Search begins for New Zealand’s Women of Influence

Luke Parker
Search begins for New Zealand’s Women of Influence

Nominations are open for the fourth annual Fairfax and Westpac Women of Influence Awards.

The Awards recognise women from all walks of life who make a difference and help shape New Zealand, whether it’s in their community, a specific industry or in the world. Nominations for all ten categories open today and close on 15 July 2016.

Enter now

Award categories include:

-  Board and Management
-  Public Policy
-  Innovation and Science
-  Business Enterprise
-  Diversity
-  Young Leader
-  Community/Not for Profit
-  Arts and Culture
-  Rural
-  Global


Previous WOI winners

Stacey Shortall, last year’s winner of the Community and Not-For-Profit award urges New Zealanders to take part.

"Every day across our country scores of women quietly go about influencing other Kiwi lives for the better. Some stand out. You know them. They inspire you. While what really matters is what these women do when no one is watching, I encourage you to nominate them today. Let them be watched, so that others can be equally inspired by their efforts to better our nation's homes, workplaces and communities,” says Stacey.

Joan and lesley

WOI 2015 Supreme Winner, Joan Withers (left), and 2014 winner, Lesley Elliot.

2015 Supreme Winner, former CEO of Fairfax NZ, Joan Withers was recognised for her work championing board diversity and striving to close the gender gap in business.

Withers went from leaving high school at 16 to become a chairwoman of Mighty River Power and TVNZ, a director of ANZ and a member of the Treasury Advisory Board.

She is a strong advocate for getting more women into board of director positions and is part of the 25 Percent Group, which aims to see female membership on boards at 25 per cent by 2015.

Previous Women of Influence winners include Lesley Elliott, winner of the Supreme Award in 2014 for her commitment to the Sophie Elliott Foundation, helping educate Kiwis on violence prevention and healthy relationships.

Therese Walsh was recognised for her work as Chief Operating Officer for Rugby New Zealand 2011 Limited, as well as her role as Chair of the inaugural International Development Advisory and Selection Panel. She received the Supreme Award in 2013.

Fairfax Media Managing Director, Simon Tong says the Awards are dedicated to highlighting women who have committed their time and energy to help shape New Zealand.

“With the growing success and popularity of the Awards, we’re looking forward to seeing the calibre of entries in 2016. We've met many incredible women over the past three years, and I hope New Zealanders will get on board and nominate the women in their lives who deserve the recognition.

Westpac NZ Chief Executive, David McLean adds: “We’re delighted to add a lecture and again include the forum in the Awards programme. There are now even more opportunities to hear from a number of Women of Influence alumni and be inspired by incredibly strong, motivated and passionate women.”

Fairfax Media and Westpac are now calling for nominations for the Women of Influence Awards and encourage New Zealand businesses and communities to support and celebrate New Zealand’s inspirational women.


How to enter or nominate

To nominate a Women of Influence - Enter now

For further information, including details of the judging panel, please visit

Key dates for the Women of Influence Awards:

-  1 June 2016 - Auckland launch event and nominations open: Joan Withers speaking

-  2 June 2016 – Christchurch launch event at Christchurch Art Gallery: Mayor LianneDalziel speaking

-  28 July 2016 - Inaugural Kate Sheppard Women of Influence lecture in Wellington on 28 July, Stacey Shortall will be speaking. More details at Kate Sheppard WoI lecture

-  12 October 2016 - Women of Influence Forum on 'Investing in yourself, turning ideas into action'. More details at WoI Forum

-  12 October 2016 – Awards Dinner, SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland

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