Leading Diversity & Inclusion

Wednesday 24 July, 2019 | Victory Convention Centre


‘Businesses vital in driving diversity and inclusion’, business leaders say:

Businesses are being urged to celebrate and promote diversity within their teams and to ensure their workforces reflect the ethnic makeup of society.

Ziena Jalil, former New Zealand Trade Commissioner to Singapore and consulting partner at SenateSHJ, says organisations that embrace diversity and inclusion outperform their peers in profitability and productivity.

"Diversity drives creativity, innovation and empathy. It drives productivity and profitability," Jalil said at the latest PwC Herald Talks event held in Auckland.

"Diversity leads to better decision making ... at the board level, gender diverse boards perform better, diversity delivers better customer orientation and potentially opens up new markets for businesses."

Read the full article here at nzherald.co.nz



Keynote Speaker:
Ziena Jalil - Consulting Partner, SenateSHJ



Keynote Speaker:
Ziena Jalil - Consulting Partner, SenateSHJ

Vitale Lafaele - Diversity Advocate
Rachel Hopkins - CEO, Diversity Works
Dr Trudie Cain - Senior Lecturer, Massey University
Minnie Baragwanath - Chief Executive, Be. Accessible



Keynote Speaker

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Ziena Jalil
Consulting Partner, SenateSHJ

Ziena Jalil is a business and public sector leader with nearly 20 years working in New Zealand and Asia. A former diplomat, she is now based in Auckland with a focus on international marketing and business development, and diversity and inclusion.

Ziena has received several international awards for her work promoting New Zealand trade, investment and education in Asia and advises businesses looking to grow in the region.

She regularly presents and advises on diversity and inclusion, including publishing internationally in the book Workforce Diversity: Global Perspectives.

Ziena is an Advisory Board Member of New Zealand Asian Leaders; an Established Member of Superdiverse Women; and a Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors. 

Combining her two passions – Asia and diversity - in May 2019, Ziena, in partnership with the ASEAN NZ Business Council and New Zealand Asian Leaders, launched the New Zealand chapter of MAIA – the network for Kiwi women working in and with Asia.



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Vitale Lafaele
Diversity Advocate

Vitale’s early working career was as a soldier in the NZ Special Air Service (SAS). He later joined Police retiring after 30 years’ service.

Vitale has extensive operational and executive leadership experience across law enforcement and justice sectors.  He led serious crime investigations as a Detective Inspector, Commander of the Armed Offenders Squad and Counter Terrorist Group, Area Commander, and Private Secretary to the Minister of Police at Parliament.

In 2012 Vitale was appointed to a senior leadership role responsible for hundreds of front-line officers providing 24/7 service to one of NZ’ most diverse communities, Counties Manukau.  Maori, Pacific communities in Papakura and Takanini to Asian and farming communities in rural Pukekohe, Tuakau and Franklin.    

As well as these highly demanding roles Vitale worked behind the scenes and was instrumental in supporting NZ Police diversity and inclusiveness shift.  He believed ethnic diversity in the workforce and at the leadership table was essential to a truly inclusive multicultural Police organisation.

He was visionary in his quest for senior leadership as an enabler and key to shaping the NZ Police Diversity Strategy in the late 1990s.  Developing Pacific and ethnic leaders form the cornerstone of diversity and inclusiveness as they provide a greater voice in decision making.

His strategy was to weave diversity throughout the entire organisation at all levels. Senior leadership provided the platform to represent, inform and influence decision makers on issues which impact on multicultural communities Police serve.

Vitale was the first appointed Police Pacific Liaison Officer in 2000 and wrote the first NZ Police Pacific Milestone Document to Parliament in 2001.  He wrote the first draft Police Pasifika Strategy in 2004.  His work in the early years was acknowledged and celebrated at the launch of the Police 2018 Pasifika Strategy in November last year.

Vitale chaired the NZ Police Pacific Senior Leadership Committee, Auckland Womens Leadership Committee and Pacific and Maori Community Advisory Boards for over 10 years. He wanted diversity as a main stay of Police training and developed and introduced the annual Police Pasifika Fono in early 2000.  In 2003 Police launched the inaugural Police College Pasifika Fono facilitated by Vitale.   The Pasifika and ethnic courses are still an important part of diversity training today.  

Vitale is also a Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and Business Mentor with the Auckland Business Chamber.

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Rachel Hopkins
CEO, Diversity Works

Rachel has degrees in Law and Feminist Studies, is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and studied Design Thinking at Stanford University. She sat on the Board of NZX listed AWF Madison Group as part of the Future Directors Programme and was the recipient of the 2016 IOD Emerging Director Award for Auckland. Rachel now sits on the boards of crowdfunding platform PledgeMe and the Ministry for Youth Development Partnership Fund, where she was Chair for the 2018-2019 funding year.

Rachel has owned her own marketing business in Sydney and worked for the world’s largest law firm in London. Since returning to New Zealand, she has held various executive leadership team roles in professional services, education and training, as well as volunteering for organisations including the Women’s Fund, SheEO, the CatWalk Trust and the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles Committee in New Zealand.

Rachel is committed to equity for all New Zealanders and believes in the power of inclusive workplaces to drive better wellbeing and performance.

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Dr Trudie Cain
Senior Lecturer, Massey University

Dr Trudie Cain is a Senior Lecturer in sociology at Massey University where she teaches courses on gender and sexuality, and materiality and the social world. She has particular expertise in qualitative research methodologies and her research interests include; gendered, sized and migrant identities; identity and belonging in the local context; and the materiality of everyday lives.

Her current research explores how older adults negotiate a sense of home, place and community in a multiply diverse Auckland neighbourhood. This work is part of the MBIE-funded Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa New Zealand programme of research.

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Minnie Baragwanath
CEO, Be. Accessible

Minnie Baragwanath is the CEO and founder of the social change agency Be. Accessible. Be Accessible was established in 2011 with the purpose of making New Zealand the most accessible country in the world for the more than 1 million New Zealanders with access needs (disability).

Eight years on, the positive impact of Be. Accessible’s programmes, can be felt across government, business and the wider New Zealand community.  Hundreds of businesses and organisations have undertaken a commitment to becoming fully accessible to their customers and employees… using a contemporary and fresh approach to accessibility!

In recent years Minnie was awarded a MNZM from the Governor General, received the Diversity award for the Westpac Women of Influence, received a Sir Peter Blake award and was a top 10 finalist for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the year.

Minnie leads a diverse team and Board and as a partially blind woman herself knows first- hand what true diversity and inclusion can look like in the 21st century. She is deeply committed to the notion of Possibility (as opposed to Disability) and is currently leading Be. through its next transformation in order to position New Zealand as the global centre of access innovation for the 21st century.