Latest newsletter out now….


YWCA Auckland is leading the way in building better futures…..

Please find our latest newsletter here, highlighting:

  •  Latest on YWCA Equal Pay Awards, showcasing and celebrating organizations actively addressing equal pay and entering our inaugural awards system. Winners announced Thursday 10 July.
  • Our social enterprise YWCA Auckland Hostel housing homeless young people, collaborating with Lifewise and Youthline.
  • How you can get involved.

Grads earn less if they are female, study finds


SCCZEN_A_021012NZHRGRUNI05_620x310YWCA Auckland advocates equal pay for equal work, hence why we have created the national inaugural Equal Pay Awards. A NZ Herald article once again highlights why this work is so vitally important, with female graduates earning thousands of dollars less than their male counterparts just five years after graduation.

Read more about the study here.

Equal Pay Awards – Blog Post


Check out Galia BarHava-Monteith’s latest blog post, where she argues that equal pay in New Zealand is the equivalent of modern day suffrage. Her views are discussed in The Herald - Gender pay gap down to ‘subconscious bias’.


YWCA Equal Pay Awards


1st April 2014 – YWCA Auckland is once again shining the spotlight on equal pay, with the national inaugural YWCA Equal Pay Awards, recognising best practice amongst business leaders actively addressing equal pay within their organisations.

Research and statistics report the gender pay gap is still prevalent, with the New Zealand Income Survey (June 2013 quarter) reporting the median full-time hourly earnings for males was $23.67 and $22.34 for females. Therefore, if females were to earn as much as males, the female average income would need to increase by 13%.

More concerning are industry studies. The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants surveyed its own sector to discover that male chartered accountants with five years’ experience or less earn $3,605 more than their female counterparts, debunking the myth that pay gaps emerge when women start families, typically around 31 years old in New Zealand. This kind of evidence is common within other private sector industries.

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards will acknowledge those on the journey to address equal pay, with the YWCA Auckland inviting corporates and SMEs to share their stories of success, inspiring change for wider business.

Those wishing to enter must demonstrate their initiatives.

In 2012, YWCA Auckland and DDB NZ launched the award-winning, ‘Demand Equal Pay’ campaign, highlighting the fact that men then reportedly earned 10% more than women. The campaign cleverly captured what equal pay looked like in reverse by presenting scenarios where men were asked to pay 10% more for products and services.

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards, however, turns the issue on its head by seeking to recognise businesses who are taking a leadership role in this area.

“Equal pay is still a key focus for our organisation,” says YWCA Auckland CEO Monica Briggs.

“In 2012 we were amazed how few people were aware there was a pay gap at all. Today, the gap is wider still and the social and economic impact of this cannot be ignored.

“While it’s crucial for us to raise awareness through hard-hitting campaigns like ‘Demand Equal Pay’, it’s also vital we work alongside the business community to recognise those organisations who are taking the issue seriously. Many corporates are already engaging the right measures to ensure the pay gap is at least reduced in the short term, with a long term view toward closing it altogether.

“Today, as we launch the YWCA Equal Pay Awards, we are inviting them to come forward and share their outstanding Human Resource, Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity programmes agendas, so they can be acknowledged as thought leaders and trail blazers for equal pay.

“We are already aware of some outstanding case studies who we’d love to recognise as part of a high profile campaign that will celebrate and acknowledge a short-list of winners announced in June this year,” adds Briggs.

Through the awards programme, YWCA Auckland aims to share best practice initiatives to encourage and inspire other organisations to start the journey. The awards are as much about educating and informing around solutions, than highlighting the problem.

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards will be judged by a first class panel who are experts in their respective Human Resources and consultative fields, with an in depth knowledge of diversity and change management,  gender equality and equal pay in the work place.

