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Celebrating women in leadership and 40 years of Australia-NZ Closer Economic Relations, the first ever all-female/all-wāhine trade mission is visiting Australia this week.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s first all-wāhine trade delegation is visiting Australia for four days, until Wednesday August 16th. The mission is being led by the Minister for Economic Development, the Hon Barbara Edmonds, and features 26 women business leaders.

The mission, which is being supported by the Government’s leverage and legacy programme for the Women’s World Cup, celebrates and puts a spotlight on women leaders in business. The trade mission aims to inspire the next generation of wāhine-women to fulfil their aspirations, promoting gender equality, diversity, and inclusion.

The wāhine trade delegates are showcasing how women in export can drive economic growth between the trans-Tasman countries.

The 26 delegates are made up of founders, CEOs and executives with skills and expertise spanning technology, investment, manufacturing, skincare, cleaning products, fashion, beauty, beverages, personal care, sustainability, services, and packaging. Many of the New Zealand born organisations already operate and trade within Australia, contributing to the multi-billion-dollar trans-Tasman relationship.

The mission programme has been organised by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, the Government’s international development agency.

NZTE’s Regional Director for Australia and the Pacific, Glen Murphy, said: “The programme will feature a series of briefings for the delegates that will support their businesses to make the most of the Australian market.

“A key aspect will be a number of events where the delegation can spend time with indigenous business leaders in Australia.

“Sustainability is a key feature of many of our delegates’ businesses, and we have arranged for them to meet Abigail Forsyth, the founder of the KeepCup brand in 2007, who created a business whose product has become a noun.”

The delegates will also be inviting key business partners in Australia to join them for a musical lunch with New Zealand singer-songwriter Bic Runga. Bic will also be talking about her experiences as a female leader running a business.

“Our team, led by Melbourne Trade Commissioner Bella Katz, is really looking forward to welcoming the delegates and ensuring they have an insightful and enjoyable time on this mission.

“All the delegates demonstrate the very best of New Zealand innovation and a long-term commitment to the welfare of communities around the world. They will make a significant impression on the people they meet in Australia.”

The Wāhine Trade Mission and the delegates envision a future where leaders in companies reflect the diversity of the workforce. In Australia, more than half of the workforce is made up of women, yet only 22.3% of CEO positions are held by women.

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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