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Women Directors Given Boost by IoD Mentoring Programme

29 November 2012

Women Directors Given Boost by IoD Mentoring Programme

Media Release

Successful applicants for the second year of the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) Mentoring for Diversity programme were announced at a function in Auckland last night.

The programme which aims to boost the number of women on NZX-listed and large company boards in New Zealand pairs a highly experienced senior director or chairman with a “board ready” woman who wants to further her governance career. The programme provides excellent learning and networking experiences which are invaluable for the professional development of the mentees chosen.

loD Chief Executive, Ralph Chivers said "The IoD is committed to promoting diversity in New Zealand boardrooms. It is clear from international research that diversity improves the performance of the board and we believe there are plenty of capable women in New Zealand ready to serve on boards of all levels. A number of mentees from the first year of the Mentoring for Diversity programme have already achieved board appointments, this is a fantastic result and testament to the commitment and efforts of both the mentees and mentors involved."

Speaking at the launch IoD President, Denham Shale said "The Mentoring for Diversity programme is about developing connections, sharing skills and experiences, the combination of which can help improve the candidacy and visibility of the mentees for board positions. Several mentees have also mentioned the sense of validation a mentor can give. Having someone who is highly experienced in governance confirm that you have the skills and experience required for a large board appointment is a great boost in confidence.”

Mr Shale also said "Mentors have really valued this opportunity and the experience. It is significant that twelve of the mentors from last year's programme are again taking part this year. Many more have offered to be a part of the programme in future years."

"Figures just released in the past couple of days by the Human Rights Commission show that 14.75% of directors of the top 100 companies in New Zealand are women. This is a great improvement from the last report arising from the same survey in 20I0 when women represented only 9.32% of directors of these companies. While there is still a long way to go it is very pleasing to see that Mentoring for Diversity and all the other initiatives in this space are starting to make a real difference." said Mr Shale.

27 women mentees have been selected to take part in the 2013 programme from more than 100 applicants. The selection panel was comprised of IoD President Denham Shale and two professional, highly experienced directors - Rick Christie and Joanna Perry.


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