Meet the Panel:

  •  Martin King, General Manager Human Resources, Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd, leads the Human Resources team of one of the most attractive employers in the country supported by outstanding Diversity & Inclusive Culture policies and management. Martin has been integral to implementing 100% equal pay within the entire CCANZ organisation
  • Galia Barhava-Monteith, director and strategic change consultant of GBM Consulting, specialises in end-to-end delivery of Diversity-enabling strategies in the work place. She is also the Deputy Chair at the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) and the founding director of Professionelle Charitable Foundation, dedicated to addressing the needs of all professional working women in New Zealand
  • Susan Doughty is a Director of dsd Consulting Ltd, specialising in remuneration and reward advice to the NZ market.   Susan is an expert in her field with over 15 year’s specialist experience.  She is a certified Global Remuneration Professional and has just completed a contract as GM – Rewards & Mobility at Fonterra
  • Carolyn Savage is the President of Business & Professional Women New Zealand, an organisation with a history of empowering women since 1939. She is also a Senior Architect of the ECL Group

Says Briggs of the YWCA Equal Pay Awards judges:

“Our outstanding panel could not be more qualified to adjudicate entries for the awards. Throughout the awards programme, we intend to profile excellent insights into equal pay and the solutions and strategies available to address the issue.”

The entry cut-off date is Monday, 26th May, with winners announced on Thursday, 12th June.

To learn more about the YWCA Equal Pay Awards, entry details and criteria, visit

 For more information, panel biographies, images or interview opportunities, please contact:

Media Coverage:

Click here to listen to Vanessa Ceelen, YWCA Auckland President talking to Mike Hosking about the gender pay gap on Newstalk ZB.

Click here to read Susan Doughty’s (Director of dsd Consulting and YWCA Equal Pay Award panellist) top five tips for organisations to get on the equal pay journey.

Thanks Scoop for picking up the press release.

NZ Herald article here on the bigger picture of gender pay gap.

SheSays Blog posts written by the Awards panellists – click here.


Click here for Herald article on gender pay gap.


Mentors make a difference….


Congratulations to everyone who is involved in the Future Leaders programme. The programme was featured in the NZ Herald Weekend section on Saturday, 15th March! The article highlights all of the wonderful work that mentors do, and how the programme is able to help girls build leadership skills, confidence, and resilience. We’re very proud of all of you.

Click here to read article.



Ban Bossy!


A new initiative led by Lean In and Girl Scouts in the US is highlighting the power of the words we use to talk about and to girls. As they say, when a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. Girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Check out this video…


And for more, check out 

“Life changing” experience at Outward Bound


Many who attend an Outward Bound programme at Anakiwa come away saying how much it has changed their lives. MacAuley High School student Lose Halatoa is lucky enough to have been part of two life changing programmes – Outward Bound, and YWCA Auckland Future Leaders, a mentoring programme for girls at secondary school, and the programme that made it possible for her to then attend Outward Bound.

2nd group photo

Since joining the Future Leaders programme four years ago in Year 10, Lose has had two mentors, women who have given up their time and energy to help mould Lose into the confident young woman she is today. The mentor she had for the last year and a half, Kelly Davis, is “just awesome” and she says that the Future Leaders team has become like a family. “When I lost my mum last year, everyone helped so much. The YWCA Auckland team, the other girls, they would sit with me and let me talk about Mum,” says Lose.

Being part of Future Leaders also gave Lose the chance to go to Outward Bound this year. “There were 14 scholarships for Outward Bound available from YWCA, and I’d heard so much about it from other people that I had to jump at the offer. I was just so pumped to actually go,” says Lose. Lose made up part of the second ever all-female watch, an initiative created by YWCA and Outward Bound to help empower young women. “Some of the girls in the other watches were jealous, with all girls we got to go at our own pace. It was really great,” says Lose.

Surprising herself with what she could do physically, including lots of push-ups and a half marathon, she discovered that giving up or achieving your goals is “all in the mind.” Lose says that it was the mental and emotional side, rather than the physical activity, that made a real difference. “I always thought Outward Bound was just physical, but it saved me. After I lost my mum last year I was in a really bad place, but this gave me space to think and re-prioritise.” She credits Future Leaders for preparing her for the experience, as well as giving her the opportunity to take on the challenges of Outward Bound.

YWCA Auckland believe in empowering young women to maximise their potential throughout life. With this in mind, the Future Leaders programme was created to provide young women with skills development, new experiences and opportunities to support them in achieving their goals. This individualised leadership programme sees a young woman paired with a mentor, with activities and workshops planned throughout the year by YWCA Auckland. These include an Annual Leadership Forum, camps, creative and physical activities and workshops around goal setting, motivation, public speaking, confidence and more.

