The biennial Tauranga Chamber of Commerce businesswomen's conference in May aims to expose women to inspiring influencers, says Kathryn Lellman, acting chairwoman of the chamber's businesswomen's network subcommittee.
"There are a lot of women involved in small and medium-sized enterprises in Tauranga who don't have the opportunity to regularly connect with mentors or influencers," she said.
"The theme is 'influencers - the art of leading change'. We're recognising that for women, often there are successive numbers of changes in their careers and they're reinventing themselves, particularly if they're taking breaks in their careers to raise families."
Ms Lellman is a well-known family court lawyer and partner in Ronayne Hollister-Jones Lellman. She is filling in as subcommittee chairwoman for Toni Palmer, who is acting chief executive of the chamber.
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"We wanted to bring together in the conference an eclectic collection of influencers and leaders across a number of sectors to encourage, inspire and motivate women who are doing it on the ground in the Tauranga area."
Ms Lellman said she believed successful leadership resulted from influencing people rather than imposing ideas on them.
Emma Harvey, the chamber's events, training and young enterprise co-ordinator, said the organisers were hoping to attract 150 to 200 attendees to the conference, which was last held two years ago. The conference would be of interest to women at all levels of business.
"Whether you are self-employed, an employee, an entrepreneur or keen to know more about women in business, this conference is for you," said Ms Harvey. "Inspiration from influencers can help women in business become leaders of future change."
The keynote speakers include: business leader Sir Dryden Spring, Denise L'Estrange-Corbet, (chief executive of WORLD), Kathryn Ryan (RNZ Nine to Noon presenter), and actress and entertainer Amanda Billing, who will also MC the event. Ms Ryan and Ms Billing will speak at the Friday evening dinner. Sir Dryden, who was knighted for services to the dairy industry and awarded an honorary doctorate of science by Massey University in 2000, will open the conference on Saturday morning. Ms L'Estrange-Corbet, who co-founded fashion brand WORLD, will close the conference. Other speakers include: Shelley Campbell (chief executive, Sir Peter Blake Trust), Mark Lister (head of private wealth research firm Craigs Investment Partners), Nicola Smith (personal trainer, nutrition and lifestyle coach at Foreverfit), Gemma Hignett and Glen Forgie (brand manager and general manager of marketing and sales at Tui Products), Margaret Comer (corporate services executive at Gallagher Group) and Lisa Denyer and Hilary Cutfield (solicitors with Cooney Lees Morgan, which is sponsoring the event).