Nominations are now open for the 2016 Women of Influence Awards, recognising and celebrating women from all walks of life who make a difference to everyday Kiwis.
Presented by Fairfax Media and Westpac, the WOI 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.
REDnews spoke to one of the awards’ judges, Group Executive Editor for Fairfax Media New Zealand Sinead Boucher, to find out what she’ll look for in an outstanding WOI nomination as well as what her take is on the current state of female leadership in New Zealand.
Sinead has been instrumental in growing stuff.co.nz to become New Zealand's biggest news site, developing Fairfax's digital strategy and content approach, and the launch of products and services such as Stuff's mobile apps, Stuff Nation and Essential Mums.
She says since influence is always about the effect you have had on other people's lives in one way or another, she’ll be looking firstly for a clear indication of this.
That can either be by the tangible benefits of work or a project she has worked on, or by the clear example and inspiration she has set for others to follow.
"I love the phrase ‘you cannot be what you cannot see’, so examples that are inspiring for others to follow as well as evidence of specific achievements always jump out at me.
“I am drawn by those nominations where the nominee has shown a great deal of determination, grit and personal belief to achieve what she wants to.”
Other judges for these year’s awards include prominent New Zealand businesswoman Dame Rosanne Meo, General Manager Commercial, Corporate & Institutional for Westpac NZ Karen Silk, Māori Trustee and CEO of Te Tumu Paeroa Jamie Tuuta, Director of WeMobilise and former Young New Zealander of the Year Sam Johnson, and founder of Tech Futures Lab Frances Valintine.
So many incredible women
Sinead says the judging is a wonderful process and very inspirational.
“We all have the nominees we particularly feel are deserving winners. The hardest part is usually selecting a clear winner in a field full of amazing women doing quite different things.
“There is a great mix of self-nominations in with nominations by others. I love the fact that women feel increasingly comfortable owning their own success and realising they are deserving of recognition.”
The news editor says one of the things she finds so inspiring about these awards is reading, hearing about, and meeting women doing so many incredible things in all facets of society.
“From boardroom leaders, to young entrepreneurs, innovators, social campaigners and philanthropic leaders, the special contribution of women to making our society, economy and workplaces much better really deserves to be recognised. The way that women lead, collaborate, and influence is special, and this is very evident in the nominations and the incredible achievements we see in there.
“It is such a genuine privilege to judge these awards, and I always feel so uplifted by the process, and by the awards night itself. I encourage everyone to think about the women they know, and the work they are doing on a small or large scale, and nominate them. I also love how most of the women nominated are truly shocked and blown away that people think they are deserving.”