A decade of women supporting women in business
30 October 2020
The University of Auckland Business School’s Women’s Mentoring Programme celebrated its ten-year anniversary in October with an enthusiastic gathering of past and current mentors and mentees, and a new name.
To mark the occasion, the programme was gifted the name ‘He Ira Wāhine’, meaning the essence of women or the female element, with the support of the Business School’s Kaiārahi, Anahera Morehu, and the University of Auckland Mātanga Reo.
The programme was started in 2011 by Cecilia Tarrant, Executive-in-Residence at the Auckland Business School, and Susan Glasgow, then Director of Advancement at the Auckland Business School, with the support of Professor Greg Whittred, the Dean at the time. The initiative began following requests from female business students for assistance to advance their careers.
The pilot initially had just 35 pairs of mentors and mentees, but quickly doubled in size, with the programme now having 70-80 mentor/mentee pairs taking part annually. To date, more than 700 students have been mentored by over 400 business women, from over 190 organisations.
“I’m sure we all agree that programmes like this are incredibly important for the future of New Zealand business, and the country as a whole,” said Professor Susan Watson, Dean of the Business School.
We still have a long way to go before New Zealand reaches gender parity in the C-suite and the boardroom, but with programmes like this, we are helping to contribute to this goal.
“All evidence shows that diverse perspectives enhance decision making in organisations, particularly at higher levels. Gender diversity therefore contributes to better business outcomes.
Despite our stellar record for women in some senior roles, New Zealand is one of the lowest-ranked countries worldwide for women in senior leadership roles in business. Less than 30% of board directors are women, and nearly a fifth of all companies listed on the NZX have no women on their boards at all.
We still have a long way to go before New Zealand reaches gender parity in the C-suite and the boardroom, but with programmes like this, we are helping to contribute to this goal,” she said.
The success of the programme has seen it extended to the Faculty of Law to assist students successfully navigate their careers.
If you’re interested in taking part in the 2021 programme, as either a mentor or a mentee, you can find out more and apply here business.auckland.ac.nz/wmp
Applications close 30 November 2020
Miranda Playfair | Media Adviser
Mob 021 063 8393