M2woman believes in Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace.

The world is heading in the direction of true authenticity. People want everything in their lives to be a true expression of themselves – their jobs, brands and relationships. Alignment of values has never been more essential to doing business, attracting and retaining the best people to your workplace.


Live Forums





And Counting…

Our Journey to Excellence Live forums are immersive events where a panel of successful business people discuss issues and solutions to creating greater diversity in the New Zealand workplace.
The panel discussion is followed by audience questions, then a networking opportunity where attendees can expand on the discussion over cocktails in a more intimate and casual setting – perfect to make invaluable connections!

18 October 2019 - Live Forum:

Ngapera Riley

Deputy CEO,

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Ngapera is the CEO of Figure.NZ, a technology company that believes in the democratisation of data, and exists to enable everyone in New Zealand to make sense of data and see Aotearoa clearly. Ngapera has spent most of her professional career working in the United States developing business opportunities for NZ companies. Previously she has worked for NZTE, the Ministry of Health, and several Universities. She also runs her own entertainment company and is a professional vocalist. Her future goals are to continue developing international opportunities for New Zealand and to contribute to New Zealand’s prosperity through economic, social and cultural activities. 

Akerei Maresala-Thomson


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Akerei is a social architect, award winning leader and Co-Founder of the multi award winning free community app MYRIVR, the largest in app directory in NZ with the goal of becoming the largest enabler of community services in the world. He also served for 12 years in the New Zealand Police Service as a ranking Senior Sergeant where he managed the Pacific, Ethnic, and Asian portfolios for Counties Manukau District and coordinated the Police National Radio Language Programme. Akerei also held a strategic international position for nearly 10 years as a Technical Advisor training local police of small island nations across the South Pacific region and advocating on pre-migration issues. As a former youth gang member and child sexual abuse survivor,he is passionate about prevention advocacy roles and innovations for positive social outcomes.

Alexandra Allan

CEO, The FoodBowl, NZ Food Innovation Auckland.

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Alexandra is the Chief Executive of The FoodBowl, a government funded accelerator enabling companies to manufacture, commercialise and export new food and beverage products. Alexandra is part of a growing focus on innovation to not only create added value export opportunity for the New Zealand economy but for people from all walks of life to create products and businesses that reflect the diverse make-up of New Zealand. Previously, she developed confectionery products at Cadbury, early life nutrition products at Nutricia New Zealand, and worked as Technical Manager for Horleys sports nutrition.

Nurain Janah

Business Advisory Accountant | Social Entrepreneur

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Nurain is an accountant, speaker, facilitator and social entrepreneur. After moving to New Zealand from the island country of the Maldives at a young age, Nurain grew up in Auckland as a proud Muslim Kiwi. Nurain currently works as a business advisory accountant at Alliott NZ. She is currently a Trustee of the UpsideDowns Education Trust and serves as the Treasurer for 350 Aotearoa, the NZ arm of a global climate movement. Nurain continues her involvement in global leadership with Junior Chamber International (JCI), having served as one of only 4 women National Presidents in the Asia Pacific region. Nurain represented New Zealand at the 2017 UN Commission on the Status of Women advocating for young women of colour in the workplace. She was awarded the Waitematā Local Board Good Citizens Award for her work establishing the Waitematā Youth Collective in 2015 and was recognised as a finalist in the 2017 Women of Influence Awards. 

Debi Boffa

Managing Director,
BP New Zealand


Debi started work with BP in 1997 and has held positions in Engineering, Terminals, Retail, Sales & Marketing, Procurement, Strategy and General Management with BP in NZ, Australia and the USA. She was appointed Managing Director of BP New Zealand in 2017. Debi has a strong passion and personal commitment to safety ensuring that the safety of BP’s people and the communities in which BP operates is the first priority of BP’s business in New Zealand. In her role as Managing Director, Debi is responsible for implementing the company’s vision for its innovation and sustainability strategies and strives to continue to make BP New Zealand a leader in the diversity and inclusion space creating a culture where team members can thrive in their careers and their personal lives.

Tania Domett
Principal at Cogo
(Keynote Speaker)
What is Diversity? And how do companies achieve it?



Tania founded Cogo in 2014, a research agency that helps organisations make good investments and grow stronger communities. Cogo’s clients come from a wide range of sectors including disability/accessibility, mental health, education, family violence, child obesity, women’s leadership, youth development, health and wellbeing, and export marketing. Recently, Cogo launched Diversity Counts – a tool for measuring diversity in the workplace. Tania has always been fanatical about gender equality but in recent years, in large part due to her work with Be. Accessible and in youth mental health, has become deeply committed to making sure the diversity conversation includes the disability and LGBTQI communities as well. In several previous lives, Tania has worked as a lecturer in gender and politics, a Maître D, an economic consultant and a comedian.

The Schedule – Friday 18 October 2019

12:00pm Registration
12:30pm Lunch
1:00pm Welcome
1:10 Keynote Speaker One
1:30pm Panel discussion begins
2:30pm Q&A from the audience
3:00pm Networking over cocktails
4:00pm Forum finishes
For more details please contact Jennifer:
or (09) 377 6290

14 February 2020 - Live Forum:

Sarah Archer
Air New Zealand


In her 8 years with Air New Zealand, Sarah has held the roles of Regional Operations Manager Tandem Travel, Long-haul Cabin Crew Manager, Pilot Enablement manager and is now the acting Diversity and Inclusion Manager Air New Zealand. Her career history also includes commercial account management, organisational development and tutoring. Sarah feels fortunate to affect positive change in her D&I role and lives by the mantra that everyone is entitled to work in a culture and environment that enables them to be their best. Her life experiences, personally and professionally, have established her values and beliefs and these align with the fundamentals of Diversity and Inclusion.

