Pacific women - a natural fit for governance roles

posted: 8:00 pm - 7th March 2021
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(Picture caption: Sara-Jane Elika says Pacific women bring diversity and multiple lenses to governance roles.) 

Good governance is about being prepared, being strategic and contributing your skill set according to Director of Elika Consulting Group, admitted Barrister and Solicitor to the High Court of New Zealand and Musician Sara-Jane Elika.

The 2017 winner of the Emerging Leader category at the Women in Governance Awards says Pacific people have so much to offer in the area of governance, and urges her peers to apply or nominate someone for this year’s Women in Governance Awards, staged at Hilton Auckland, on June 10.

"As a Pacific person, you can add diversity and inclusivity into Board discussions, not just because of your ethnicity but because you can interpret information with multiple lenses,” Sara-Jane says.

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The Women in Governance Awards recognises and celebrates innovation, excellence, creativity and commitment to diversity by both organisations and individuals.

For Sara-Jane, a woman who wears many hats, says winning the Emerging Leader category was a career defining moment in her governance journey.

“This acknowledgement gave me a newfound confidence to pursue Boards I thought were out of my league and empowered me to stretch beyond my comfort zone.

“It’s an honour and privilege to stand beside other amazing women and be inspired by the many stories of strength, courage, hard work and determination."

This year, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) is supporting the Pacific Governance Leader Award at this year’s Women in Governance Awards.

It is a new category, but one which will be highly sought after as there are many Pacific women in the community doing amazing things in the governance and leadership space.

The award ceremony is hosted by Women on Boards New Zealand, which has a vision of gender equality in governance, and aims to inspire, educate, connect and support all women in their governance journey.

Women on Boards is committed to bringing through the next generation of Board-ready women by providing tools and empowerment through education to assist them to achieve their governance goals.

Entries for the Women in Governance Awards 2021 are now open until April 23, and categories up for grabs include: Gender Diverse Organisation of the Year; Not-for-Profit Governance Leader; Māori Governance Leader; Pacific Governance Leader; Emerging Governance Leader; and Inspiring Governance Leader.

The winners will be announced at a special Awards Gala Dinner to be held at Hilton Auckland on June 10.

Click here for more information.