“I wish everyone could be a part of Future Leaders, and everyone should do Outward Bound. Words can’t express how grateful I am for both the programmes,” shares Lose. She is now preparing to go down to Otago University, where she is hoping to study medicine – a choice very much inspired by her mother.

As well as the benefits to young women in the YWCA Auckland Future Leaders programme, there is the ‘feel good’ factor for mentors also. Mentors can be any women over the age of 25, who are asked to make at least a two year commitment to their mentee. The mentor acts as a friend and trusted guide, checking in with their young woman fortnightly and meeting once a month face-to-face.

Applications are open now to become a YWCA Auckland Future Leaders mentor for the new intakes of students in 2014.

To apply or learn more, contact Marnie McManus at or on 09 370 0113, or visit the YWCA Auckland website

What You Said….


Thank you to all those who took part in our Future Leaders annual evaluation. Some of your thoughts and suggestions below…

Future Leaders:

Which workshop did you learn the most in? Why?

  • Goalsetting because it gave me a lot of information about achieving our goals and ways to recognise yourself
  • Pathways because it taught me what I needed to know for the future- creating CV’s for jobs, learning about money
  • Everyone was able to share their goals and achievements with one another, and mentors and families were able to socialise and learn more about one another
  • Leadership camp – helped me to realise the importance of team work, and what kind of leaders there are i.e leaders don’t have to be confident and LOUD!! can be shy and quiet; also (most significant change) can rely on those around me
  • Learnt how to budget and to correct my words from “I want ” to “I need”!
  • You learn to self motivate yourself and push yourself to do things out of your comfort
  • When I completed the high rope cause I felt very good about myself it taught me not to give up, I was scared throughout the course but I challenged myself and I succeeded
  • The youth line & Uni talks helped me to realise there is a lot out there and I need to make sure I get out there.
  • Financial literacy because it showed how easy it was to get in debt

What part was your most useful highlight of the year in Future Leaders? Why?

  • Camp (x20)
  • The leadership camp was the highlight of the year – most importantly because of the bond that developed after it. The camp allowed the girls to become more familiar with another and it was greatest experiences ever. We watched each other grow in this programme and the camp brought it all together
  • Being part of SV2E, being able to give back to the programme by providing feedback to improve events… planning/ organising events etc.
  • Being in SV2E, has given my view on leadership a different look, i.e leadership isn’t always glamorous and have to be confident on the outside, but instead of working/ leading from “behind the scenes”. It has changed my look on leadership, you don’t have to be the “cliche” leadership roles, but you can be a quiet role model and still be a leader!
  • Participating in the 10 out of 10 walkathon because it made me see how some girls really pushed themselves to complete the course. Although it may just seem like just a walk, I thought it was great to see how many mentors and mentees came to support YWCA and there was no one left behind
  • I think the 10 out of 10 fundraiser walk was really helpful and showed us how much work really does go into the programme. Made me feel grateful
  • Salvation Army, because it made me think about those who need more than others in the world like financially, grocery wise and helping out the poor to see how much it means to help out those in need
  • Attending all the events, being able to develop a relationship with my new mentor. Its as if we have known each other forever
  • Creating a closer bong with my mentor through workshops. Its a nice feeling knowing I have someone else/ not my family to go to and talk to.
  • Step up, Step out because I caught public transport
  • Getting a mentor who I absolutely love!
  • Meeting new people and making life-long friends. Also being more confident and having a mentor that can talk non stop to and just be myself

If there was one thing you would change about Future Leaders to improve in 2014, what would that be?

  • Nothing (x30)
  • More workshops & more camps & more meetings (x40)
  • Have one member from each school to be part of SV2E, this would help co-ordinators immensely.
  • I think there should be more opportunities for the girls from all schools to get together and get more involved in the community or workshops. For example, the girls should lead a workshop possibly for the junior future leaders
  • Put the girls in real scenarios to practice the leadership skills they’ve learnt in the programme – eg be a co-ordinator for the day. Oh and do another workshop on self worth and appearance
  • We could have challenges with all the other schools. It would be cool to be in groups with your school mates so we can like create a stronger bond with each other and learning more about each other because we do have to work together at school if we are the leaders for our school.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us, anything we can improve?