Latifa Daud
Regional Facilities Auckland

Latifa is a Gujarati-Muslim and was born and raised in Auckland. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Education, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism. Latifa is a blogger and a writer on the topics of Islamopobia and disability. She values the importance of reclaiming one’s identity, and agency over their own stories, and believes the most powerful weapon we all have against discrimination is to take control over our own voice’s. Latifa was a participant in the 2017 Be. Leadership programme.

Danu Abeysuriya
RUSH Digital

Danu Abeysuriya 2019

Danu founded RUSH Digital in 2010 and has lead its technology teams in developing world-first solutions for global companies such as Microsoft, Disney, Google, Samsung and Nokia to name a few. He’s overseen and been hands-on involved in the design, development and deployment of numerous software and hardware projects across a wide range of platforms and disciplines. Danu’s commitment to innovation and pushing boundaries is at the heart of what they do at RUSH. His resilience and deep knowledge means he doesn’t get stuck when something gets hard but pushes limits to deliver outcomes.

Nicola O’Rourke
Lewis Road Creamery

Nicola ORourke - M2woman.co.nz

Nicola has over 15 years experience in New Zealand FMCG industry and is currently the General Manager of Lewis Road Creamery. She believes that New Zealand has some of the highest quality produce from the best sources that can sustainably compete both here and abroad. She has always been passionate about putting people at the heart of innovation, demanding a diversity of thought throughout the process to push for differentiated ideas and bring value to consumers. She has most recently been appointed Chairman of the Food Basket Board, an innovative start up business that is bringing together a number of NZ Food & Beverage businesses to work together and pool resources to take on the China market.

The Schedule – Friday 14 February 2020

12:00pm Registration
12:30pm Lunch
1:00pm Welcome
1:10pm Keynote Speaker 
1:30pm Panel discussion begins
2:30pm Q&A from the audience
3:00pm Networking over cocktails
4:00pm Forum finishes
For more details please contact Jennifer:
or (09) 377 6290
“By sending selected key male Managers within our business (along with selected female Leaders) we have seen real value. We want them also to become strong advocates for gender diversity, so their insight from attending is positive”.
Dana Toeke
“An amazing afternoon listening ton inspirational female leaders from NZ business. Thanks @m2woman for a great event! The lemon meringue pies were good too”
Virtue Consulting
“Feedback from both our tables was overwhelmingly positive. All of the women really enjoyed the event and the panel session kicked off very intresting conversations after. It was a great customer event.”
Michelle Herlihy (Custom Fleet)
“I very much enjoyed the discussions and the event planning was excellent. My clients and I had some very good conversations carrying on from the themes brought up by the panel members.”
Jo Cheeseman (ASB Bank)


4 Reasons why you should attend Journey to Excellence:

1 – Learn how Diversity & Inclusion can grow your business bottom line

2 – To upskill staff to sieze oportunities to grow your business

3 – To deepen relationships between team members and business stakeholders

4 – To attract the best people to your business

Our Past Forums

Companies That Attend

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Don't Miss Out!

Our Next Live Forum: Friday 18 October 2019, Auckland
(our final one for 2019, next one Feb 2020)


Each Table Includes:

8 x seats per table
8 x 12 Month M2woman Subscriptions including topics from the event featured throughout the year
8 x Luncheon including dessert options, served on the table
8 x Goody Bags, one per seat
8 x Cocktail Networking Function, including drinks and nibbles
M2Woman - Journey To Excellence

How do you go from living in a caravan park to becoming a top well respected business leader? Vanessa speaks about learning from experience and sharing this with other woman... Learn more about the next forum at https://www.m2woman.co.nz/journey-to-excellence/#diversity #diversityandinclusion #supportdiversity #genderdiversity #journeytoexcellence #lexusnz

Posted by M2woman on Monday, 25 February 2019
How Can We Make Progress

How can we start to make meaningful progress with diversity? With thanks to Lexus New Zealand Kate Daly from BNZ shares her opinion in terms of a potential bold move ... #progressive #nextsteps #makeadifference #diversity #targets #journeytoexcellence #lexusnz #vector #GJGardner #legacycontracting #NZsteel

Posted by M2woman on Sunday, 3 March 2019
Worklife Balance

Kate Daly from BNZ shares her tips on how to achieve work life balance ...#worklifebalance #worklifeintegration #importance #family #worklife #balance #diversity #journeytoexcellence #lexusnz #vector #GJGardner #legacycontracting #NZsteel

Posted by M2woman on Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Journey To Excellence - Rob Campbell

What's stopping gender diversity in the NZ workplace? Hear Rob Campbells thoughts on the trap we need to avoid... #diversity #diversityandinclusion #supportdivesity #genderdiversity #journeytoexcellence #lexusnz

Posted by M2woman on Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Are we undermining our own fight for diversity? What do we do about woman sabotaging other woman? #diversity #diversityandinclusion #supportdiversity #genderdiversity #workplacesabotage #journeytoexcellence

Posted by M2woman on Sunday, 24 February 2019
Journey To Excellence Wrap Up

In recognition of International Women's Day we want to share insights from the wrap up discussion at our recent Journey To Excellence event. Learn what this well respected panel discuss in terms of how we can start to fix gender and cultural diversity in the workplace, with thanks to Lexus New Zealand #diversity #supportdiversity #diversityandinclusion #genderdiversity #culturaldiversity #makeadifference #journeytoexcellence #lexusnz #vector #GJGardner #legacycontracting #NZsteel

Posted by M2woman on Thursday, 7 March 2019