9th Women in Leadership Summit

Practical strategies for career advancement

  • August 19th - 23rd, 2019
  • Cordis, Auckland


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- Give power to your confidence
- Initiate solutions to overcome career challenges
- Refine your leadership skills
- Build and leverage your personal brand


Mai Chen

Mai Chen is Managing Partner Chen Palmer Public and Employment Law Specialists; Adjunct Professor at the University of Auckland School of Law, Director on the BNZ Board, Chair of Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, NZ Asian Leaders and Superdiverse Women. Mai sits on the Government’s Trade For All Advisory Board and previously sat on the Securities Commission. She has chaired Government reviews and authored many books and reports. Mai was twice a finalist in the New Zealander of the Year awards and was in the Top 50 Diversity Figures in Public Life in the Global Diversity List 2016.

Director, Chair, Managing Partner
BNZ Board, Superdiversity Institute, Chen Palmer

  • The Hon Paula Bennett
    Deputy Leader of the National Party
    New Zealand Parliament
  • Susan Lowe
    People and Culture Director
    Coca Cola Amatil
  • Carmel Ali
    Chief Security & Privacy Officer
    Department of Internal Affairs
  • Harriet Dempsey
    Associate Director


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Successful diverse thinking
Establish authentic leadership
Back yourself
Strong & effective leadership
Be diverse & drive innovation
Communicate & be heard
Facilitate change
Embrace & lead transformation
Accomplish your vision
Emotion in leadership
Then & now - Leadership challenges 2019
Remain resilient through adversity
Seize opportunities
The importance of moving sideways
Next Steps
Workshop Day 1
Workshop Day 2
Summit Day 1

20 Aug

Case Study

To succeed in this volatile and complex world, you're going to need to think outside the box. Discover why diverse thinking is critical to your success and how to unlock this rewarding capability.

- Learn why diversity of thought is essential for your success

- How to grow diverse thinking capability on your Board or in your company 

- Develop your diverse thinking matrix

  • Mai Chen Director, Chair, Managing Partner BNZ Board, Superdiversity Institute, Chen Palmer

Case Study

An innovative or emotional leadership approach is often criticised in female leaders. Explore the challenges, successes and skills involved with authentic leadership. 

- Align self-awareness with focus

- Understand your skills and potential

- Overcome perceived barriers

  • Carmel Ali Chief Security & Privacy Officer Department of Internal Affairs

Case Study

You'll be challenged on how you operate as a leader, so you must recognise the value of your skill-set and learn to be confident in your abilities.

- Conquer self-doubt

- Meet adversity with confidence

- Recognise your potential

  • Leonie Rae General Manager Consenting and Compliance Christchurch City Council

Case Study

Emma-Kate has worked with many high-profile New Zealand business leaders, often at their most vulnerable. She will share learnings about tapping into your natural strengths and leveraging your leadership talents.

- Understand your qualities

- Leverage your talents

- Complement the mindset of your team and organisation 

  • Emma-Kate Greer General Manager Corporate Relations Genesis Energy


Diversity in all its forms is crucial for an organisation's success. Join our panel as they explore the importance of thought, personality and gender diversity.

- Embrace diversity as an opportunity

- Become open minded

- Build relationships based on trust to drive success

  • Eru Lyndon Regional Commissioner Ministry of Social Development

  • Lynn McClelland Executive Director, Student Services and Communications University of Canterbury

  • Vicky Taylor Chief Operations Officer Smartfoods Ltd

  • Carolyn Kidd Chief Risk Officer Westpac

Case Study

Confident communication will set you apart and raise your profile. Learn how to execute your vision and be heard at the Board table, as a team leader and as a colleague.

- Speak with conviction

- Learn to manage stakeholder interactions

- Back yourself

  • Mandy Mellar General Manager AA Assist AA Motoring – Battery Service

Expert Commentary

The step between recognising a problem and implementing a solution is often the hardest one. Discover how to drive change with practical strategies that will help you solve the problem of gender diversity.

- Drive positive solutions

- Learn how to take the next step

- Foster new relationships

  • The Hon Paula Bennett Deputy Leader of the National Party New Zealand Parliament

Case Study

Learning to embrace change and drive innovation is fundamental for career progression. Delve into a real-life case study and hear how Wellington City Council optimised transformation for sustainable success.

