Kamala Hayman continues her journalism career as editor of The Press newspaper, taking over from Joanna Norris. Hayman is leading Christchurch’s daily newspaper during a disruptive time for print.
What makes this city stand out as one where women can succeed?
I believe New Zealanders are generally accepting and supportive of talented people regardless of gender, race or sexuality. Despite a general acceptance of diversity, I do think New Zealanders expect our leaders to be almost super human, to work long hours, and to give little leeway for the responsibilities of family. These expectations do create discrimination and I think a failure to allow flexible, family-friendly work practices does limit the number of women we see on boards or senior management.
Do you think having so many female leaders at this crucial time for Christchurch will change how the city looks and operates?
Diversity in leadership is essential if Christchurch wants to embrace the full potential of everyone who lives here, to reach for aspirational goals and to not leave people behind.
Is there a piece of advice you wish you had heard when you were younger?
Be aspirational. Believe you can do it. Self-belief is something many women struggle with. I am not the first to point out that men are more likely to take a punt on a leadership role while women often need to be cajoled into them, regardless of ability.