Karen Pickford

Stoneloch Orchard
What Board(s) are you on?

NZ Avocados, Auckland Growers Ltd.

Are they appointed Directorships or were you elected onto the Board?

Both are elected positions.

Tell us about one of those Boards (other than School Boards)

I am a director of NZ Avocados representing the Mid North. I was elected last year and so have only been in this position for six months.

Do you have a specific responsibility or portfolio on the Board?

I am a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and the Quality Committee.

Did you get on to the Board the first time you tried? If not, how long/how many attempts did it take? Do you think being a woman was a barrier to getting onto this Board?

No I stood three years ago and was unsuccessful. I was elected the second time I stood.

I don’t think that being a woman was the reason I was unsuccessful the first time, it was more likely that I was relatively unknown in the area.

Did you have any governance training?

No – other than experience on other boards during my career.

Are there any other women on the Board and if not, are there any issues for you being the only woman?

3 of our 10 directors are women.

How much time is involved in being on this Board?

It varies depending on the number of meetings I have but probably 15-20 hours per month.

What is the most onerous part of being on the Board?

The information overload – I have to do a lot of reading.

What is the best part of being on the Board?

The information overload – the reading is fascinating.

Do you think being a woman is of value to this Board? If so, how?

Women on boards add balance to the decision making.