Leading with action on inclusion and diversity

Champions for Change is an initiative that brings together leading Chairs and CEOs to advance inclusion and diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand, through individual leadership and collective impact.

Champions believe in inclusive environments where employees can contribute to the success of the company as their authentic selves, while the organisation respects and leverages their unique talents and gives them a sense of connectedness.

How Champions for Change works

Champions for Change is convened and funded by Global Women, and Co-Chaired by two elected Champions - currently David McLean, CEO Westpac, and Michele Embling, Chair PwC. Coordinated by the Champions for Change Programme Manager, the group meets at least three times a year to decide on initiatives and actions for group focus.

Current initiatives include speaking out about the benefits of diversity and inclusion for businesses; measuring gender and ethnic representation through the Diversity Reporting Framework, creating inclusive and flexible workplaces, and investing in talent pipelines and leadership capability.

Global Women convenes Champions for Change, organises regular meetings, facilitates reporting and disseminates relevant information to advance the case for change. Global Women also works at multiple tiers throughout each partner organisation, to deliver on the initiatives outlined by the Champions as well as supporting the broader diversity agenda within organisations.

What it means to be a champion

Champions for Change is a group of leading CEOs and Chairs, each with a personal mission to accelerate inclusive and diverse leadership in our workplaces.

Each Champion advocates for greater inclusion and diversity within their own organisation, within their sectors and within the wider public arena where appropriate. In other words, Champions make driving inclusion and diversity core to their leadership.

Though Champions act individually, the group routinely comes together to share challenges, solutions and achievements. Champions are committed to frank and open discussions about practical ways to increase uptake of programmes and policies that advance diversity.

 These three unique elements enable Champions for Change to be one of New Zealand’s most effective leadership initiatives to drive change:

  1. The power of the Champions for Change network.
  2. Internal momentum, supported by tangible commitments and resource.
  3. External voice and collective leverage.

Read more about what we do.

How to become a Champion

The first step to becoming a Champion is understanding what we do, and what is expected in terms of commitments at organisational and leadership levels.  Being a Champion for Change means allocating significant time and resources to advancing inclusion and diversity, and being committed to reporting openly on gender and ethnicity.

To become a Champion, you must be the CEO or Chair of a large New Zealand organisation (by New Zealand standards), and that organisation needs to be a Global Women Partner. To see more about how to become a Partner, click here (external link) . Partner organisations fund Global Women’s programmes and initiatives, including Champions for Change.

Other leadership roles, outside of CEO and Chair levels, are not accepted into the Champions for Change group, but can participate in various inclusion and diversity initiatives if their organisation is a Global Women Partner.

Contact Programme Manager Aleisha Coote to find out more.

 See more about how Champions for Change and Global Women work together here.



Screen Shot 2018 08 02 at 1.31.02 pm

Global Women

Global Women is a non-profit organisation that advocates for diversity in leadership in Aotearoa New Zealand through promoting, encouraging and facilitating the development of women.