Women in Sport Aotearoa appoints two new Board members

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WISPA is delighted to announce the appointment of Mary Gardiner and Jayne Jordan to the Board, effective immediately.

  • Chartered Accountants, Mary Gardiner and Jayne Jordan have been appointed to WISPA’s Board
  • Mary Gardiner is also current chair of Netball Northern Zone and has extensive financial experience in her executive career as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Jayne Jordan brings financial and leadership experience to the WISPA kaupapa, from her current role as Financial Controller for New Zealand Rugby (NZR)
  • The appointment of Jayne Jordan increases mana whenua representation on the Board to 30%

WISPA’s vision is for women and girls to be valued, visible and influential in sport and recreation. Since its launch on UN International Women’s Day in 2017, WISPA has been working to transform society through leadership, advocacy and research, ensuring that all women and girls gain equity of opportunity to participate, compete and build careers in play, active recreation and sport.

Mary and Jayne join just as the organisation prepares to launch a refreshed strategy, through which it will continue to amplify the voice for women in sport and ensure its commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi is applied to all WISPA activities and initiatives. Their expertise is also very welcome, as WISPA gears up to stage the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport, with over 1,200 international sports leaders expected to arrive in Tāmaki Makaurau for the event, 14 – 17 November 2022.

Mary Gardiner is the current Chair of Netball Northern Zone, Orakei Tennis Club committee member and current member of various facilities working groups with Sport NZ, Aktive and Auckland Council. She was previously Co-Chair of Badminton NZ and Chair of Auckland Netball Centre.

Mary is a Fellow Chartered Accountant with a strong finance and sustainability background. During her executive career as a CFO, she has been responsible for regulatory compliance, risk and stakeholder management, acquisitions and business integration. She will chair the WISPA Audit and Risk Committee, a role recently held over the past three years by Nicki Nicol, who recently departed following her appointment as Chief Executive of the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC).

Mary Gardiner said: “I am delighted to join the WISPA team to contribute to our important kaupapa. We have all seen the value and importance of sport and recreation to individuals, families and communities. I look forward to being part of challenging and transforming society to ensure all women and girls have access and can participate, whether as a participant, coach, administrator, manager, funder or fan.”

Reflective of the high calibre of applicants received, WISPA has also appointed Jayne Jordan (Taranaki, Nga Mahanga) as a non-voting associate member, extending WISPA’s commitment to ensuring that wāhine Māori have a voice in all decisions related to their involvement in sport and recreation. Jayne will also join the Audit & Risk Committee.

As a Chartered Accountant, Jayne has extensive finance and leadership experience, including roles at New Zealand Rugby, Xero, KPMG, NBC Universal and Government. She played a crucial part in managing NZ Rugby’s financial position throughout the pandemic, including strengthening and futureproofing rugby in Aotearoa via the “Nga Miro” Transformation project.

Jayne Jordan said: “I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to become part of the WISPA team. Sport plays such an important role in our communities. Having seen the impact that COVID has had on women’s sport initiatives, 2022 feels like a real turning point for driving positive, long-term change for women and girls in sport. I am excited to be able to contribute to the WISPA network’s legacy and to help in advocating, not just for inclusion, but for women and girls to be valued and influential in sport.”

The recent appointments are timely as the country begins to emerge from COVID-19. Live sport, programmes and initiatives for women and girls are making their comeback. The first ‘Big 4’ event, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup opened the year of women’s sport in Aotearoa and globally and soon the Women’s Rugby World Cup will make their mark in October.

WISPA is counting down to hosting the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport in November. It’s a significant event for Aotearoa in that it will attract gender equality experts from around the globe to share insights, strategies and developments that advance women and girls in sport and physical activity. WISPA launched the core programme earlier this month, with over 220+ sessions and more than 500 speakers now confirmed to present. Today, WISPA has also announced a unique set of First Nations initiatives, designed to raise awareness and understanding of the unique challenges indigenous women and girls face when accessing sport and physical activity globally.

Sarah Leberman MNZM, co-chair, said: “Mary and Jayne will provide the expertise and knowledge we need to ensure WISPA’s future after the IWG Secretariat moves to the UK later this year. They offer substantial financial acumen and are passionate about creating positive change for women and girls in Aotearoa. We look forward to their contribution coming into this exciting period of mahi.”

The full membership of the WISPA Board is now:

  • Julie Paterson (co-chair, and co-founder)
  • Sarah Leberman MNZM (co-chair, and co-founder)
  • Louisa Wall (Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Waikato, Ngāti Hineuru Nga iwi)
  • Pauline Harrison
  • Martin Snedden CNZM
  • Erin Roxburgh-Makea (Ngāti Porou)
  • Tim Corbett
  • Kelly Evans
  • Mary Gardiner
  • Jayne Jordan (Taranaki, Nga Mahanga)

Click here to find out more about all WISPA Board Members.

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