Northland Māori leader Karleen Everitt has been selected to attend the exclusive international Global Women in Management (GWIM) programme, a women's economic development workshop run by Plan International in Washington DC.
Ms Everitt, general manager of Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust (TPWT) and strategic advisor for the Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA), will join other other women leaders from around the world for an intensive four-week workshop designed to empower women in the not-for-profit and civil society sector with leadership, technical and professional skills.
Andrew McNaught, lead country manager for Mobil Oil New Zealand, which is supporting Ms Everitt's attendance, said there was a clear synergy between the objectives of GWIM and those of Ms Everitt and TPWT, to accelerate Māori social and economic development through educational achievement and higher levels of workforce participation by Māori.
"GWIM presents Karleen with a rare opportunity for fresh insights and further development in the economic development space," Mr McNaught said. "Her participation in GWIM will greatly benefit Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust, as well as the wider Northland community.
"It's proven that empowering women helps to catalyse economic growth. Not only that, but knowledge and implementation programmes such as GWIM can have a powerful multiplier effect that benefit the entire community."
He noted Ms Everitt's extensive credentials, which included having been both the first Māori and first woman to chair the Northland Inc board, and governance roles with NorthTec, the Kaikohekohe Education Trust and iwi organisations across Tai Tokerau.
"Karleen has an enviable background in advancing economic opportunities, and access to extensive networks in Māori economic development, which are invaluable at a pivotal time for Northland and New Zealand's growth and development," he said.
Ms Everitt said she was grateful for the opportunity, and that her roles with TPWT and FOMA, which gave her access to a diverse range of female leaders, meant she was in a unique position to share learnings with other Māori women.
"I am humbled that I have been selected to be with an outstanding group of women who are doing amazing things to advance female leadership around the world," she said. "It's fantastic to have this opportunity to develop my leadership skills, and while I'm immensely excited about getting over there. What I'm most excited for is to come back and apply the knowledge gained."
Ms Everitt is the only New Zealand applicant selected to attend the 2018 GWIM workshop.