25 June 2013

Fairfax Media and Westpac search for NZ’s most influential women

 Fairfax Media and Westpac New Zealand have entered into an exciting new partnership which aims to recognise women who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and used their influence to make a positive impact on New Zealand society.

The Women of Influence Awards will be an annual programme that will identify the 50 most inspiring women of New Zealand across a broad range of categories acknowledging the invaluable contribution women make to the country. Fairfax Media acting Managing Director, Andrew Boyle, believes diversity in employment is a crucial issue for any company planning for the future. “We are proud to be partnering with Westpac on this programme, which endeavours to support and promote diversity and equal opportunity in New Zealand. Diversity of background - be it gender, ethnicity or able-bodiedness - creates diversity of thought. That diversity of thought is exactly what companies like ours need in times of transformation.

“Our involvement in Women of Influence is a first step in increasing the profile of the importance of diversity in employment. We support these programmes because they make sense - because they’re important for the future of our company and for the future of New Zealand,” says Boyle. Fairfax has commitments to other programmes like Creative Spirit, which provides employment to people with disabilities.

Westpac has a strong record in providing opportunity and support for women at all levels of its business and understands the important contribution they make to its success. Currently, 41% of all leaders in Westpac are women.

General Manager Human Resources, Su Duffey, said initiating the Women of Influence Awards with Fairfax is an opportunity to extend Westpac’s strong internal record of support for women beyond its business and recognise the important role they are playing in shaping New Zealand.

“Women are helping shape our future and it is important to identify and celebrate the work and impact they are having across our society. The Awards are about recognising the bold, energetic women who are influencing at community, regional and national levels.”

Westpac also supports the Global Women and Dress for Success organisations and earlier this year formed The Westpac Leaders Fellowship to support three aspiring women leaders in each of the next three years to attend the New Zealand Leadership Institute’s landmark Mindset Programme.

The Women of Influence Awards will acknowledge outstanding women in six categories: management & business, local & regional, entrepreneur, community service & social enterprise, innovation & science and emerging leader.

The emerging leader category will be open for public voting via Stuff Nation on stuff.co.nz. Nominations and entries open today and close on 30 August. Nominations will be judged by a panel of respected and high achieving New Zealanders. Finalists will be confirmed in September and the winners announced at an awards dinner in October.
Nomination forms will be available on a dedicated Women of Influence section on www.stuff.co.nz and at www.westpac.co.nz along with news and thought provoking blogs by prominent New Zealanders on issues related to women and influence.

To download an application form or for further information, including details of the judging panel, please visit www.westpac.co.nz/womenofinfluence.