NZ Business - - COVER STORY -

Prom­i­nent lawyer Mai Chen, who sits on the board of the BNZ and has just launched the Su­perDi­verse Women ini­tia­tive, says it is im­por­tant for CEOs to pick their bat­tles, re­mem­ber­ing they are the CEO of a com­pany, not just speaking as an in­di­vid­ual, and they are not ac­tivists. She sees thought lead­er­ship as a bet­ter way to go.

“In my own life I think hard about the role I am in, whether as ad­junct professor at Auck­land Univer­sity, manag­ing part­ner of Chen Palmer, a mem­ber of the BNZ board and am care­ful about who I am rep­re­sent­ing.”

Look­ing at it from the per­spec­tive of her new en­tity, Su­perDi­verse Women, a thoughtlead­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion which aims to broaden how di­ver­sity is viewed, Chen sees it as an ini­tia­tive that is good for busi­ness, our econ­omy and for New Zealand.

She sees a real re­spon­si­bil­ity for lead­ers to be thought­ful about what they are say­ing and a need to think about what ar­eas their com­pany should be lead­ing in.

At the end of the day, lead­ers have to cal­i­brate whether [the is­sue] is worth dy­ing in the ditch for, she says.

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