Star entrepreneurs selected for leadership programme

Luke Parker
Star entrepreneurs selected for leadership programme

A digital creative, financial expert and self-employed winemaker/lawyer have been selected for the Westpac Leaders Fellowship this year.

Now in its 3rd year, the Fellowship was established in partnership between Westpac and the New Zealand Leadership Institute (NZLI) to provide women leader with access to new leadership thinking and research.

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The 3 women selected - Wellington’s Zheng Li, Founder & CEO of Zing Design, Auckland’s Swathy Gudipoodi, Financial Accounting Manager at Watercare Services Ltd, and Gisborne’s Nicola Wright from Wrights Vineyard & Winery and Nicola Wright Barrister - will attend The NZLI Leadership Mindset Programme over 3 x 2-day workshops throughout the year.

Designed to build leadership capacity, the programme looks at developing adaptive and agile responses to the complex, dynamic, and ambiguous environments that are the norm for a 21st century organisation.

It’s highly regarded by business and public sector organisations as a powerful learning environment for people in middle-to-senior management positions looking to develop leadership capacity to adapt to fast changing and uncertain environments.

Sue Foley, Westpac's Director of Corporate Affairs, says Westpac has a strong internal record of supporting and developing women leaders and believes it’s important to extend that into the wider business community through The Westpac Leaders Fellowship.

“Women at a community, regional, and national level are shaping who we are as a country more than ever before,” she says. “This is about supporting and helping future leaders continue to develop and realise their potential.”

She says more than 45% of all leaders within Westpac are women.

The 3 women selected for the 2015 NZLI Leadership Mindset Programme will have their tuition fees paid for by Westpac.

Meet the three 2015 Fellows:

Zheng Li:

Zheng Li - 2015 Westpac Leaders Fellowship Fellow

Zheng Li is the founder and Chief Executive of Zing Design, a Wellington-based digital design agency that specialise in providing web and mobile technology services to the government and enterprises across NZ, Australia and the US.
Their NZ clients include Spark, Rabobank, Gareth Morgan Investments, NZ Police, and Trade Me.
Zheng was named as an Emerging Leader by NZ Asian Leaders in 2013, became one of the youngest certified members of the Institute of Directors in 2014 and was a finalist in two Women of Influence Awards in 2014.
She is hugely passionate about technology and mentoring emerging digital talents and the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.

Nicola Wright:

Nicola Wright - 2015 Westpac Leaders Fellowship Fellow

Nicola Wright is Marketing Guru of Wrights Vineyard & Winery, a grass roots enterprise dedicated to producing affordable, premium, organic wines.
Also a Barrister & Solicitor of her own legal practice, Nicola appears in court on matters at every level advocating for open access to justice for all.
Together with her husband Geoff, Nicola is raising their bold, energetic and fun-loving sons. She is a strong promoter of self-employment, working mothers and rural New Zealand.

Swathy Gudipoodi:

Swathy Gudipoodi - 2015 Westpac Leaders Fellowship Fellow

Swathy is currently Watercare’s Financial Accounting Manager leading a team of 23 people.
She is responsible for external reporting, taxation, back office treasury, accounts payable and accounts receivable.
Swathy's focus is to develop a team that is engaged, high performing and successful while having fun. Swathy is passionate about her job.
She has a sense of purpose and strongly believes that change for better is essential for self and team to become cohesive and efficient.
Known for her hard work, Swathy always brings her very best "to the table".
She knows persistence is the key to success and is keen to work for the progression of women into senior leadership roles.

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