Suzi Finkelstein

Director Advocacy and Leadership, Women & Leadership New Zealand

With over twenty years of leadership development experience, Suzi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role as WLNZ’s Program Director. Over an exceptional career, Suzi has built a reputation for designing and delivering quality professional development with a particular focus on transforming the performance of women leaders and their teams. As a development consultant, Suzi has worked across all levels of leadership and management in partnership with many of Australia's leading organisations. 

Focusing on the challenges and opportunities for women leaders in the contemporary workforce, the New Zealand Women’s Leadership Symposium is an unparalleled gathering of New Zealand’s best and brightest female talent. During the event, women leaders from every sector and industry come together to hear from an exceptional line up of inspirational guest speakers and explore topics including gender equality, leadership, career advancement and life fulfilment.

The Symposium


Showcasing celebrated and respected women from every field of endeavour, the Symposium is synonymous with excellence and achievement across all facets of business and community leadership.​


Attended by a veritable who’s who of New Zealand organisations, the Symposium represents an accessible platform for businesses to remain connected to the gender equality debate and compare the latest thinking and strategy.​



Addressing a wide range of topics including gender equality, leadership, career advancement and life fulfillment, the Symposium offers an important opportunity to stay abreast of current local and international trends. Designed to encourage interaction and collaboration, the event creates a setting for women at all levels to reflect on their experiences, envisage a future to which they are entitled and draw inspiration for the journey ahead.


Drawing participants from every corner of the nation, the Symposium offers an unrivalled opportunity to extend your networks and develop lasting friendships and alliances. Through the sharing of personal experiences, participants unlock a spirit of camaraderie which typically extends far beyond the event itself. Each year, women from highly diverse backgrounds are drawn together through the Symposium leading to powerful opportunities for collaboration on important national issues.


Showcasing the country’s most respected and celebrated female talent, the Symposium attracts inspirational speakers from a wide range of backgrounds. Richly diverse in their achievements and fields of endeavour, Symposium speakers are universally recognised for their vision, resilience and capacity to influence change. By sharing their unique experience and knowledge, Symposium speakers encourage participants to unlock their innate strengths and talents and pursue their own vision of success.


Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach

Samantha Tomkinson began her career as a psychologist in the UK in 2002, and in 2013 she moved to New Zealand and has been supporting the growth of New Zealand leaders with a focus on developing their emotional intelligence. Samantha has worked extensively with senior leaders and organisations across the public and private sectors in both NZ and the UK. She is passionate about bringing the knowledge of human development, neuroscience and her experience as a leader to help others develop their leadership capability and realise their true potential.


Seema Kotecha,

NZ Police

[This event] has enabled me to define and articulate some of the ideas and concepts that impact women’s development. This has allowed me to consider some practical ways I can contribute and make a difference, and inspire change. Thank you!​

Ashley McDougall,

Contact Energy

This conference has armed me with tools and thoughts that I can take away and utilise in both my personal and professional life. It has helped me highlight my strengths, weaknesses, and key areas such as authenticity and self-doubt that I need to work on

Ana Soakai,


This program helped me to know and understand who I am. To push things to the limit, knowing that failure is my fuel. To speak out and speak up. Being a female leader is awesome

Maria Pasene,

Pegasus Health

The Symposium has provided me with opportunities to build networks with other women. We have shared our stories and helped each other to resolve issues and challenges in our workplaces. It is great to know we are not alone in our experiences and challenges

Full-Attendance Grants Available

Early Bird tickets now available for 2021

The New Zealand Women's Leadership



Founder and Community Director, Public Rally


Editor and Executive Producer, Stuff.co.nz

Anjum Rahman MNZM 

Founder and Project Lead, Inclusive Aotearoa Collective Tāhono; Founding Member; Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand


Kāpiti Coast District Councillor; Founder, School Strike 4 Climate NZ


Director and Principal Consultant, HSB Government Relations; Founder, Engage

Theresa Gattung CNZM 

Activator and NZ Country Lead, SheEO


Pou Ārahi and Deputy Chief Executive, New Zealand Human Rights Commission

Grace Palmer

Actress and Studio Presenter

Brigitte Morten

Senior Consultant, Franks Ogilvie

Squadron Leader Elizabeth Reardon

Executive Officer Woodbourne - OSFWB, Founder of the Pacific Defence Gender Network, Royal New Zealand Air Force

More to come!

Teresa Tepania-Ashton MNZM

CEO, Māori Women's Development Inc.

Tupe Solomon-Tanoa'I

Chief Philanthropic Officer, Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation; 2020 Women of Influence NZ winner - Diversity category

Dr Robbie Francis Watene

Disability rights advocate; Co-Founder and Director, The Lucy Foundation; Senior Human Rights Researcher, Donald Beasley Institute


Professor, University of Waikato; Author and Trainer

Women and Leadership New Zealand