Chief Financial Officer, Craigs Investment Partners
My two main aspirations for women of Aotearoa are that we no longer see a need to elevate the advancement and role of women in society because the same opportunities are afforded to us as our male counterparts, and more equal gender representation is evident at senior management levels across all key aspects of our society. The second aspiration is that women of Aotearoa feel financially empowered, and consequently, more women become financially independent.
Regarding the first aspiration, key to this is that unconscious biases in relation to women in senior management positions have been broken down and other barriers impeding women to succeed at the highest levels of their field, no longer exist. Commonly quoted reasons for why women are not more represented in senior management positions like unconscious bias, taking career breaks and having flexible working arrangements in place, are a thing of the past. Central to this is that we, regardless of gender, are assessed on our potential and what complementary skills we bring to a community / workplace / organisation, rather than seeing us as uncommitted or having no ambition because we have taken a career break or are working flexibly to allow us to manage both our career and family commitments.
When I think about my career path, I worked three days a week for seven years, during the period where I started a family and had three children. I did put my career on hold during that period, and at the time, made a conscious choice to do so. Whether I needed to make that choice, or whether I could have had both, I believed I couldn’t have both – that was my reality. Seven years later, wanting more from my career, I chose a role that was only offered as a fulltime role. In reality, flexibility could have worked but was not on the table. Things are definitely changing in this regard but providing increased opportunity to those with ‘potential’ that have flexible working arrangements in place, will help break down this bias.
Regarding the second aspiration, I have recently joined an industry and organisation (Craigs Investment Partners) where we can really make a difference in empowering woman to be financial literate and independent. Women’s wealth is one of Craig’s strategic initiatives and something I am keen to contribute to.
I would like to see a world where more women have the ability to make important life decisions and follow their aspirations and are not constrained because they don’t have the financial freedom to do so.
“We no longer see a need to elevate the advancement and role of women in society because the same opportunities are afforded to us as our male counterparts”
Head of Summer, Forsyth Barr
To not blend in but to be confident to speak up and speak out and to know that by doing so, woman are inspiring other woman to use their voice.
While much progress has been made, there is more to be done to celebrate the diversity of perspective woman bring to discussions in our homes, workplaces,and our boardrooms. It is through diversity of thought and perspectives that debate is deepened,and decisions strengthened. Our voices contribute to that strength.
I also want women to feel nurtured and encouraged by their broader whānau and by each other in order to grow the collective empowerment of woman at all ages and stages of their journey. While it takes just one light to lead thousands of ships, the sky would be very dull with just one star. Collective success will always be our greatest achievement.
“I also want women to feel nurtured and encouraged by their broader whānau and by each other in order to grow the collective empowerment of woman at all ages and stages of their journey.”
Chief Digital Officer, Te Pūkenga
That all women can aspire to their greatness regardless of ethnicity or background. That women feel equal and recognised to others and have every opportunity to succeed.
In specifically the industry I am part of, in digital and technologies, today only 4% are Māori, with technology becoming the leading industry of our future, and with the volume of higher paying opportunities my dream is to support all women to join this flourishing sector and to inspire and encourage others to follow in their footpaths.
“With technology becoming the leading industry of our future, and with the volume of higher paying opportunities my dream is to support all women to join this flourishing sector and to inspire and encourage others to follow in their footpaths.”
Managing Director, Energi Advertising Holdings Ltd
Nearly at the age of 3 score my aspiration for the women behind me of Aotearoa New Zealand is to learn to appreciate themselves, their uniqueness, and their true power. Their ability to improve the pathways for other women is not negotiable it is mandatory. There is a lot of distance between genders professionally to make up for losing time between, but that time can be made up if we are smart about it. If we work together as a force, we can ensure we make up the distance.
We are so fortunate to have been born into a nation that is constantly shaping itself for good, where your voice can be heard if you want it to be heard, and you can make a difference if you wish to. It requires courage and energy to do this. To maintain a healthy mind and body to be able to make wise and good decisions to be present in life. That is the antidote to the forces around us that may not serve us as well as we deserve.
To help women understand the joys of becoming part of a community of female leaders as early in their careers as possible. I did, the first female in business initiative I attended at age 21 facilitated by Cath Saunders and Dr. Gwendoline Smith MNZM as they could see the future of women, they created a two-day conference 1984 Women in Perspective, to shine a light on the way forward for women and the watchouts for along the way.
Mainly, burnout. Because we do 2 jobs, in some cases 3. Even though goodness and willingness to serve our community come from within, we cannot do it alone because we are starting out with a heavy load, we need to share the load. The driving change for good requires a force of many moving in the same direction so as not to risk process fatigue and by becoming part of a unified group with a clear vision and mission statement we can affect the influence within the areas of influence we have.
