This year’s Women of Influence Awards has been a true celebration of the women who are creating a bold and diverse future for New Zealand—and of course, Global Women members were heavily represented.
This is the fourth time the Awards have been held, and each year they get larger and more prestigious. They aim to celebrate the important role that women are playing in shaping New Zealand’s future, in spheres that range from corporate management and diversity, to public policy and the arts.
Last night’s gala dinner saw five inspiring and accomplished Global Women members topping their respective categories, from a total of sixteen membersnominated. The winners are:
Supreme Winner, Board and Management –
”I think it’s really important that we celebrate and we also encourage. Hopefully by telling our stories we can encourage lots of wonderful women and men who have great aspirations, that actually, you can achieve anything.”
Helen Robinson is the co-founder of the Organic Initiative, a company that sells organic and biodegradable cotton hygiene products—aiming to help keep plastic out of the landfill, and women’s bodies.
She’s also the former chief executive of Microsoft New Zealand, and an experienced executive and director, currently sitting on boards that include Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development.
Global – Lyn Provost
Lyn Provost is New Zealand’s first female auditor-general. In her seven years in that role, she has worked with other auditor-generals around the world and has been instrumental in improving auditing across the smallest Pacific nations.
She advocates for accountability and transparency in the public sector and advises developing nations on public auditing and accounting.
Science – Michelle Dickinson
Dr Michelle Dickinson set up the country’s first and only nano-mechanical testing lab at the University of Auckland, and is an internationally recognised expert in nanotechnology.
She’s one of New Zealand’s most well-known scientists and is the co-founder of OMG Tech, a charity that aims to give all New Zealand children access to new technology.
Public Policy – Naomi Ferguson
As the first female Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson, has been a driving force in the creation of the Government Women’s Network for senior public sector women.
She also has an interest in developing and promoting future public sector leaders, serving on the State Sector Leadership Group and the Leadership Development Centre board.
Her more than 20 years’ of experience in the UK included roles with a focus on diversity and inclusion, and work with the University of Ulster to implement diversity legislation in Northern Ireland.
Rural – Mavis Mullins
Mavis Mullins is the chairwoman of Rangitane Tu Mai Ra Trust, a post-settlement governance entity established in 2014. She also holds a number of agricultural directorships responsible for the farming activities of sheep, beef and dairy.
In 2005 Mullins became the first woman to manage a New Zealand shearing and woolhandling team, and in 2008 was made President of the Golden Shears Society.
As chair of the Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation, a 42,000-hectare agribusiness with 7000 shareholders, she has helped to create jobs, new skills and an economic boost to Maori in the Whanganui area, as well as reconnecting young Maori with their land.
Congratulations to all the Awards winners! It was a wonderful event, another great opportunity to recognise the important work done by women in New Zealand.