As I write this, following another wonderful Global Women members’ retreat, I am buzzing with all that I learned, all the women I spoke to, and all the inspiration we shared. A huge thanks to Jo Doolan and her team on the Retreat Committee for the enormous effort they have put in to make this retreat possible.
As we plan for next year, for those of you who were there, I encourage you to complete this Retreat survey, giving us your feedback (if you didn’t complete it manually at the conclusion of the Retreat). For those of you who couldn’t make it, please complete this short survey, as applicable, to enable us to review the purpose of future Retreats and what you are looking for in terms of this annual event.
The annual Retreat is always a highlight of the year for Global Women members.
This year stood out for the many demonstrations from those amongst our membership who are, in their own way and in their own sphere, changing the communities we live in and positively impacting diversity in leadership across Aotearoa New Zealand. We all felt extremely privileged to have the opportunity to hear these stories and, in some cases, identify where we can personally help. We were also joined by many guests including Hinewehi Mohi and our Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy. The Quotas v sTargets debate stood out for many and thanks to Hon Lianne Dalziel for facilitating a very fact based discussion led by Dr Marilyn Waring and Louisa Wall MP. As a result of this session, members resoundingly sought Global Women’s support for progressing this discussion.
In 2017 we introduced Sector Groups, which we are now referring to as member ‘Impact groups’, based on your feedback. Impact Groups enable members to start to use their collective voice to amplify their individual impact in their key sectors of influence. We had two great sessions looking at how members could better collaborate more closely to drive diversity and inclusion outcomes and my thanks to Kereyn Smith and Dr Michelle Dickinson for sharing the approach they have taken to launch D&I activity in the Sport and Tech sectors for Global Women members. Other groups have formed and we will continue to communicate progress so, where members are keen to join or support activity underway, you know who to contact. This also applies to our International members who signalled at the Retreat a need to ensure they have clarity on the role they can play to assist with D&I back here in New Zealand.
At our AGM on Saturday I am delighted to say that the members elected Susan Peterson to the Global Women Board, and appointed all other Board members standing for election and re-election.
A further thank you to Michele Embling and Joan Withers for their significant contribution to the Board. Both now having completed two terms on the Board, we look forward to their ongoing contributions as members, and in Michele’s case, her contribution as Deputy Co-Chair for Champions for Change.
It has been an incredible year for us, for New Zealand, and around the world for diversity and inclusion. For those who missed the AGM, you may be interested to read more about Global Women’s achievements over the last year in our Annual Report. My AGM presentation also signalled the areas of focus for 2018-19 having regard to our charitable purpose, the feedback of members and the needs of our partners and those we serve. Of particular note is endeavouring to continue to extend our reach to the influential women leaders in NZ influencing D&I and providing opportunities for all members to come together to work to effect faster outcomes.
Over the next year, Global Women members will continue to advocate for diversity in leadership through amongst other things, promoting, encouraging and facilitating the development of women. We will continue to speak in the media and at public events, to push for gender parity and equal opportunities. We will advocate for more women on boards and around the executive office table and further the debate on quotas vs. targets. We will push for flexible working practices, and transparency in pay, to close the gender pay gap. We will champion, support and develop young leaders from diverse backgrounds. And we will continue to support you – our members. Without you we can’t be Global Women. As we look towards our 10th anniversary and our 10th Retreat – I thank you for your contribution to improving diversity and inclusion in New Zealand.