The Female Career. Trailblazing New Zealand women share their career journeys

The Female Career. Trailblazing New Zealand women share their career journeys

Listen to New Zealand's trailblazing women sharing the twists and turns of their career journeys with Leadership Coach Anna Johnstone. An inspiring collection of open, honest career conversations with a diverse range of kiwi women. From journalists to lawyers, jewellers to farmers, board directors to entrepreneurs - and everything in between! - their career highlights, challenges, and advice will inspire you in your own career.


June 30, 2020 40 mins

Jo Fair is the former Global Head of Human Resources for Fonterra, a company of 22,000+ employees. Her career journey has taken her around the globe to Europe, the Americas and Asia. In 2019, Jo left the corporate world to found FutureWork Studio, supporting organisations to re-imagine the world of work. We hope you enjoy listening to her inspiring career story, which includes:

  • The huge cloud of self-doubt she felt when she firs...
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    Wyndi Tagi dropped out of teacher's college at age 21 when she became pregnant with her first child. She now runs WE Accounting, employing 15 people across New Zealand and Samoa, and helping SMEs to thrive. She is also involved in a wide range of charitable work, with a focus on bettering the statistics for Māori and Pacifica people. On top of her busy working life, she's a Mum of 5, a keen sportsperson, and holds a black b...

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    Listen to The Hon. Ruth Richardson share the intriguing and focused story of her career.

    Ruth Richardson rose to international prominence in her role as a reformist minister of Finance in New Zealand in the 1990s - the first and so far only woman to hold this role. Following her political career, Ruth has worked extensively in New Zealand and internationally as a Public Policy Consultant and Board Director. She currently holds a num...

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    Emily is a specialist insurance lawyer who has worked in NZ, Australia and the UK. She's been a Partner at Wynn Williams since 2011 and is a key member of their Dispute Resolutions team. She's also a strong advocate for women at work.

    Here, she shares some highlights and challenges from her career journey, including:

  • Why she finds law to be both creative and fun, and how her science background has helped her as a lawyer
  • How sh...
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    Gemma Miller of GG Jewellery is a talented goldsmith, who transforms precious heirloom jewellery into contemporary pieces you want to wear. She's also one of the co-founders of The Makers, bringing together over 20 jewellers from across NZ on an online retail marketplace.

    Here, Gemma shares her career story, including:

  • How a 'non-linear' accident helped her discover her passion for jewellery at age 27
  • How it's an ongoi...
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    Jessie owns and runs a dairy business in Mid Canterbury with over 1000 cows. For the last 20 years she’s also worked in a range of roles in agricultural policy, research and sustainable farming for the likes of Meat and Wool NZ, Federated Farmers, AgResearch and Environment Canterbury. She was the recipient of the 2017 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award. In recent years, she’s also grown her career into Governance, and currentl...

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    Laura grew up on a sheep and deer farm in Southland, New Zealand. After 10 years of a varied corporate career, she returned to her farming roots, swapping high heels for gumboots. Here she shares her journey to starting her own farm tourism business Real Country and finding her purpose in helping NZ girls build their confidence.

    In the episode, Laura shares:

  • How she's coped with the challenges of Covid-19 for her Queenstown touri...
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    Louisa Wall (Ngati Tuwharetoa me Waikato) is a member of the New Zealand Labour Party and has been an MP since 2008. She has held a variety of roles across the public sector and her work is founded on a commitment to universal human rights together with promoting the rights of gender and sexual minorities. Louisa also had a highly successful sporting career as both a Silver Fern and also a Black Fern, including being named NZ Women...

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    Traci is an award winning company director and a recognised industry leader. She is also a trusted advisor to Māori and Government on strategic and economic development. Traci is known for her strong and inclusive leadership and her clear focus on building the wealth and prosperity of Aotearoa New Zealand.

    Traci has been named as one of the top ten most influential women in New Zealand agribusiness and the Listener’s top ten influen...

