About the awards

Diversity, particularly in leadership has become a priority internationally.

Presented by Fairfax Media and Westpac, the New Zealand Women of Influence programme recognises and celebrates women from all walks of life who make a difference to everyday Kiwis. The Women of Influence programme is committed to increasing the visibility of women’s leadership in New Zealand, highlighting the important contribution women make in creating a bold and diverse future for New Zealand. 

We are dedicated to uncovering women who have committed time and energy to help and encourage other women in their industry, and who are fighting for change every day - be it in their workplace, their community or among their peers.

We are looking for women who are having an impact well beyond their formal roles and titles at local, regional and national levels. Get involved by nominating yourself or someone you think deserves recognition for the work they are doing.

Award categories

Board and Management

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Women working in a management role or on a board in either public and private companies. These women might be running a team, a key project, or influencing policy. Their influence extends beyond their formal role to personal support, mentoring and networks.

Public Policy

Women working in the public sector at either a local or national level. This may include those working in agencies or in an advisory role to influence and change public policy to support better social inclusion and equality.

Innovation and Science

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Women who are driving innovation within a business or workplace - through their work in the sciences, medicine, academia, technology, finance, engineering or in organisational design and management.

Business Enterprise

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Women who are business founders, owners, part-owners or operators who are actively involved in the business. This category recognises women who have substantially developed a business and led its strategy and direction.


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Women who have dedicated themselves to consistently advocating for a more diverse workforce and who have helped make the change happen. This includes advocacy in the boardroom, in government, lobby groups, in business or the community. 

Young Leader


Young women aged under 25 (as at 14 August 2015) who demonstrate a capacity to influence and act as catalyst for change. They represent a new generation of leader in advocating for and giving a voice to younger women and their concerns.

Community/Not for profit

Women working in community projects or campaigns in the not for profit sector, which may cover health, local education, domestic violence, financial literacy, cultural or ethnic diversity programmes.

Arts & Culture

This category recognises women who are contributing to the advancement of arts and culture. This may include women who have achieved exemplary artistic accomplishments, or those who are contributing to arts and/or cultural initiatives - empowering others and demonstrating advocacy for the arts and culture industry.


Women who are demonstrating leadership and influence in the rural and agricultural sector. This may be in advocating for women or in demonstrating initiative which is having a positive impact on this sector.



Celebrating New Zealand women whose work is having an impact internationally, the Global category recognises those who are leading and influencing outside of New Zealand.

Key dates

Dates to note

1 June Nominations and entries open
15 July Nominations and entries close
28 July Kate Sheppard Lecture
22 August Finalists announced
12 October Forum and then Awards Gala Dinner at SKYCITY Auckland
Presenting Partners

Westpac NZ has been helping New Zealanders find the right financial solutions for 154 years.


  • With almost 4,700 employees looking after 1.27 million customers Westpac is one of the country’s largest banks.
  • With 51% percent of our customer base being female and more than 45% of Westpac’s leaders being women, Westpac NZ has long been a supporter of gender equality in New Zealand.
  • In 2014 Westpac Group was ranked number one in ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland."

Fairfax Media is the largest integrated metropolitan, rural and regional, magazine and digital media company in Australasia.


  • Fairfax Media’s businesses based in New Zealand include community, regional and national newspapers, magazine, events, digital, print and distribution.
  • Fairfax Media New Zealand platforms reach 92% of all males and females 10yrs+, with a combined reach of 3.453 million.


Supporting Partner



Digital Partner



Official Wine Partner