Thursday 17th August 2017


Registration opens


Opening remarks from the Chairperson

The past, present and future of women in law

Stacey Shortall – Partner, MinterEllisonRuddWatts


Unconscious bias in the legal profession

Institutional unconscious bias towards women is prevalent in the legal profession. How should we react when confronted with individual instances of unconscious bias?

  • Understand unconscious bias and its impact in the workplace
  • Examine your own biases and learn to be aware of them and how they impact your life
  • How can you constructively address unconscious bias if you encounter it?
  • The business cost of unconscious bias, and why addressing it makes good commercial sense
  • Is there a need for more forward-thinking legislation to counter unconscious bias?

Professor Edwina Pio  – University Director of Diversity, Auckland University of Technology


PANEL DISCUSSION: Moving up – Career advancement for women lawyers

The journey to success is rarely a smooth one. Examine which career paths fit best with your lifestyle and explore successful negotiating tactics.

  • The ‘push for partnership’ is not the only pathway to the top. What other opportunities exist, and how do you get them?
  • Negotiating tactics for promotions, partnership deals and successful career moves
  • How should you judge your worth in pay negotiations?
  • Understand how a mentor can accelerate your rise to the top, and know where to find one


Stacey Shortall – Partner, MinterEllisonRuddWatts


Caroline Beaumont – General Counsel, Coca Cola Amatil NZ

Alison Brown – General Counsel, Bathurst Resources

Jennifer Page – Executive Director and Senior Counsel, Goldman Sachs


Morning refreshments and networking break


PANEL DISCUSSION: Leadership for women in law – Do we need to be less like men?

Why is there a perception that women need to be hard, masculine and unflappable in order to succeed as leaders? How should successful women break free from the double bind and achieve balance as women and as leaders?

  • Understand the different leadership styles between men and women, and use them to your advantage
  • How do you develop a strong, recognisable personal brand?
  • Communicate confidently with presence – make sure you are listened to and respected
  • The body language of leaders: Understanding unspoken communication
  • How to motivate colleagues effectively, have difficult conversations and inspire success


Stacey Shortall – Partner, MinterEllisonRuddWatts


Nicky Benson – Partner, Step Up

Pip Greenwood – Partner, Russell McVeagh

Cathy Quinn ONZM – Partner, MinterEllisonRuddWatts


Helping clients to understand the wider impacts of bias

The unintentional impact of wider gender biases across all industries can directly affect women’s success in law. What are the best strategies to encourage a different approach?

  • How can you sensitively encourage clients to select representatives based on merit, not gender?
  • How can you diplomatically handle instances where it is expressed that a male lawyer would be preferable?
  • What can law firms do to encourage clients to be gender neutral in their choice for tender?
  • What’s the business case for clients prepared to actively embrace gender diversity?

Shan Wilson – Partner, Simpson Grierson


Networking lunch


PANEL DISCUSSION: Is it possible to have a family and make it to the top?

Client demands of round-the-clock availability and the culture of long hours in the office are not conducive to family life. Is it realistic to expect to achieve both?

  • Do you need to break free from the big firm and go it alone in order to succeed?
  • How to juggle life, family dynamics and the demands of a senior-level role successfully
  • Do you have to be in the office to be an effective lawyer? Understand how technology can help you to achieve balance
  • What areas of law allow for the greatest flexibility?
  • Stories of success – Hear panellists’ journeys to balancing family and work life


Stacey Shortall – Partner, MinterEllisonRuddWatts


Allison Arthur-Young – Partner, Russell McVeagh

Ann Brennan – Chief Legal Advisor, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Lisa Jacobs– CEO, Anthony Harper

Kiri Tahana– Partner, Kahui Legal


Afternoon refreshments and networking break


KEYNOTE: Smashing through the glass ceiling

Be inspired by our remarkable guest speaker – learn how she did it, the challenges she faced, how she overcame them and most importantly, her advice for you.

Deputy Chief Judge Caren Fox – Maori Land Court


PANEL DISCUSSION: What is the future for women leaders in law?

Gender equality will not happen unless the current system changes. How can women today help themselves to succeed in the current environment?

  • A look at the future: A view of the legal profession in 30 years’ time
  • What should we be doing today to ensure the future achievements of women in law?
  • Rainmaker to change-maker – How to use your position to influence culture change
  • What can the legal profession do to retain successful women, enable their success and be recognised as leaders of change?


Stacey Shortall – Partner, MinterEllisonRuddWatts


Professor Ursula Cheer – Dean of Law, University of Canterbury

Deputy Chief Judge Caren Fox – Maori Land Court

Rez Gardi – Young New Zealander of the Year 2017; Solicitor, Chapman Tripp

Catriona Grover – Managing Partner, Kensington Swan


Conference concludes