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    Jo hails from Ōtautahi Christchurch and has had a varied career, from media to wine sales and she even trained as a chef! She also worked for a number of years for the Christchurch City Council, bringing to life events such as the World Buskers Festival. In 2013, she tapped into her entrepreneurial roots and set up her own business, social change agency Brown Bread, who specialise in partnering with social purpose organisations to ...

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    Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick shares her inspiring career journey as part of The Female Career podcast.

    Chlöe has been a law student, journalist, business owner and a community project leader. When interviewing politicians of all stripes on daily issues she found that too often they had become out of sync with everyday people’s lives. She couldn’t see herself, her friends, or her whānau in politics.

    So, in 2016 Chlöe did what any re...

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    Abby Foote is a professional director with over 12 years’ governance experience, including both publicly listed and Crown companies. With qualifications in both law and accounting, Abby's career has covered both disciplines, focusing on corporate finance, treasury and commercial transactions. Abby is Chair of Z Energy, and currently serves on the boards of TVNZ, Sanford Limited and Freightways Limited. Abby’s previous governanc...

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    We really hope that you enjoy the career story of Jane Hunter. Jane is known around the world as the First Lady of New Zealand Wine. As owner, viticulturist and managing director of Hunter’s Wines since 1987, Jane has led the company to outstanding local and international success as one of New Zealand’s ground-breaking premium wine labels.

    Born in South Australia, Jane’s father was a contract grape grower. She gained a degree in Agr...

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    We really hope you enjoy listening to the inspiring and honest career story of Kendall Flutey. Kendall is the Co-Founder and CEO of Banqer, the financial education platform used by more than 150,000 Australasian primary school students. She has a background in Accounting, Economics and Web Development, all of which she uses now as an entrepreneur. Kendall enjoys the new challenge that comes with growing a mission driven impact busi...

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    Dr Ayesha Verrall is an Infectious Diseases Physician and Senior Lecturer with Otago Medical School. She became a household name in New Zealand in early 2020 when she was asked by the Government to review their existing Covid-19 contact tracing strategy. She didn’t hold back with her criticism, and the implementation of her contact tracing recommendations was key in relaxing restrictions in NZ. Ayesha’s specialty area is in fact in...

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    Andrea Jewell is Co-Founder of Fix & Fogg Nut Butters. Although Andrea has always had a passion for food and making things, she's actually a lawyer by background. Originally from the UK, Andrea started her career as a criminal barrister before moving to Aotearoa New Zealand where she's worked as a lawyer for ACC and the NZ Qualifications Authority. In 2014, together with her husband Roman, she entered the entrepreneuria...

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    Zoë George is a producer and journalist and proud supporter of women and sport. Early in her career Zoë worked in international cricket both in New Zealand and abroad. She attended tournaments in Botswana, Bangladesh, Samoa and Singapore as a communications advisor and team manager. Her more recent career has taken her more directly into the world of journalism and she worked for a number of years with Radio NZ, both as a producer ...

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    Mahsa Mohaghegh is a Senior Lecturer and also Director of Women in Tech in AUT’s School of Computer, Engineering, and Mathematical Sciences. She is a well-recognised leader in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. She is also the founder of the charitable trust She Sharp, a women’s technology networking and learning group, where she works to encourage young New Zealand girls to consider what a career in technology offers.


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    Tania Bearsley has recently returned to Aotearoa New Zealand after living in the UK for 15 years. A connector of people who enjoys helping individuals and businesses to achieve their goals through introductions, Tania was, until recently, KEA New Zealand’s Regional Director for UK and Europe. Following a career in hotels, catering and events, Tania volunteered her time as President of The New Zealand Society (UK) 2013-2015, produce...

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    Honey Hireme-Smiler has had an incredible sporting career, representing New Zealand in Rugby League, Rugby Sevens and Rugby Union. She’s been an exceptional flag bearer for women’s rugby league. She has played with the Kiwi Ferns in 4 rugby league world cups, finishing the 2017 tournament as top try scorer and is current co-captain of the team alongside Laura Mariu. In 2020 she was appointed a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for he...

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