2017 Women in Business Awards
Women in Business is the premier event in Fiji honouring women and celebrating the enormous contribution they make to the social and economic well-being of Fiji. Westpac has been the proud principal sponsors of the awards since 2003 and has helped to grow the initiative to reach more women than ever before. In 2003 the awards night saw winners in only two categories, Businesswoman of the Year and Executive Woman of the Year. Since then, the awards have gathered great momentum and more categories have been introduced so that women from different sectors are recognised and celebrated. Women are quickly taking up leadership positions at all levels of society, and it is inspiring to see more female ministers of parliament, permanent secretaries, lawyers, ship captains, pilots – positions which were once only held by men, in fields which were once the sole domain of men. It is encouraging to see more and more women being appointed to boards in Fiji. These appointments are based on merit and are a true recognition of women’s personal achievements and capabilities. But these appointments are also an encouraging reflection of the positive impact that diversity brings: increased performance that helps to transform organisations, and transform the way we work and live. There are of course still a lot of women in Fiji who operate in the informal sector, as roadside seafood, flower, vegetable and craft sellers for example. They work extremely hard and provide a better quality of life for their families, putting their children through education and contributing greatly to the economy. Westpac has taken an active role in assisting these women to move into the formal sector, offering financial education and aiding them in learning about money management through banking. In this way they can better manage their business and home finances and improve their quality of life. Some have gone on to grow micro businesses, small businesses, medium and beyond. Many aspire to reach the heights of this year’s award winners and finalists.
General Manager Westpac Fiji, Brett Hooker