Inspiring Women

'I really am living the dream'

Chef and entrepreneur Julie Clark has enjoyed a long career in the hospitality industry, which has encompassed working in the UK, Africa and New Zealand. She’s now probably best known for her two current Wellington café-restaurants, Floriditas and Loretta.

Area commander, NZ Police

When Tania Kura was a young constable working in Whanganui, a supermarket worker identified her as a potential shoplifter to one of her police colleagues. Nearly 30 years later, she says people still struggle to believe she’s in the force.

Interim CEO, Sovereign

Sharron Botica wasn’t a star at school and never went to university. A combination of resilience, self-belief and “steely determination” has seen her flourish in the competitive world of financial services.

Law graduate, YWCA board member

Getting pregnant while at high school is not usually on the list of recommended activities for ambitious young women. But Kimberley Kilgour says becoming a mother at an early age has given her increased focus and impetus to do her best.

'I’ve always been a change maker'

Vivien Maidaborn has spent most of her career working in community organisations, motivated by a deep desire for equality and social change.

Health educator, chair of the New Zealand Ethnic Women’s Trust

Fadumo Ahmed knows a thing or two about struggle. She also knows a lot about resilience, perseverance and success after coming to New Zealand from Somalia in 2000. She's committed to helping new arrivals to New Zealand thrive. "I see many families who need help. I'm never giving up."


Christina Riesselman’s work looks back to the ancient past to discover things about the future. As a leading geologist working to piece together the climate record of past millennia, her research plays a crucial part in understanding climate change.

'We have a real responsibility to encourage other women'

Victoria Carter has more than 20 years experience in governance, beginning with becoming a board member of the Auckland Kindergarten Association. She has been a city councillor, chair of the Auckland Arts Festival and is a director of both publicly listed and private companies.

At 12, Mara Pickery walked into a hairdresser's in Kaikohe, looking for a job. Fifteen years later, she's running a salon of her own and inspiring others to follow their dreams.

"Fear is where your growth is. There's no such thing as failure"

Rachel Petero is an ICF coach and entrepreneur with more than 20 years' experience in corporate HR. After successful stints in London and Qatar, she has now returned to New Zealand. In late 2015 she launched #RISE2025, a global leadership development and coaching programme for indigenous women.