Women on Boards Event - 11 Nov. 2019

Written by Emma Keeling.

womenboardspanel websafeIntroduced as the ‘serial smasher of ceilings’, Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas DBE has served on more boards than there were canapés at the Women On Boards event this week.  That might be a slight exaggeration but Dame Judith was serious when she told the audience she’d had “spectacular failures, I mean spectacular” doing things she should never have done.  

That kind of honesty might not be what you’d expect from the panel at an event to encourage women to take their place on the newly announced NZBWN’s Executive Board.  But this was a panel of highly successful experienced Kiwis so it was always going to be informative and to the point.

Board Roles - Adding Value

Written by Jenni Wiggle.

Jenni Wiggle pic v1Want to give something back? Add social value and progress your career? 

Why not think about joining a charity board.

Two years ago I had settled into a senior role, and was thinking about the ‘what next’. While starting to research options, an invitation to join the board of Raheli Trust came via my CEO. 

Raheli Trust was set up in 2008, with the aim of providing financial support to access education for disadvantaged Tanzanian youth, in particular girls. I have a background in education including some global experience, and I’m passionate about gender equity, so the invitation felt like a good fit. From the first meeting I knew I had something to offer, but that I was also going to learn a great deal from the passionate women who had founded the trust.

Our Stories: Melissa Roberts

Written by Bronwyn Huband.

As Kiwis we have a certain ridiculousness about us – you just have to look at some of what we report on in the news. What other country running a Penguin of the Year Competition would make international news?Melissa Roberts

Melissa Roberts reckons it’s something we need to make the most of, especially in the UK office environment. “It’s nice to accept that we are a little odd, but it’s about making it work to your advantage. People find it quite endearing.”

As well as being able to keep her colleagues in the television and advertising production industry amused, Melissa is also one of our invaluable volunteers working on the events side. She helped pull together our amazing birthday event earlier this year, and believes events and production are fairly similar – “it’s often just herding cats.”

And it sounds as though she’s always been good at that. Growing up back home in Auckland, she spent her free time writing scripts for her younger sister to (often begrudgingly) perform while she recorded them on the family’s old VHS camera.

Our Stories: Jacqui Gilbert

Written by Emma Keeling.

What could be simpler than designing a handbag? Any six year-old with a few felt pens could do it. But designing the perfect boardroom handbag that doubles as a backpack, using the finest leather, made by the best craftsmen that catches the eye of the world’s fashion media? Ahhhh, now that takes creativity, innovation and one determined Kiwi, as it turns out.Jacqui Gilbert

To understand how Jacqui Gilbert operates, you only have to listen to her reason for leaving Telecom in her 20’s. “It didn’t capture my imagination and I love working for things that make me dream.” She finishes this sentence with what sounds like a self-conscious laugh but it doesn’t sound silly to me and it explains a life lived with passion and curiosity.

A Wellingtonian, who majored in psychology and political science at Canterbury University, Jacqui worked for a few years but “I’d always wanted to do an MBA somewhere because I really wanted to have the chance to see how I stood against the rest of the world.” She was drawn to Cambridge in England because...you guessed it, “I loved the innovation and the history.” That was 2013 when she was 31.

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