  • No (x30)
  • Being part of this programme has been a true blessing. It has given me so many opportunities and has helped immensely with the development of the person I am today
  • The mentor relationship I have is amazing to have gained from the programme. Cheers
  • No, I just think this programme is an awesome programme and its definitely helped me develop as a person as well as a leader
  • I just wanted to say a huge Thank You for this great opportunity to be on the programme. It’s been awesome and I have learnt many skills I will have with me for the rest of my life


Name the one workshop/activity you feel benefited your Future Leader the most, and why?

  • High ropes taught her to go further
  • Mentor Camp night was a really enjoyable experience for her I think. She was quite shy in the beginning and mixing with girls from other schools was a good for her.
  • My Future leader is very committed to the workshops YWCA has provided and she has benefited from each one of them. It was a very big achievement for her to walk 10km
  • Camp Waiwera – she was able to play an active leadership role with her peers – able to reflect on all she’d received- affirmed in her ability to make a difference – to stand up as a leader
  • Express Yourself because it was very involving and also increased confidence and communication skills.
  • Pathways helped prepare her CV and give her valuable advice. Great timing as she is the right age to start looking for a job.
  • Pathways because she was able to extend her thoughts re tertiary education
  • Goal-setting – made her think really positively about herself, felt empowered to achieve and understood her learning style. Plus gave us a great chance to bond early on in our relationship
  • Most significant change workshop- great opportunity to formally complete the course and review development
  • The high ropes activity was a fantastic way for my mentee (and me) to demonstrate the courage to actively face our fears together!

What has been your highlight this year in the Future Leaders Programme?

  • My mentee has become more comfortable in our relationship
  • Seeing the Year 10s perform at camp
  • Seeing my mentee go from having a goal or just an idea of what she wanted to do for a job to hear her talk about a career plan to get there.
  • Seeing the support YWCA gives to X as she transitions from School to university
  • The breakfast meetings/catch ups with other mentors.
  • Opportunity for non- judgemental open communication. I learn a lot in this environment about what the life of mentee is like
  • Hearing X had been made a prefect at Tamaki
  • The wrap up day- looking back over the 4 years
  • The high ropes challenge and the resilience activity. Both offer an opportunity for mentor and mentees to interact outside of their comfort zone to build a stronger working relationship through shared experience. The other highlight has been the turning point in the relationship where your mentee really wants to hang out with you!
  • Watching X develop into a young woman. Our conversations are more adult and I am thrilled she is becoming the person she wants to be.

 If there was one thing you would change about Future Leaders to improve in 2014, what would that be?

  • I’d add in an option to record my monthly reports either via skype or voice recording
  • Start events at 10am
  • There are a lot of events on and sometimes I have felt guilty I couldn’t attend them all. I would like to try and get along to more next year and make the most of our last year in the programme together. This isn’t something I would change about the programme. I think what you offer is awesome.
  • Create a facebook ‘private’ members page for each year group and their mentors to be part of. Facebook is huge in enthusing people
  • The mentees have lots of support and positive feedback – but sometimes feel they are not really exposed to the real world outside school ie – as leaders- in business – eg how women in business may have to strive harder to get same status/wages as men ie. oncall 24/7, extra hours/demands of family and children to fit in.
  • Giving an opportunity for free one on one time during ‘workshops’ so they don’t necessarily have to be workshops with set structure all the time. A designated time given to have one on one time for those who don’t have frequent time arranged would be good.
  • I think the programme at Year 12 is a good balance for the girls so I would not change anything specifically. I also like the alternating times for mentor meetings to allow for a wider attendance.
  • Clearer expectations to future leaders and their parents about the importance of their attendance at events and their checking in with their mentor

Is there anything else you would like to share with us, anything we can improve?

