Conversations that Count - Breaking the glass ceiling

Date: Wednesday 26 Feb 2020     Time: 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Venue: Business Central, Level 7, 3-11 Hunter Street, Jacksonstone House.

Conversations that Count is a series of events hosted by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and partner organisations to discuss key issues facing business and New Zealand as a society. Our next event for the series is an interesting exploration into how New Zealand business can fairly represent all genders in leadership positions. In this panel session, Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter, Dr Farah Palmer and other academics will focus on inclusive leadership in the context of culture and power structures.

According to Grant Thornton International’s annual Women in Business report, more global businesses now have at least one woman on their senior management teams, but the proportion of the team that is female has slipped from 25% to 24%. In New Zealand, the 2018 results hit an all-time low of 18% since the report began in 2004 (31%). What is more discouraging is the marked increase in the number of businesses with no women in senior management roles at 56%, compared to 37% last year.

In 2019, the government committed to ensuring membership of all state sector boards will be evenly represented by women and men by 2021, but how do we remove barriers in the private sector to ensure all genders are able to compete for positions on an even playing field?

Join our panellists to explore this important issue and have your questions answered.

Our speakers:

Dr Farah Palmer

Farah Palmer ONZM (Ngāti Mahuta/Ngāti Waiora) is a lecturer in the Department of Management at Massey University and a former captain of New Zealand's women's national rugby union team, the Black Ferns.

Dr Palmer has a research interest in race, gender and leadership issues and her most recent publications have focused on elite Māori athletes and their cultural identities in sport, the leadership and organisational culture of the All Blacks, Black Ferns, Māori All Blacks, Māori women's experiences in sport management, and the involvement of mothers in elite sport as leaders and athletes.

Minister for Women, Hon Julie Anne Genter

Julia Anne Genter grew up in Los Angeles where she witnessed women’s and civil rights movements making huge strides for people. In the famously car-dependent city she also saw the profound impact that transport and urban design have on our quality of life.

She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA and studied Politics at the prestigious Sciences Po Paris, before moving to New Zealand as a scholar at the University of Auckland. In Auckland she gained a Masters of Planning Practice with First Class Honours.

Julie Anne can see the connections between her portfolios and keen to promote the links between Women, Associate Health, and Associate Transport. For example, making it safer for people to walk and cycle helps improve everyone’s health.

Deborah Lucas

Deborah is originally from Ottawa, Canada, and came to New Zealand 25 years ago on a 2 year secondment with Deloitte here in Wellington.  As a management consultant, Deborah was actively involved in primarily healthcare projects including the planning and building of the new Auckland Hospital, community and rehab at Middlemore Hospital, and a range of other projects.  In 2008 she stepped back from active client service, and was charged with building a Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability function.

Now, Deborah works with people across a broad eco-system inside and outside Deloitte - across business and the broader community, weaving social, strategic, environmental and people initiatives together, sustaining momentum and influencing outcomes with hats as diverse as Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability.

More recently she led a piece of work with the team from Wesley Community Action, providing an in-depth perspective on the impacts of its programmes, and defining a path to a more innovation-led approach to working with their communities.  The work was launched in 2019 with Minister Carmel Sepuloni in attendance.

Deborah is a member of the Deloitte New Zealand Management Group, a Certified Management Consultant, and in 2019, joined The United Way New Zealand as a Trustee.


Mahi Tangaere

Mahi Tangaere has worked in diverse roles including Foreshore and Seabed negotiations, and in the education and immigration sectors for over 15 years.  She is currently a solicitor at Cottrell Law where she has worked since 2010, and a board member of Business Central.

Mahi’s variety of administrative roles has provided her with a unique insight into New Zealand’s regulatory frameworks and educational landscape. Mahi’s focus emphasises that the core value systems of Maori and most Asian countries are similar or complimentary. This enables the development of business relationships for long term mutual benefit.

Mahi is a member and current Convenor of the Wellington Immigration and Refugee Law Committee. She has been on the Executive Committee of the ASEAN New Zealand Business Council for the last three years and is their current Vietnam Chapter Chair. She is also a member of the New Zealand Association of Immigration Professionals.

Prices (per person):

Members: Free

Non-Member Price: Free



Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received 5 clear working days prior to the event. Cancellations after this time and ‘no-shows’ on the day will be charged the full invoice amount. Substitutions are permitted if you can no longer attend.