The Professionelle Story

Helping to advance women’s careers

Professionelle began in 2007 with an idea to create an organisation dedicated to advancing women’s careers by researching, understanding and addressing the needs of all working women in New Zealand. It was co-founded by Dr Galia Barhava-Monteith and Sarah Wilshaw-Sparkes who saw a real need to support professional women with this unique.

Six years later, in August 2012, Professionelle was transformed into a charitable trust called the Professionelle Foundation. Galia and Sarah wanted to broaden its reach and to align further with its public good aims. Soon, Professionelle’s founders were joined on the Foundation’s Board by four more hard working Trustees.

Having made an indelible mark in the professional success and happiness of many of Professionelle’s members, Galia and Sarah were ready to embark on new paths. In 2019 the organisation was de-registered as a charity and its intellectual property handed on to Jayne Chater, a professional coach whose focus has always been on women and the workplace. Jayne has also had a long-standing involvement with Professionelle as a member of the board and active contributor. This approach has enabled the incredible work of this organisation to continue under new leadership.


Research-based material combined with practical advice

Professionelle has always focused on delivering research-based material combined with practical advice. One of its unique offerings has always been the wealth of free information available on its website – a culmination of insight, wisdom and experience from professional women across many industry’s and sectors. This incredible resource will always be a hallmark of this unique organisation.

Beyond the online material, Professionelle has tailored its offering to women keen to progress their careers. It has worked with its corporate partners to deliver in-house training and mentoring programmes and has delivered the same publicly.

Professionelle has also become renown for its public panel events which have featured some of the countries most high-profile female leaders. Over the years these entertaining, enlightening and accessible events have stood out on the calendar.

Supporting professional women

Professionelle’s ethos has always been about supporting professional women. Covid19 was an opportunity for its contributors to re-think how the organisation could continue to provide support during a time of immense change and uncertainty. The team offered an online ‘insight series’ focusing on health, finances and career.

Today, Professionelle continues with Jayne at the helm. As the working landscape continues to change along with the needs of professional women, Professionelle will also keep responding and evolving.


Ready to find out more?

If you would like to find out more about our resource programmes and how they might benefit you or your organisation, please contact our Director, Jayne Chater on or 021 779 967.