Trailblazing women share their insights

Eloise Gibson, Kristin Dunne, Felicity Clark and Ziena Jalil.

They are the women who have truly made a difference – be it in their community, in New Zealand or on the world stage.

Each year the Women of Influence Awards showcase the women who are driving change, making a difference, leading communities and spurring others to success alongside them.

Now you have the chance to be inspired by some of those incredible trailblazing wāhine, at a Bay of Plenty breakfast like no other.

The Women of Influence Speaker Series is an opportunity to hear from some of these outstanding leaders who have been recognised for their efforts, actions and achievements.

Designed to be fun and informal, the Women of Influence Speaker Series is being held in Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and is the perfect chance to meet some true game-changers, ask questions and come away inspired.

Headlining at the breakfast, being held at Trinity Wharf on Wednesday, July 28, are women who have faced adversity, had to pivot like many others in the business world in the past 18 months, or created tools to thrive, not just survive, in the current climate.

For 20 years Felicity Clark has been a personal trainer and runs a community gym on her farm, focussing on physical and mental wellbeing.

She grew up in the Eastern Bay of Plenty and her work supporting rural women struggling with their mental health during the Covid-19 lockdown saw her named as a finalist in the 2020 Women of Influence Awards.

Along with her daughter she’s founded ‘Walkway to Wellness’, providing wellbeing workshops for women. She is also a facilitator for the Bay of Plenty Rural Support Trust.

Until recently, Kristin Dunne was the Tumuaki (chief executive) of Tāpoi Te Moananui ā Toi – Tourism Bay of Plenty.

Kristin faced adversity with the Whakaari/White Island eruption and the devastating effects of Covid-19 on tourism. Tourism Bay of Plenty’s destination management plan Te Hā Tapoi (the Love of Tourism) is recognised globally for a regenerative approach that enhances visitors’ experience whilst balancing local community desire to see their home protected.

Ziena Jalil is a previous New Zealand Women of Influence awards finalist (Board and Management and Global categories).

The former diplomat consults on strategy and stakeholder engagement, and is a board member of Manukau Institute of Technology, Unitec, DNA Design, and the Cancer Society Auckland Northland. She has helped some of New Zealand’s largest businesses build their reputation and revenue, advised Ministers, and worked at the grassroots supporting the growth of Māori and Pacific young people in professional careers.

The event will be hosted by Eloise Gibson, who has more than a decade of experience reporting on business, science and environmental issues for New Zealand media outlets, and contributed as a freelancer to BBC Earth, BBC Future and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

She travelled to New York on a Fulbright scholarship to get her Masters in Science Journalism, winning recognition for her writing on toothfish. Her reporting on methane and agriculture led to a UC Berkeley Food and Farming Fellowship.

Doors open at 6:30am for the walk’n’fork networking breakfast, with speakers taking the stage from 7:30-9am.

Remember, you can help bring recognition to wāhine who are leading by example. Nominations for this year’s Women of Influence Awards are open until August 16.

The awards are all about shining a light on wonderful women from all walks of life who are leading the way in everything from grassroots community projects to global innovation and research.

There are 10 categories: Arts and Culture, Board and Management, Business Enterprise, Community Hero, Diversity, Environment, Innovation, Science and Health, Public Policy, Primary Industries, and Young Leader. Winners will be announced at a special gala dinner on October 21.

For more information, and to buy tickets, visit:


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