Gender diversity awards announced

Who won Governance NZ diversity awards?

Ports of Auckland have been crowned New Zealand’s gender diversity leader at the Women in Governance Awards last night.

The ports beat rival finalist ANZ Bank, while start-up Organic Initiative succeeded against Tauranga City Council to take the award for gender diverse organisation of the year.

The awards are run by Women on Boards NZ, a division of Governance NZ, to recognise innovation, excellence, creativity and commitment to diversity by organisations and individuals.

Judy McGregor, head of AUT’s school of social sciences and public policy, won the supreme governance award for her work in promoting board diversity in New Zealand and overseas.

The award for gender champion leadership was won by Frances Hague, the chairwoman of industry training organisation Connexis (which also won an award for not-for-profit gender diversity) and director of charitable trust Health Navigator.

Tauranga City Council councillor Bev Edlin was awarded excellence in governance development, recognising her role in setting up a programme to support women in governance.  

Diversity is a hot topic in business with a number of initiatives set up to improve the gender and race imbalance on New Zealand boards.

But statistics show of the top 122 companies listed on the NZX, 32% – or 39 companies – have no women on their boards, and 77% have fewer than 30% women.

Women on Boards chief executive Linda Noble says the awards entries confirmed there are many organisations and individuals within New Zealand consciously working to ensure gender diversity is addressed.

“Many New Zealand organisations have diversity as a key strategic initiative and are doing far more than merely ticking the box for corporate social responsibility. As a nation, we are also well represented by individual women making a contribution to improving our governance capability.”

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