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NZ’s Gender Diversity Champions Revealed

NZ’s Gender Diversity Champions Revealed!

Women on Boards and Governance NZ are thrilled to reveal the winners for this year’s Women in Governance Awards!

The winners of the three organisation categories and four individual categories were announced at a special Awards Gala Dinner held at the Pullman in Auckland this evening.

Sport Wellington won the prestigious Women in Governance Organisation of the Year Award, which recognises an organisation that has consistently achieved outstanding performance in organisational governance and demonstrates a commitment to gender diversity. The judges described Sport Wellington “as clearly having gender diversity embedded across the organisation…which is clearly demonstrated at not only Board level, but also in the Executive Leadership Team.” Sport Wellington are no stranger to the Awards Programme, having also won the 2017 Governance Innovation by a Not-for-Profit Award.

The Inspirational Excellence Award is the supreme Award and is presented to a woman who is truly an inspiration and role model for all women, and recognises a woman who has inspired others with their excellence in Governance. This year’s Award went to highly skilled and experienced independent director, Cassandra Crowley. The judges commented that “there are clear examples of the direct impact the nominee has made in each of her roles with testimonials to reinforce these examples. The depth and skill that this woman brings to the board table can only be described as exceptional.”

Sports governance Director, Liz Dawson took away the Gender Advocacy Champion Award. The judges reported that “Liz’s wide-ranging influence has led to significant gender diversity in New Zealand and women’s sport has been well served with such a committed woman furthering gender advocacy”.

The Emerging Leader Award category received a record number of entries this year and illustrates the continued rise of younger women successfully pursuing a career in governance. The judging panel found it a difficult task to whittle the nominations down to just five finalists, and even more difficult to choose just one winner…so difficult in fact, that two finalists were given Awards in this category! Congratulations to Rebecca Annan from Auckland and Claire Evans from Christchurch on their well-deserved success.


Saunders Robinson Brown - finalist
YWCA Hamilton - winner

Auckland Foundation - winner
NZ Recreation Association – finalist

ChristchurchNZ - finalist
NZ Recreation Association - finalist
Sport Wellington - winner

Liz Dawson - winner
Sally Morrison - finalist

Jean Barr - finalist
Phillipa Muir - winner

EMERGING LEADER – sponsored by Sport New Zealand
Rebecca Annan - joint winner
Cassandra Crowley – finalist
Vanisa Dhiru - finalist
Hannah Doney - finalist
Claire Evans - joint winner

INSPIRATIONAL EXCELLENCE – sponsored by the University of Waikato
Jean Barr – finalist
Cassandra Crowley - winner
Susan Doughty – finalist
Sally Morrison – finalist

The Women in Governance Awards are an initiative of Women on Boards NZ which is a business unit of Governance New Zealand. The Awards programme recognises and celebrates innovation, excellence, creativity and commitment to diversity by both organisations and individuals.

Women on Boards New Zealand was established to promote and advocate for greater gender diversity at the executive and board level in New Zealand in the belief that the boards of companies across all sectors benefit from the diversity that a gender-balanced board brings.

Governance New Zealand is New Zealand's leading independent professional body with a sole focus on the practice of governance and is dedicated to providing leadership in the areas of governance, compliance and risk management.

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