My area of influence is the communications industry. Any way in which I can assist, in storytelling for or having that story told to the right person at the right time in the right context, often can make the difference of being in the light or staying in the shadows. The most recent assistance to offer context is that of the plight of the Cystic Fibrosis Community in NZ. Living with a whole of life condition they need help. They needed to be seen, and they needed to be heard. Invited by the CEO to assist bring the community to the fore and have their story told has made a profound and lasting elevation to the 15 community, which includes those with the condition and their families, their medical assistance providers, and hopefully with time Pharmac. The story was heard by Vertex the Pharmaceutical company that holds the miracle drug Trikafta, distributed in 30 countries around the world but not in Aotearoa NZ, to approach CFNZ to share the story of living with CF on their Global website.
So, my story here, is that each person can make a real difference if they are prepared to aid that may be beyond a financial transaction to the higher elevation of doing the right thing and love of humanity. Having the privilege of an education at Diocesan, the3 pastoral care infused into my being from age 5 through to entering the big wide world. It has stayed strong, and I see and encounter other women on their journey and maybe notice they regard success in wealth, it is always an opportunity to chat about another KPI, the Kindness Performance Index.
“To help women understand the joys of becoming part of a community of female leaders as early in their careers as possible.”
Director, Fresh Eyre Ltd
My dream is for all women in Aotearoa (New Zealand) to have the courage, opportunity, and skills to participate and share their stories and opinions with confidence, knowing they are safe and will be heard respectfully in all online, public, business, or professional forums.
CMO, Emma Lewisham
Aotearoa’s women are a force of the very best kind – we’re innovative, strong, capable, diverse, determined, and bring an empathy and thoughtfulness to all we do. My aspiration for Aotearoa’s women is to have the space and support to bring these strengths and unique perspectives to the fore in business, as team members and leaders, and as board members. Through diversity and balance of perspectives and approaches we are stronger. I wish for women to have the confidence to be themselves in business. They should not have to feel as though there is a stereotypical approach that leaders must take, but rather have the belief in themselves to lead in a way that is true to who they are and what they stand for.
To help enable the above, I strongly believe that woman can, and should be, supporters of each other. And whilst support can come from many places, women are best placed to support other women. If Aotearoa’s women to work together and support each other we will shape and build businesses that are a force for good, here in New Zealand, and globally.. Collectively we will have greater impact. A beautiful articulation of this impact is one from Melinda Gates, “when you lift up women, you lift up everybody – families, communities, entire countries”.
“My aspiration for Aotearoa’s women is to have the space and support to bring these strengths and unique perspectives to the fore in business, as team members and leaders, and as board members. Through diversity and balance of perspectives and approaches we are stronger.”
Welmoed Christiane (Chris) Duggan
CEO & Founder, House of Science
I am passionate about levelling the science playing field for women and girls in New Zealand. And we must start early – by the time kids turn ten they have made up their mind about potential future career pathways. Empowering the largely female primary teacher workforce with the resources and confidence to normalise science in their classrooms will ensure we have the skills for the future of work, and close the gender gap in STEM careers.
“Empowering the largely female primary teacher workforce with the resources and confidence to normalise science in their classrooms will ensure we have the skills for the future of work, and close the gender gap in STEM careers.”
CEO, Breast Cancer Foundation
We were the first country in the world to legalise women having the right to vote; incredibly progressive for its time. As a nation, are we still committed to be as progressive? Whilst a different topic, New Zealand celebrated being 14th in the world to legalise gay marriage, not exactly leading the world or progressive.
This leads me to my aspiration for women of Aotearoa, New Zealand; it’s for our country to be as progressive as were, when a nation came together for, and on behalf of women to advance women. Ensuring gender diversity in business, leadership, executive and director positions, given the documented value it brings should be a no brainer. Yet we continue to make slow progress. How do we capture that spirit that obtained women the vote & moved the nation/world forward?
I’d like to see a day where diversity is embedded in our society, where women not only have opportunity, but are empowered in closing the gap for gender aspirations, aiming as high as their counterparts.
“This leads me to my aspiration for women of Aotearoa, New Zealand; it’s for our country to be as progressive as were, when a nation came together for, and on behalf of women to advance women.”
Chief Executive, Ko Tātou LGNZ
Every woman can create the life she wants – free of stereotype, bias, and sexism. That every New Zealander remains aware of the challenges of gender (and other) privilege in our communities and workplaces, shines a light on these divides– and seeks to dismantle them. And that a focus on the verb ‘to include’ means that every woman, every girl feels they belong.
“That every New Zealander remains aware of the challenges of gender (and other) privilege in our communities and workplaces, shines a light on these divides– and seeks to dismantle them.”