Nominations open for Women of Influence Awards – as popular Speaker Series returns

The search for New Zealand’s most empowering, hard-working and inspiring wāhine has begun, with nominations opening today for the 2021 Women of Influence Awards.

This is the ninth year of the prestigious awards that recognise women who are driving change, excelling in their field and leading by example, from community through to international level.

Presented by Stuff and Westpac NZ, the Women of Influence Awards feature 10 categories across business, philanthropy, innovation, diversity and more. This year’s programme includes two new categories: Environment and Primary Industries.

Nominations close at midnight on August 16, and will be assessed by a high-calibre judging panel that’s once again led by former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, with one new member, tech expert Te Aroha Grace. The winners will be crowned at the annual gala dinner in Auckland on October 21.

The popular Women of Influence Speaker Series returns in July and August. Held in Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the series will give audiences the chance to hear from a range of influential New Zealanders in a relaxed and interactive format.

Stuff CEO Sinead Boucher wants every New Zealander to ask themselves whether they know a Kiwi woman making a positive difference in the world.

“Every day our Stuff journalists are out in the community, meeting and reporting on inspiring women who are making a real impact – whether at the local level or on the global stage. There is so much passion and talent in Aotearoa and Women of Influence Awards is a wonderful way for us to celebrate it.”

Last year’s Awards winners included well-known New Zealanders such as science communicator Siouxsie Wiles, and international performer and choreographer Parris Goebel. The programme also celebrates the work of grassroots figures such as domestic violence campaigner Jackie Clark (2018 Supreme winner) and environmentalist Annika Andresen (2019 Young Leader winner). A full list of past winners can be found here.

The new Environment Award was introduced to recognise women who are fighting climate change or protecting our natural environment. Westpac NZ Chief Executive David McLean says he’s encouraged by the ingenuity of environmental work being undertaken, from a community through to corporate level.

“There is extraordinary work happening around New Zealand to create a cleaner and more sustainable environment. This award is about acknowledging the people spearheading this work, and encouraging businesses, communities, and individuals to join us in making bold commitments to a cleaner and healthier New Zealand,” Mr McLean says.

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