Thank you to all the incredible women I have worked with

In recognition of International Women’s Day, I would like to thank all the incredible women who have greatly influenced and supported throughout my career.  Without you all, I wouldn’t be the person I am today!

So without further ado, I pay homage to many of the amazing women who have positively influenced me at different stages of my career. #IWD2020 #EachforEqual

Ricoh – Positive post-uni experience

This was my first ‘proper’ workplace when I graduated from Auckland Uni, and boy did I learn lots about the power of building strong positive connections with people at work.  Due to the collegial atmosphere, I loved helping to organize social dinner outings and shared lunches.  A big thank to you to my manager Carolyn, Margie Barriball, Adele Mutiba, Chantelle Veillette and Mere Jones for making me feel so connected and included.  Rest in peace to the beautiful Heather too – never forgotten.

Companies Office – Sharing is caring

Working here made me realise how much I enjoy bringing people together.  I genuinely loved the diverse nature of the team, where it truly felt more like a family.  I was also in awe of the strong female leaders who created an environment that was fair, respectful and kind.  Big thanks to Karen Isherwood, Ma’ata Lavulo, Sarah Steele, Neelu Hannif, Siew Ming Lee and Charlita Rigor for showing that leaders and colleagues don’t need bravado and aggression to be effective.

Air New Zealand – People development

At Air New Zealand I had the pleasure of working alongside some very talented and passionate people.  In particular, I would like to thank Melissa Crawford for demonstrating such class and humility in how she built her working relationships.  I also fondly remember Nicky Bebbington who inspired me to challenge myself and develop my skills as a facilitator of people – skills I love using today. 

Career Services / Careers NZ – New energy

With a new direction in sight, my professional career grew when I joined the Government agency Career Services.  I felt I found ‘my place’ and loved how my colleagues valued learning and constantly striving to make things better for people and communities.  Immense gratitude to my mentors Frances Fuamatu, Brigette Shutkowski, Navaz Smith, Kitty Chang, Astrid van Holten, Wendy Drumm and the late Mary Kayes for guiding me in learning the art of being a careers practitioner. 

Unitec – Raising aspirations

The tertiary education environment can be volatile at times, but it also be the coolest environment to work in.  Unitec was so down-to-earth, so it was an absolute pleasure to work with amazing leaders such as Alison Dow, Andrea Thumath, Annette Pitovao, Cathy Qin and Michelle Paki; women who held no prisoners and were strong in championing for the best outcomes for their teams.  I also cherished working with the Careers Team – man, what a bunch of talented, creative and heart-felt individuals!  Very grateful to have worked with Ali Lawrie, Yolanda van den Bemd, Di Bluck, Becky Steel and Jannie Allen.

Māori and Pasifika – Culturally affirming rolemodels

Māori and Pasifika career practitioners are a scarce in NZ (no, seriously), so personally it has been so nourishing and culturally affirming to have the support and solidarity of these amazing wahine toa.  Huge respect and thanks to Fiona Timoti-Knowles, Dr Lynette Reid, Hana Lambert, Huia Murupaenga, Hana Seumanu, Pepe Afeaki, Ana Pickering and Sandhya Lala for upholding strong cultural values, for readily acknowledging the importance of spiritual wellbeing, and for being brilliant practitioners and humanitarians.

Careers Industry – Support is far reaching

As an active member of my professional association (CDANZ), I have had the privilege of being part of the local and national committees.  I truly believe this helped to grow my leadership and collaboration skills.  Kudos to Val O’Reilly, Kaye Avery, Catherine Stephens, Jennie Miller, Gabrielle Greer, Jean Ottley, Sarah Moyne, Lisa Broyd-Adams, Elizabeth Morris, Lila Pulsford, Gabrielle O’Connell and Lauren Hughes for making those experiences meaningful.    

This list is not exhaustive!

Writing up this post was a lot more difficult than it seemed.  Of course there are many others who have had a positive impact on me, but due to time, space and a foggy memory, I’m sure I’ve missed mentioning many of them! 

So to ALL of the amazing women who have helped me over the years… THANK YOU.  THANK YOU.  THANK YOU. 

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