  • Really enjoyed being a part of the programme
  • More support for mentors
  • Providing a folder/workbook for the FL to put all the materials they get from the workshops etc into. Also not sure if journalling/reflection is an element which might assist?
  • I think you have great communication channels and are excellent at keeping in touch and providing us with important information. Keep it up ladies!!
  • Well done – Thank You for the effort you make on behalf of women’s future leadership – you make a huge difference to many girls lives and our community here in New Zealand.
  • Keep up the good work. You have an amazing wider perspective as you oversee all the girls in the programme. I am also amazed how much support you give to individual girls and mentor pairs when they are struggling. Thank you to the programme and coordinators for matching up me and my mentee and supporting us through three years of growth. Bring on Year 13 :)
  • Maybe cut down on the amount of emails that don’t affect us e.g. activities for the other years. It gets a bit confusing trying to work out what is relevant and what is not. On the other hand better to over-communicate than under-communicate
  • I applaud your program, because clearly for the girls and mentors who fully participate, there is a huge benefit to both parties…thank you for your generous spirits


What has been your highlight of the year as a Future Leader Family?

  • X’s enjoyment of the activities like high ropes and sailing and the resulting personal growth. Also watching her build a positive relationship with her mentor
  • X has used her leadership skills to lead our family and positively on the church. The future leader programme has changed how she communicates and leads people.
  • Continuing the relationship with her mentor and watching her independence and growth of her confidence
  • My highlight has been seeing the personal growth which has occurred in my daughter. She has really stepped up, using her initiative and doing things without being asked which help and benefit the whole family. Her level of maturity has also grown. There has also been an improvement in her academic achievements. I am very proud of her efforts
  • WOW! this is unbelievable 4 years. As a mother of five kids trying to catch up with everything there is so much throughout the year. Household, school for kids, church sunday school, YWCA with one of my children. As a future leaders family, it helped me a lot to sort out properly our family schedule with everything.
  • Knowing that X is being exposed to a positive outlook to life in many areas. Being involved in good activities and being influenced by ‘good- outside- family’ people
  • X putting her fears aside and going sailing – 10 out of 10 at Waitakere stadium was a great day thank you
  • To see improvement being made in terms of leadership skills in my daughter. Being able to see my daughter contribute to the community
  • Seeing my daughter be challenged in different areas she would not normally be exposed to- especially outdoor activities and seeing her ‘glow’ after accomplishing set task

If there was one thing you would change about Future Leaders to improve in 2014, what would that be?

  • Better communication with parents regarding events and activities, including mentors meeting with girls
  • Having the mentors take more responsibility for outings etc to keep the mentor/mentee relationships stronger. I felt my daughter did more of the organizing rather than the other way around
  • More camps because there is genuine bonding with one another and meeting a variety of friends. More outdoor activities where they need to rely one another – using survival skills eg archery, fishing, pitching tents, lighting a fire, orienteering
  • As parents we feel a disconnect with the programme. However as the student/mentor relationship is the key relationship, perhaps this is not an important component of the programme. Our daughter thoroughly enjoyed her experience at camp. She loved meeting students from another school and the efforts put in by all involved. Thank you
  • In addition to the goal-setting workshop, perhaps having a one to one workshop with future leaders to directly improve any leadership qualities of future leaders and help with any issues regarding leadership to help them grow
  • When choosing new mentors to make sure they realise what a big dedication it is and how available they must be to support in activities and be there for their mentee

Is there anything else you would like to share with us, anything we can improve?

  • For us parents, we would like to take this opportunity to thank YWCA empowering women, Future Leaders, for allowing our daughter to join in. It has been a great privilege, before joining, she was already a Future Leader with her siblings and a role model. The YWCA Future Leaders Programme encouraged her a lot. She has been trying her best in every way. We have realised this by her school results and made us so thankful and become proud parents. About her mentor is a perfect match. She is her second Mum and family, even though we are from different ethnic groups, we do believe it is true that God works in mysterious ways, once again thank you so much and god bless you.
  • If an activity was cancelled – where can it be fitted in again (eg horse riding). More exposure to other leaders in the community and get them linked/involved in something specific- not left up to only mentor and students going out occasionally – maybe skills similar to toastmasters – ie building confidence.
  • Keep it up!
  • No, everything about the YWCA program is great! Its been a blessing not only for my daughter, but our family.

