BNZ boss Angela Mentis says she used to believe natural ability and a decent work ethic would be enough to get women to where they wanted to be in the leadership ranks.

"I thought targets were artificial," she said. "I was wrong."

That's what Mentis told attendees at a Women in Leadership conference in Australia this week.

"The reality of women's lives, the extended gaps in our careers due to the demands of families and caring, and the fight against ignorance and unconscious bias require we put hard targets up in lights and shoot for them."


Mentis, who has been