Co of Women recently inducted Executive Committee of the East Tamaki Healthcare (ETHC) Group of Companies founder Ranjna Patel, icecream company Emerald Foods owner and investor Diane Foreman and fashion label boss Trelise Cooper into its Hall of Fame.
All three women left school by the age of 16 and went on to balance business with motherhood.
“We launched the Hall of Fame to create explicit examples of the diversity of female entrepreneurial success both to honour these women, who have paved the way, and in doing so, to encourage other women on their own journey,” says Co of Women founder Tara Lorigan.
The three were inducted at the organisation's recent annual summit, attended by close to 200 women.
Board members and a previous inductee chose the lastest three honourees according to their national or global business success, industry impact, support of female entrepreneurship and philanthropic efforts.
“These women are supreme examples of the female way of doing business that includes in parallel, motherhood, community and business endeavours," says Co of Women board chair Lee Mathias.
"[They] didn’t set out to be entrepreneurs, they have each done what was important for them to do, and they have done it very successfully, their own way, often against opposition”.
A new category was also launched at this year's event, the Champions of New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs. The inaugural recipient was Joanna Doolan, a senior partner at EY.
Previous Hall of Fame Inductees are: Colyn Devereux-Kay of Les Floralies and Egg Maternity, Anita Finnigan from Best Pacific Institute of Education, Sharon Hunter, tech entrepreneur and investor, James Pascoe Group co-owner Anne Norman, Club Life and Partners' Life Naomi Ballantyne and Les Concierges' Linda Jenkinson.