Co-Presidents’ Message


We are sad to announce that Steph Fink has resigned from her role as General Manager of the YWCA AotearoaNZ for professional reasons.

The Board acknowledges her significant contribution and service to the YWCA movement in AotearoaNZ. In the last 5 years our organisation has faced challenges and undergone much change and Steph has provided stability to the organisation, and supported the Board in the setting the new strategic direction.

We really value and appreciate her calm, thoughtful, and supportive approach, and the commitment she has shown to progressing the YWCA’s vision for young women in this country. We wish her all the very best for the future. Steph’s last day with the YWCA will be the 4th of May.

For any queries in the meantime, you can contact either of us on the main YWCA contact details (telephone 04 384 8117 or email, and of course you are welcome to email or phone us directly (details below).

Sina Wendt-Moore                         Nive Sharat-Chandran
021 666 595                                     021 0223 0432      

Young YWCA leader elected to global governing body


Nive speaks at World Council Oct 2015

Young New Zealand woman Nive Sharat Chandran was recently elected as Vice President of the World YWCA Board.  The elections were held at the World YWCA Council which meets every four years and this year was in Bangkok, Thailand.

At just 24, Ms Sharat Chandran has already held a variety of leadership roles and is currently Co-President of the YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand.

“New Zealand needs women as decision-makers and leaders, particularly young women, in fact the world does, and I’m proud to represent Aotearoa on the world stage,” says Ms Sharat Chandran.

Nive speaks at World Council Oct 2015

Nive speaks at World Council Oct 2015

“As an organisation we lead the way in developing the leaders of today and tomorrow by creating opportunities for young women to be leaders.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of being part of the team leading social and economic change in over 120 countries worldwide, reaching 25 million women and girls.

“Being goal driven means that in twenty years time, I will be able, hand on heart know that I have given my all to the goal of 100 million young women and girls transforming power structures to create justice, gender equality and a world without violence and war.

“Critically, I am excited to be part of leading a sustainable YWCA movement by being bold and transformative and inclusive of all women.”

The YWCA of Aotearoa NZ has a commitment to board diversity, with 40% young women directors, as well as Maori, Pacific and Asian representation. We are also the only YWCA board globally that operates an inter-generational Co-Presidency model – something we advocated for at World Council.

YWCA Aotearoa delegation to World Council Oct 2015

“As co-president of YWCA Aotearoa NZ I am looking forward to the global governance role as well as using the global work to guide our purpose and work here,” says Ms Sharat Chandran.


Media contact:

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact Steph Fink, YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand General Manager on 027 235 0552 or Nive Sharat Chandran on 021 0223 0432

Enroll now For Y-Dub Senior Programme!


August 6th is when the Senior Y-Dub Programme begins. It’s time to  explore more of who you are and learn from others! Meet other girls in Hamilton and create some magic in Hamilton. Enroll now!!


Equal Pay Awards – deadline extension


YWCA Equal Pay Awards2

YWCA EQUAL PAY AWARDS 2014 – Deadline Extension

Don’t miss your chance to be recognised for your commitment to addressing equal pay within your organisation.

Thank you to those organisations that have already entered. Equal pay is definitely on the agenda at many New Zealand workplaces.

In response to feedback, we have extended the closing date of the inaugural YWCA Equal Pay Awards to Friday 20 June. Smaller to medium sized organisations have asked us for extra time to gather information.

You qualify to enter if you have:

  • A commitment to running an internal audit to evaluate equal pay within your organisation. You may have already run or be running an audit.
  • A successful graduate programme that reflects balanced intake ratios supported with equal pay.
  • Maternity packages that help to maintain equal pay (i.e. female salaries don’t start to slip behind as they become working mums).

There are a number of ways you could be addressing the issue, even in part, that could qualify your entry.

You can have a look through the survey monkey entry form to see which components you may qualify for. The category your organisation falls in (bronze, silver or gold) will be determined based on a points system once a formal entry has been made.

To find out more and to enter, visit

Entries close at 5pm on Friday 20 June 2014.
Winners will be announced on Friday 11 July 2014.

No sensitive information pertaining to your application will be divulged and will remain confidential at all times.

If you have any questions please contact YWCA Auckland on

YWCA Equal Pay Awards


YWCA Equal Pay Awards2

1st April 2014 – YWCA Auckland is once again shining the spotlight on equal pay, with the national inaugural YWCA Equal Pay Awards, recognising best practice amongst business leaders actively addressing equal pay within their organisations.

