Catriona Williams on why nominating for Women of Influence is worth it

Catriona Williams on why nominating for Women of Influence is worth it

Time is running out to enter the 2017 Fairfax Media and Westpac Women of Influence Awards. Will inspiring women in your community be recognised as finalists this year?

Winners of the fifth annual awards will join a growing list of inspiring names, shining the spotlight on many unassuming and high achieving women.

One of those is Catriona Williams, the 2016 winner for the Community & Not for Profit category. Williams founded CatWalk Trust, which funds support for spinal cord injury and research.

She says the formal recognition from winning a Women of Influence award has added enormous value and credence to the CatWalk Trust’s work.

“We run a small ship at CatWalk, so it’s given the trust exposure to an audience that wouldn’t always know we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Williams admits when she first found out she was nominated for the award, she wasn’t sure it was for her: “As New Zealanders we’re not very good at celebrating. We’re getting better at it, but we should be very proud of some of the things that we do as individuals and as a team.

“We tend to just box along and do our thing - head down, bum up. But going to the awards and meeting other women I felt humbled and honoured to be there. I certainly didn’t expect to win and I felt very lucky and also very proud to be acknowledged amongst such a dedicated and talented bunch of people.

“The Women of Influence Awards evening was beautiful. I encourage people to attend the awards if they can. They’re a big deal, and it was absolutely worth every moment. Get up early and enjoy everything that’s on offer during the day. You get to rub shoulders with some special people.”

Williams says New Zealand’s number 8 wire mentality means there are so many New Zealand women out there who are multi-taskers at heart feeding children, holding down a job and contributing to a great cause. “So let’s celebrate the best of the best that we are!”

There are ten categories in which women can be awarded including arts and culture, community and not-for-profit, innovation and science, diversity, board and management, business enterprise, global, young leader, public policy, and rural. Last year attracted a record number of nominations, resulting in 100 women being recognised at the sold-out awards dinner.


Key dates for the Women of Influence Awards:

  •     28 May 2017 - Nominations close
  •     10 July 2017 - Awards finalists announced on Stuff
  •     7 September 2017 - Women of Influence Forum, SKYCITY Auckland
  •     7 September 2017 - Awards dinner, SKYCITY Auckland


2017 Women of Influence Partners

Fairfax Media and Westpac NZ are grateful for the support of the following partners:

  •     Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand – sponsor of Diversity category
  •     DLA Piper – sponsor of Board & Management category
  •     Hotpoints – sponsor of Young Leader category
  •     Massey University – sponsor of Global category
  •     Mastercard – sponsor of Innovation & Science category
  •     Ministry for Women – sponsor of Public Policy category
  •     MYOB – sponsor of Business Enterprise category
  •     Spark – sponsor of Community / Not for Profit category
  •     SKYCITY – Event Partner
  •     Nautilus Estate – Wine Partner

For more information about the awards, including past winners, how to nominate and purchase tickets to the forum and dinner please visit:

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