Ain’t no mountain high enough…..


Ain’t no mountain high enough to stop Liz Hunter from helping YWCA Auckland


Manurewa resident Liz Hunter just ran the Kepler Challenge, a 62km Great Walk from Te Anau that normally takes 3-4 days to tramp the length of in 10 hours and 41 minutes, to help an organisation that has a hugely positive impact on young women, YWCA Auckland.

After completing training to become a mentor in the YWCA Future Leaders programme, Liz realised that going on sabbatical next year meant she couldn’t commit to mentoring a student straight away. Instead, she decided to give to the programme by raising $2746.30 to help fund a Future Leader.

“The programme costs $4k per student per year and the girls are in the programme for four years,” says Liz. “I saw this as an opportunity to not only support the programme but to try to raise money to keep it going.”

YWCA Auckland believe in empowering young women to maximise their potential throughout life. With this in mind, the Future Leaders programme was created to provide young women with skills development, new experiences and opportunities to support them in achieving their goals. This individualised leadership programme sees a young woman paired with a mentor, with activities and workshops planned throughout the year by YWCA Auckland. “The thing that appeals to me about Future Leaders the most is helping young women who have potential, but who, without help, may not realise it,” says Liz.

The enormous challenge seemed no match for Liz, although she freely admits that it was “tough – very tough. All except the first 30 minutes was hard.” Liz was inspired to take on the Kepler Challenge after hearing Malcolm Law speak at a team building day. Malcolm ran all 7 great walks of NZ in 7 consecutive days – something Liz doesn’t seem as likely to take on, given that she says if she ever does the Kepler Challenge again, she’d like to walk it so that she can enjoy the view.

Liz had a four strong support crew who could only meet her at the 50km mark and at the finish line, but she was able to share the experience with a workmate who also ran the entire 62km. Says Liz, who is looking forward to getting married and travelling the world in 2014, “the best part was hearing the finish line – you could hear it before you could see it – and seeing my partner waiting there.”

For Liz, the Kepler Challenge proved a fantastic opportunity to give back to the community. “For me, it’s not just about the mountain, but what the mountain represents – life’s challenges and the opportunities we have to overcome them.  I have been working with YWCA Auckland supporting girls in low decile schools to increase young women’s self-confidence by supporting them in different experiences, achieving goals, getting an education and becoming a leader.”

Donations can still be made to Liz’s fundraising efforts here.

To apply to become a mentor or learn more about Future Leaders, contact Marnie McManus at or 370 0113, or visit the YWCA Auckland website 


Feel Good for Free!


Feel Good Postcard

Future Leaders is a life-changing programme where 14-18 year old Auckland girls from disadvantaged backgrounds are paired with a female mentor who helps to develop their leadership skills and resilience.

Mentors play a huge role in the lives of these young women, and gain just as much out of the programme as the girls they mentor. The experience is more valuable than you can imagine, for both parties.

Janet Wilson, a broadcaster and Future Leaders mentor, is a huge advocate for the many benefits of being a Future Leaders mentor. “This is something that involves not only the heart but the head in equal amount if you are to help your mentee. In return you get to give to funny, charming, kind women who teach you as much as you teach them.  I couldn’t recommend Future Leaders more – its one way of having a direct effect on the lives of the community in which you live.”

Future Leader has now been going for over 10 years – something that YWCA Auckland is thrilled about. The difference that the programme has made in the lives of young women is fantastic, and we hope to continue this for as long as possible.

Future Leaders needs more mentors! Think about becoming a mentor yourself, or encourage your friends and family to become a mentor, and help develop a young woman’s sense of empowerment and leadership skills. You won’t regret it!

Contact Marnie for a chat on 09 370 011309 370 0113 or 027 207 5558027 207 5558, email

Next mentor training day is Saturday 1 February 2014.


YWCA Auckland programmes receive generous support from...
  • ASB Community Trust
  • Vodafone Foundation New Zealand

    Gaurdian Trust
  • The trusts charitable foundation

    Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Skycity Auckland Community Trust

YWCA of Auckland New Zealand

+64 9 370 0075