Research and statistics report the gender pay gap is still prevalent, with the New Zealand Income Survey (June 2013 quarter) reporting the median full-time hourly earnings for males was $23.67 and $22.34 for females. Therefore, if females were to earn as much as males, the female average income would need to increase by 13%.

More concerning are industry studies. The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants surveyed its own sector to discover that male chartered accountants with five years’ experience or less earn $3,605 more than their female counterparts, debunking the myth that pay gaps emerge when women start families, typically around 31 years old in New Zealand. This kind of evidence is common within other private sector industries.

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards will acknowledge those on the journey to address equal pay, with the YWCA Auckland inviting corporates and SMEs to share their stories of success, inspiring change for wider business.

Those wishing to enter must demonstrate their initiatives.

In 2012, YWCA Auckland and DDB NZ launched the award-winning, ‘Demand Equal Pay’ campaign, highlighting the fact that men then reportedly earned 10% more than women. The campaign cleverly captured what equal pay looked like in reverse by presenting scenarios where men were asked to pay 10% more for products and services.

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards, however, turns the issue on its head by seeking to recognise businesses who are taking a leadership role in this area.

“Equal pay is still a key focus for our organisation,” says YWCA Auckland CEO Monica Briggs.

“In 2012 we were amazed how few people were aware there was a pay gap at all. Today, the gap is wider still and the social and economic impact of this cannot be ignored.

“While it’s crucial for us to raise awareness through hard-hitting campaigns like ‘Demand Equal Pay’, it’s also vital we work alongside the business community to recognise those organisations who are taking the issue seriously. Many corporates are already engaging the right measures to ensure the pay gap is at least reduced in the short term, with a long term view toward closing it altogether.

“Today, as we launch the YWCA Equal Pay Awards, we are inviting them to come forward and share their outstanding Human Resource, Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity programmes agendas, so they can be acknowledged as thought leaders and trail blazers for equal pay.

“We are already aware of some outstanding case studies who we’d love to recognise as part of a high profile campaign that will celebrate and acknowledge a short-list of winners announced in June this year,” adds Briggs.

Through the awards programme, YWCA Auckland aims to share best practice initiatives to encourage and inspire other organisations to start the journey. The awards are as much about educating and informing around solutions, than highlighting the problem.

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards will be judged by a first class panel who are experts in their respective Human Resources and consultative fields, with an in depth knowledge of diversity and change management,  gender equality and equal pay in the work place.

Meet the Panel:

  •  Martin King, General Manager Human Resources, Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd, leads the Human Resources team of one of the most attractive employers in the country supported by outstanding Diversity & Inclusive Culture policies and management. Martin has been integral to implementing 100% equal pay within the entire CCANZ organisation
  • Galia Barhava-Monteith, director and strategic change consultant of GBM Consulting, specialises in end-to-end delivery of Diversity-enabling strategies in the work place. She is also the Deputy Chair at the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) and the founding director of Professionelle Charitable Foundation, dedicated to addressing the needs of all professional working women in New Zealand
  • Susan Doughty is a Director of dsd Consulting Ltd, specialising in remuneration and reward advice to the NZ market.   Susan is an expert in her field with over 15 year’s specialist experience.  She is a certified Global Remuneration Professional and has just completed a contract as GM – Rewards & Mobility at Fonterra
  • Carolyn Savage is the President of Business & Professional Women New Zealand, an organisation with a history of empowering women since 1939. She is also a Senior Architect of the ECL Group

Says Briggs of the YWCA Equal Pay Awards judges:

“Our outstanding panel could not be more qualified to adjudicate entries for the awards. Throughout the awards programme, we intend to profile excellent insights into equal pay and the solutions and strategies available to address the issue.”

The entry cut-off date is Monday, 26th May, with winners announced on Thursday, 12th June.

To learn more about the YWCA Equal Pay Awards, entry details and criteria,

For more information, panel biographies, images or interview opportunities, please contact:

Media Coverage:

Click here to listen to Vanessa Ceelen, YWCA Auckland President talking to Mike Hosking about the gender pay gap on Newstalk ZB.

Click here to read Susan Doughty’s (Director of dsd Consulting and YWCA Equal Pay Award panellist) top five tips for organisations to get on the equal pay journey.

Thanks Scoop for picking up the press release.

NZ Herald article here on the bigger picture of gender pay gap.

SheSays Blog posts written by the Awards panellists – click here.


Click here for Herald article on gender pay gap.


Kiwi Teens Banish Negative Body Image With A Love Note


A group of young women are taking grim body image statistics into their own hands with a campaign encouraging their peers to see themselves in a more positive way.lovenoteslogo

The YWCA launches Love Notes – a social media campaign – tomorrow (Thursday 27 June) in a bid to get young women viewing their bodies for what they can do, rather than what they look like.