- Map the future of success

- Look beyond your comfort zone

- Drive engagement to drive change

  • Hayley Evans Director of Strategy and Governance Wellington City Council

Summit Day 2

21 Aug

Case Study

Learn how to create a leadership vision and execute it with confidence and conviction. Explore how to leave your fear of judgment behind and lead with integrity.

- Establish your vision as a leader

- Align goals with your values

- Tackle and accomplish goals with conviction

  • Kathryn Beck Former President of the New Zealand Law Society New Zealand Law Society

Case Study

Passion plays an influential role in leadership, though commonly criticised in female leaders. Discover the power of emotion and learn how to enhance your emotional intelligence.

- Promote emotional intelligence

- Build authentic relationships

- Foster passion

  • Nicole Pervan Head of Business and Marketing Kiwibank Limited

  • Carly Orr Head of People and Corporate Kiwibank


The 21st Century presents new challenges that are affecting leaders in New Zealand. Explore what the consequences of cautious leadership are to women and New Zealand society as a whole.

- Discuss current challenges

- Examine leadership styles

- Learn the effect of being cautious when implementing solutions

  • Chlöe Swarbrick MP Green Party

  • Agnes Naera Director of Student, Business & Community Partnerships Auckland University of Technology

  • Carol Bellette General Manager Finance & Commercial Christchurch Council

  • Jo Healey General Manager of Sales Intergen

  • Jo Kearins General Manager Culture Revolution Contact Energy

Expert Commentary

All leaders are challenged throughout their career, and resilience plays a critical role in securing your success. Discuss how you can build resilience through practical tips and tricks.

- Embrace problems to optimise development

- Pioneer optimism and strength

- Lead with conviction and courage

  • Kereyn Smith Chief Executive Officer / Secretary General New Zealand Olympic Committee


Are you willing to take the leap? Leaders constantly face challenges and self doubt but taking a risk and creating an opportunity from challenge is essential for progression. Join our panel and dive into an empowering discussion about finding the silver lining.

- Turn adversity into opportunity

- Empower yourself and others to succeed

- Take control and combat fear

  • Harriet Dempsey Associate Director KPMG

  • Anna Shipley General Manager of Communications Bank of New Zealand

  • Anna Biss Head of Corporate Social Responsibility AIA

  • Alex Fala Chief Executive Officer Vend HQ

Case Study

The path to leadership is never linear, so you have to be prepared to go anywhere. Join Susan as she discusses her leadership pathway, then learn how you can innovate your way to leadership success.

- Embrace all opportunities

- Innovative thinking to break perceived barriers

- Why shifting sideways puts you ahead

  • Susan Lowe People and Culture Director Coca Cola Amatil


Discuss the salient points of the past two days and look to the future of women in leadership

- Navigate the next step

- Lessons learned

- Bring out your authentic self

Post-Summit Workshop

22 Aug - 23 Aug


Identify opportunities for career advancement, learn how to build supportive networks, remain resilient through change, and refine your leadership skills.

Create your leadership foundation inside and out

- Tap into your leadership brain

- Set the groundwork

- Create a positive culture of success and engagement

Enhance your self-awareness to be a confident, authentic leader

- Use reflection as a leadership development process

- Communicate your authenticity with confidence and competence

- Identify and build your unique strengths

Develop high-level communication skills

- Know and leverage your communication style

- Manage conflict and execute difficult conversations with confidence

- Influence with integrity

Refine your leadership skills

- Lead from your values and purpose

- Connect leadership and wellbeing

- Cultivate a high performing mindset


Build a high performance team

- Leverage your leadership strategies to accelerate team performance

- Develop and manage a high performance team

- Improve your teams drive and motivation

Drive change and innovation

- Recognise and overcome hurdles to change

- Step outside your comfort zone and trust your intuition

- Embed positive change culture in your organisation

Demonstrate confidence and resilience in the face of disruption

- Develop resilience to disruption

- Communicate with confidence

- Learn from your cohort of support to be your best self

Action plan for self-leadership and success

- Enhance skills for self-promotion and accelerated career progression

- Maximise your relationships and networks for professional opportunities

- Achieve improved leadership performance with your personal action plan


Cordis, Auckland

83 Symonds Street, Auckland, 1010, NZ

64 9 379 5132

* Terms and conditions apply

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