Inspiring Wāhine Behind Aotearoa’s Most Successful Businesses

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Kami, Level 3

125 Saint Georges Bay Road

Auckland, Auckland 1052

New Zealand

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The future is female, but what does this mean for businesses?

About this event

As the global mentality of employers, employees and consumers shifts to be more purpose-driven – modern businesses must continue to pride themselves on pursuing progress, nurturing a meritocracy and celebrating diversity & inclusion.

With the number of female founders and business leaders having doubled in the last decade, there still is a long way to go to achieve gender parity for female talent in business.

May is Female Founder month and it is as important a time as ever for celebrating the powerful wāhine behind Aotearoa’s most successful businesses that are performing on the local and world stage.

Panellists

Alliv Samson, co-founder & COO of Kami

Alliv Samson is the COO and co-founder of Kami, a Parnell-based edtech company that has transformed the modern classroom by allowing teachers and students to view, edit, collaborate and interact with digital documents. In the past year Alliv has rapidly scaled her business to reach 25 million users in more than 180 countries, all while welcoming her first child into the world and working alongside her husband (and Kami CEO) Hengjie.

Caroline Rainsford, Country Director of Google NZ

Caroline Rainsford is a passionate business leader with a long and diverse career spanning service and product industries in New Zealand, Australia, Middle East, Africa and Turkey. Caroline has extensive leadership experience with most of her career involving positions on leadership and executive teams. As Country Director for Google NZ, Caroline is responsible for driving the overall revenue and business strategy for New Zealand as well as representing Kiwis and partnering with Government, Policy teams and local business leaders. One of Caroline’s goals is to set a long-term vision for how Kiwi businesses can grow and transform in the digital age.

Alyona Medelyan, CEO of Thematic

Alyona Medelyan, Ph.D. is the CEO of Thematic, an AI-driven feedback analysis solution. Alyona holds a PhD in Natural Language Processing. Her academic work was cited more than 2500 times. Thematic helps companies like LinkedIn, DoorDash, and ManpowerGroup improve customer and user experience through insights from customer feedback.

Emma Lewisham, founder of Emma Lewisham skincare

Emma Lewisham, New Zealand’s cult premium beauty brand is making waves in the industry because it embodies a new way of thinking. The seeds of Emma Lewisham eponymous brand were sown when she uncovered a product she had been using contained an ingredient that, although effective, was questionable for people's health. She went looking to replace this product with a natural, luxurious alternative that had scientifically-backed results – only to find it really didn’t exist – so she set out to create her own range. During Emma’s quest, it struck her how the beauty industry was contributing to many of the environmental issues we are facing today. Today, Emma Lewisham proudly rivals the most recognised luxury brands in the world while being a global leader towards a circular beauty model. Emma continues to be on a mission to make a meaningful, lasting difference in the beauty industry through innovative thinking, natural, science backed products and being at the forefront of the circular beauty movement.

Moderator

Wendy Petrie, journalists & television presenter

Wendy Petrie is a New Zealand journalist and television presenter, best known for presenting 1 News at Six alongside Simon Dallow, a role she held for fourteen years from 2006 to 2020. Wendy began her journalism career in radio, later joining TV3 as a reporter and moving to Canada in 2001 to become a newsreader for the CTV News before returning to New Zealand and joining TVNZ in 2003.In mid-July 2020, it was reported that Wendy would be stepping down as co-anchor for One News in August 2020 as a result of a job restructuring caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.On 30 August, Wendy read her final news bulletin as the primary female anchor of 1 News at Six and signed off thanking viewers for having her for the last fourteen years.

Arrival from 5:30pm for Networking followed by a Panel Discussion starting at 6:00pm. Drinks and Nibbles on offer.

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Kami, Level 3

125 Saint Georges Bay Road

Auckland, Auckland 1052

New Zealand

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