is my aspiration for the next generation of NZ women.
CEO, Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority
My aspirations for our women are to thrive and have every opportunity to do this in a way that meets their individual needs, the needs of their whānau and ultimately the needs of our wider community.
We have a responsibility to our people and taking people with us is one of our super powers.
We need spaces and places that enable this type of thinking, we need colleagues and a culture that lift us up and support our aspirations not tear us down or plot for our demise.
We need to develop an eco system that will support the women of Āotearoa to be great in any role, in any organisation, in any community that they choose to stand in.
Ultimately we will be the people who ensure that the system our mokopuna inherit is not the system that we did.
E Kore tēnei whakaoranga e huri ki tua o aku mokopuna.
Founder & Director, SHIFT Advisory Limited
My aspirations are for women in NZ to be able to participate fully across all leadership roles in NZ, to bring their authentic selves to work, and to shift the dial so the gender pay gap is a thing of the past and women are equally represented at the table.
Founder, The Medicine Gap
Rachel hosts a radio show on TodayFM, runs a communications business, has an NBR column, and is the founder of The Medicine Gap. Rachel is driving for serious change in how people access medicine, through her work with The Medicine Gap. Watch this space, 2023 will be momentus.
Founder & CEO, Abel Odor
We have just closed our first venture capital funding. Knowing that only 2% of global VC funding goes to womxn and that we’re part of that has made the team and I exceptionally proud but also very driven to get that number much higher than 2%! I would like to play a more active role in encouraging the next generation of wahine entrepreneurs to think big, have ambition and get cracking with their ideas.
CEO, Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi
I would love to see Āotearoa as a place where all women thrive and are enabled and supported to dream, achieve their potential and be valued for who they are in all their diversity.
Justine Mia Daw
Director/ Pou Tataki, Kaipara Moana Remediation
Both domestically and internationally, leaders are facing increasing challenges. The impacts of COVID-19, recessionary pressures, military instability in Europe and beyond and geopolitical shifts (e.g. Brexit) have led to a paradigm shift in global security and international collaboration.
Climate change impacts are becoming increasingly visible and severe, with nations grappling with how to effectively shift to a lower carbon future with urgency but in ways that are equitable across society. The rise of misinformation is also impacting on leadership social licence to operate, with evidence-based decision-making losing ground around the world.
At home in Āotearoa, these disruptive forces are widening the intergenerational divide, exacerbating inequities between rich and poor, and increasing rural/urban tensions, all of which reduce societal cohesion and willingness to peaceably work through areas of difference.
New Zealand leaders also face increasing complexification in the operating environment, with a number of headwinds specific to a small nation state relatively distant from its neighbours and trading partners: viz. labour market shortages, supply chain disruptions, gaps in technical expertise in our homegrown workforce, and rising costs for imported goods. Added to these pressures are growing well-being issues facing our rangatahi, an ageing population, and rapid workforce shifts as tech-based innovations disrupt economic paradigms.
In line with global trends, Āotearoa is facing growing societal conflict about how to manage acknowledged challenges – recent debates on the Three Waters and co-governance, climate change action, and environmental protections highlight how leadership and governance decision-making is increasingly taking place against societal divisions.
At this time of global uncertainty and disruption, women leaders in Āotearoa have a real opportunity – even a responsibility – to come together, openly share their insights and diverse experience, work collegially across sectors, disciplines and backgrounds to develop and apply innovative solutions to the challenges of our times.
Supporting open communication, exploring opportunities that build on our collective strengths – rather than emphasising differences – is a way of working that women of New Zealand have excelled in over generations.
I look forward to being part of this future-facing conversation, helping to lead and drive truly homegrown solutions that deliver on local and community needs, recognise Te Tiriti and the rights and interests it provides for mana whenua, and strengthen equity across our communities.
Principal, Diocesan School for Girls
I believe that education is inspiring in that it helps our young people learn how to live a fulfilled and meaningful life in equitable and sustainable environments. My contribution to Āotearoa New Zealand is through influencing future societies and economies by educating outstanding young women who participate fully in life’s opportunities and have open minds to their leadership potential anywhere in the world. We are fortunate that New Zealand was an early adopter of opportunities for women but there remain inequities here and internationally. I believe that education is a forum for exciting adventures but also deep change involving our cultural understanding, our creativity, imagination, and discovery. How exciting to join hearts and minds with others internationally and to share opportunities for New Zealand to be a source of inspiration for a better world.
Tina Cherie Mitchell
Chief Executive, Toka Tū Ake EQC
My aspiration for the women of Āotearoa New Zealand is to continue to be world leaders by pushing boundaries and being positive agents of change.
When I look back on my career, I think about some of the women who have shaped and inspired me – the female prime ministers and governor generals, the women who led massive inquiries into male dominated industries, the whistleblowers, the advocates, female partners of national law firms, female CEs of global banks and insurance companies, inspirational female teachers, sports coaches, athletes and scientists. Female leaders who used their empathy, humility, resilience and extreme organisational skills to deliver. Women who led families while juggling their professional and community roles. Like my mum. And my mother in law. And even the Queen.
Those women paved the way for me and have opened so many doors. When you are surrounded by that confidence and capability, it normalises the possibilities in front of you. I’m very conscious of building on that legacy as the first female CE to be appointed at Toka Tū Ake EQC.