YWCA board member, Hilary Max (23) says the statistics around young women and how they view their bodies is sobering.

“We know having a negative body image affects self-esteem and can lead to depression and social isolation. More than 52 percent of adolescent girls begin dieting before age 14. Concerns about body image can also prevent young women from participating in physical and social activities they enjoy such as swimming, dating or even posting photos on Facebook.

Love Notes is about helping young women move away from instinctively thinking about their ‘most beautiful’ body part and instead thinking about what body part helps them achieve, succeed, help others. Essentially what part of their body helps them to do good things!” says Ms Max.

Love Notes works by getting young women to take a photo of their favourite body part and posting it, with a caption describing why they like it, to the YWCA-generated Facebook app.  They will be invited to ‘share’ and ‘like’ the campaign.  Each participant will go in the draw to win a Polaroid camera.

The campaign will go live on Thursday 27 June and can be found at:

New Zealand professional track and field athlete, Sarah Cowley is Love Notes’ campaign ambassador. She commented that the campaign is vital.

“I place a high value in my body through what I have achieved.  My hope with this campaign is more young women learn to be proud of the many things their body can do for them,” says Ms Cowley.

Love Notes is part of a series of YWCA initiatives aimed at increasing young women’s self esteem.

YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand President, Sina Wendt-Moore says there is a compelling need for research to identify issues around young women and body image.

“A key part of YWCA’s work nationally is addressing the problem of low body confidence among young women. There is much work to be done and we particularly need up-to-date research on triggers affecting negative body image in order to create change.”

Many of the participants’ Love Notes will be showcased in a video, which will be produced once entries close. It will be available for educators, health professionals and organisations working with young women and forms part of a suite of ‘like your body’ YWCA resources.

The campaign is open to all New Zealand young women over 13 years of age and ends on 31 July.


For further information please contact Penny Hartill, Hartill PR, 09 445 7525, 021 721 424,

Or Steph Fink, Executive Officer, YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand, 04 384 8117,


Editor’s notes

YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand is part of a global YWCA network spanning 120 countries.  The organisation is dedicated to providing leadership opportunities for young women with a mandate stating 25 percent of its board must be women under 30 years of age.

The YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand supports individual and community change by empowering women, especially young women, to develop and exercise their individual and collective leadership through enhancing their spiritual, physical, mental and cultural well-being. We are committed to addressing all forms of oppression, so that women may together attain social and economic justice.

YWCA Samoa to develop young women’s leadership


The YWCA of Samoa has been dormant for the past few years but a new partnership with the YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand, funded by the World YWCA, is seeking to revitalise the organisation and give young women opportunities to lead and address issues throughout Samoa.

Over the past week a series of 3 workshops were held in Apia with existing members of the YWCA Samoa, young women from around Upolu, and a mentoring team from the YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand.   The workshops were led by the team from YWCA New Zealand with Maiava V. Peteru, the current President of the YWCA of Samoa.

The 3 workshops identified relevant issues for young women in Samoa; current challenges they are facing, leadership skills and governance.  A group of 30 women attended over the three days and held open and frank discussions about negative issues for women in Samoa and particularly young women.

Participants at the YWCA Samoa & YWCA A/NZ Leadership Workshop - Apia, May 2013

Participants at the YWCA Samoa & YWCA A/NZ Leadership Workshop – Apia, May 2013

The “wiser women” attending, those over the age of 30, encouraged and supported the young women to have their say and speak up.  “We had an inspirational group of young women, along with some of our longstanding board members, who committed to joining together to create a voice for young women.”  said Maiava Peteru, President, YWCA Samoa.  “We hope all women who want to nurture and empower the next generation of women will come along and be a part of what we’re doing and support the basic human right of equality for all people.”

YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand President, Sina Wendt Moore says; “This diverse group of women brought so much to these fono, and they all said how important an organisation to support young women is.  We are proud to be here helping YWCA Samoa re-emerge in the 21st century.”

The final outcome was to see two young women selected to represent YWCA Samoa at an upcoming YWCA Asia/Pacific training summit in Bangkok later in May.  From there the next meeting of the YWCA Samoa will be in June where all women are welcome.


For further information about the YWCA of Samoa, please contact:

Maiava V. Peteru

President YWCA of Samoa


Sina Wendt Moore

President YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand


For further details about this press release, please contact:

Hilary Sumpter

+64 27 216 3123

Many thanks to all our funders, without their support we could not provide the important services we do.

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YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand

+64 4 384 8117

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