Zonta Woman of the Biennium Award recipient says there is more work to do in achieving equity in New Zealand.
Dr Sarah Leberman, MNZM, received the prestigious Zonta award by the Manawatū club for her contributions to advocating and advancing opportunities for girls and women in sport at all levels.
Her achievements include contributions to Women in Sport Aotearoa as an advocate for facilitating girls and women in sport at all levels.
She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to women, sport and tertiary education in the 2020 Queen's Birthday honours.
The Massey University professor said she was privileged and humbled, when given the award by Zonta New Zealand Governor Souella Cumming at a dinner hosted by the Manawatū club at Massey University last week.
"It is a privilege to acknowledge Professor Leberman with this award," Ms Cumming said.
"Sarah has made a huge contribution to empowering women through advocating for gender equality in sport and promoting participation of women in sport to the highest levels."
In receiving her award, Professor Leberman said she felt it was important to acknowledge that all the work she has done has been a team effort.
"These initiatives don't happen by themselves, so for me it's really important about recognising that.
"Individuals can't achieve that. You have to do it as a team."
Dr Leberman said it was great that the work she has done has been acknowledged, but the journey to achieving equity in New Zealand was ongoing.
"It's essential to me that we strive for equity in Aotearoa.
"We need to think about Māori, we need to think about Pasifika, we need to think about Asian people and equity for them as well."
Dr Leberman said she felt she was in esteemed company with previous recipients including fashion designer Annah Stretton, founder and chairwoman of the Sophie Elliott Foundation Lesley Elliott, and constitutional and administrative law expert Mai Chen.
The Woman of the Biennium Award was established in 2006 and recognises an outstanding New Zealand woman whose contribution to the lives of women and girls in the New Zealand community epitomises the values and aspirations of Zonta International.
Zonta International was established in the United States in 1919. The name was taken from the Sioux word which means "honest and trustworthy".
It is a leading global organisation of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
Zonta envisions a world in which every woman is able to achieve her full potential and no woman lives in fear of violence.
For more information please visit www.zonta.org or find them on Facebook: Zonta District 16.