I want the women of Āotearoa to be aware of the platform they have in our country and seize it. Take the risks and dare to dream. Our agility is one of our greatest strengths. Celebrate the many cultures we blend as a country and pay that respect forward. There is always a fall back option. You have the time.
CEO, Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited
My aspirations for the Women of Āotearoa New Zealand are to;
1. Utilise my story and journey to inspire young Pacific women to believe in themselves to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and pathways, to achieve phenomenal results. I have been blessed to have spent the majority of my working life doing things that I love and being fulfilled in my work. Though my career was met with many challenges at times, I did not follow the typical pathway, and I was fortunate enough to create my own opportunities. I often refer to my pathway as “engineered serendipity” or just plain LUCKY!
2. Empower other Pacific women that their diversity is their strength, and that being different shouldn’t make you feel that you are at a disadvantage, but should encourage you to teach others to embrace difference and champion the notion that there is strength in having diverse thinking in an organisation or around the table.
3. Be inspired, network and continue to learn from other successful women. I am an advocate of surrounding yourself with good, positive people to make magic happen. My journey for learning never stops, but I also recognise that collectively, we share a personal responsibility to other women, our daughter and grand-daughters (to come), to pave a better pathway for them so that they do not have to face the obstacles that we may have faced in establishing our careers – but can continue the journey to achieving better gender equality outcomes.
CEO, Toitū Envirocare
I aspire to a society in which all women have the opportunity to fulfil their hopes and dreams. Today there are too many girls growing up without access to safe and warm houses, quality food, and good education. The climate crisis is not ‘gender neutral’. Women and girls experience the greatest impacts of climate change, which amplifies existing gender inequalities. We have an opportunity to leverage the climate crisis and ensure that the transition to a low-emissions economy is a just transition, and that the society we create is one that is equitable, diverse, inclusive and sustainable.
I would like to live in an Āotearoa New Zealand in which access to good quality education, housing, food, energy, and transport is equitable, and therefore that all girls feel that that have access to all kind of opportunities. During my time as a Trustee of the Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation I was struck by the level of inequality, and the systemic barriers that those people growing up in some parts of our society face.
We have a highly diverse population, but we do not yet experience all the benefits of diversity. I would like to see an Āotearoa New Zealand in which, for example, Boards (publicly listed, private, and public sector) are truly diverse – on which a range of people with different attitudes, perspectives, ethnicity, and gender collaborate for better outcomes. Where girls growing up can see people who look like them represented in leadership positions.
And I would like to see an Āotearoa that is leading in positive climate action. One in which we are grasping the opportunity to transform our energy, housing, transport, waste, and agricultural systems for the benefit of all. Where we are investing in innovation to lead the world in low carbon technologies. And women are leading the charge in creating those innovation solutions.
Going forward, my intent is to combine my twin passions for gender diversity and sustainability to champion issues relating to a just transition to a low carbon society.
Country Manager, Xero New Zealand
As a full time working mother of three young children, including two daughters, I have high aspirations for the women of Āotearoa. But my key aspiration is that women in New Zealand, of all ethnicities, have high aspirations for themselves – and that we close the ‘aspiration gap’ that exists in our country by making it easier for women to pursue their career dreams.
New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the vote. We have grown up on a rhetoric of equality of opportunity and equality of pay – but there is much more to equality. I have read so many articles in recent years about how women have lower aspirations for themselves than men – that women are funnelled off career pathways because it gets increasingly difficult to juggle work and family commitments; because they see male counterparts treated or paid better and that demotivates them; because there are barriers to achieving outside of their control. While we have numerous amazing female role models, we have ten times as many women who have given up their careers and aspirations to raise their children, and not always by choice.
I want to be part of an Āotearoa where we work together to break down any barriers to women’s aspirations for themselves – through support for girls attending higher education; through education that encourages girls to pursue careers in STEM as much as other professions; through workplace initiatives that provide flexibility and support for working mothers; and through greater representation of females on executives and boards.
I want my daughters to be leaders in a country where they do not have to make constant trade offs and assuage their own guilt at pursuing a career and raising a family but where they truly believe that they can do anything they set their minds to – where they have aspirations equal to or beyond their male counterparts – and there is nothing stopping them.
KiwiRail, Group General Manager Transformation
My aspiration for women in Aotearoa reflects my aspirations for society as a whole:
– Where we see the diversity of our society reflected across all industries and levels
– Where everyone feels supported and enabled to fully reach their potential
– Where we remove barriers that prevent people from entering their chosen field
– Where our diverse backgrounds and experiences are celebrated as a strength
– Where Aotearoa is an example to the world of the benefits of diversity and inclusion
Financial Lifestyle Limited, Financial Adviser
My aspirations for the Women of Aotearoa are threefold – help with the pathways for women’s rugby, empower financial and investment literacy in young Pacific women, and shine a light on how the mental health issues of others, impacts on children and other family members so that whānau can be better supported.
General Manager Retail Transformation, Contact Energy
My aspiration for the Women of Āotearoa is one of standing beside each other as role models, standing behind each other in support, and standing together to achieve a vision of an inclusive and better New Zealand. I want to see opportunities for women of all ages and stages to experience the different paths available to them and their whānau – through inspiring change stories and the opportunity to walk in others’ shoes. An understanding of te ao Māori through real life experiences such as time on marae — and the reo to bring this understanding to life — is another aspiration I have for the women of Āotearoa.