Who We Are

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Jayne has been involved with Professionelle for well over a decade, taking on the role of Director in 2013. She is well-known for her expertise working with professional women and associated organisations and brings particular expertise in the area of mothers returning to work and those managing the ‘struggle of the juggle’.

Jayne has significantly contributed to a number of the free resources offered by Professionelle, develops and delivers much of the professional development seminars and takes a hands-on role in the delivery of Professionelle’s mentoring programmes.

She has developed a well-known and leveraged Return to Work programme, "Reconnect", reconnecting mothers to life, work and family, which is used across organisations and sectors today. She is also the author of "A Slight Detour" a resource on how to successfully navigate your family and career.

As an executive coach, Jayne has significant experience developing individuals and teams, as well as working with leaders of a wide range of Public and Private Sector organisations.

Jayne has three teenage daughters, and a boy-dog who is named after Freddie Mercury. In addition to the busyness of her household, Jayne likes to keep active by running and spending time on a netball court.

Galia Barhava-Monteith



Acutely aware of the career barriers that professional women face, Galia co-founded Professionelle in 2007.

For more than a decade she has been intimately involved with the success of this social change organisation. She has written much of the material offered for free on the website, developed and delivered impactful seminars to our Corporate partners and been heavily involved with Professionelle’s public events and mentoring programmes.

Psychologist by training, Galia’s professional experience includes consulting, senior executive and governance roles and executive coaching.  She is passionate about mindfully using the best available evidence to drive positive change in society at large.

Today, Galia’s focus is ‘Vitality’. Her work centers around helping individuals and organisations strive for, and achieve vitality, for themselves and through their work.

Galia intimately understands the challenge of living a life full of vitality and wellbeing while dealing with adverse circumstances. Against the odds, she was successfully treated with a combination of chemotherapy and a human-centered approach for a rare, and potentially lethal autoimmune disease. This life-changing experience has led her to complete an award-winning PhD on the experiences of people treated in human-centered therapies for chronic conditions.

Galia has two children, both nearing the end of their school days. She loves yoga, meditation and the great outdoors.

Sarah Wilson Sparkes



Driven by her own experiences and the challenges she saw facing those around her, Sarah co-founded Professionelle in 2007. Sarah’s work with Professionelle has been dedicated to supporting women as they navigate the predictable and core career issues that take place particularly around the time of family formation.

Sarah’s own career flexed from employee to contractor to self-employed. Many years on, it is clear that the journey to gender quality is still a work in progress here, and Sarah remains committed to supporting the cause.

Sarah returned to New Zealand thirty years ago, with an MBA from London Business School and a background in European marketing with Unilever.  Throughout her career in this country, she has worked as a business strategy consultant, for a long time with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), later as a freelancer, and most recently as a Partner with Stakeholder Strategies, a boutique strategy and organisation consultancy. Throughout, she has particularly enjoyed the challenges of consumer-related industries, especially the hedonistic ones, ranging from diamonds, to cruise ships, to alcohol and salty snacks. At the same time, she’s a generalist, as familiar with packaging and paper mills as farm gates and fruit orchards.

Through her children, now adults, Sarah garnered numerous years of governance experience with a Montessori Primary Trust, and, later, drawing on her strategy and marketing experience, with commercial companies.

She relaxes by researching family histories, writing the occasional novel under a pen name, and rowing round and round Lake Pupuke.

Marisa Fong



Driven by her passion to see women succeed in their careers, Marisa chaired the then Professionelle Charitable Foundation from 2012 – 2019. She has also been a regular contributor at Professionelle’s events and seminars, most recently giving her insight and expertise during an online forum offered during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Marisa co-founded The Madison Group in 1998, successfully growing it to become New Zealand’s largest, privately owned Recruitment Company.  Having won numerous awards, it was acquired in 2013 by a public company in a textbook deal that has set a precedent for the industry.

Today Marisa is an angel investor in a portfolio of startups, many of which are led by women.  She also provides consulting services to founders of privately held companies and is in the throes of launching an international skincare range, commercialising a NZ plant extract.

Marisa holds a number of board level roles including as an Advisory Board member for NZ Work Research Institute (an adjunct of AUT), and as a Trustee of Simplicity, a new low fees and not for profit Kiwisaver Fund.  She is also a category judge for Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year and a board member of publicly listed company, Enprise Group.

Marisa is a member of Entrepreneurs Organisation (and past President), an associate member of FKA (Flying Kiwi Angels), NZ Asian Leaders, Institute of Directors, and Global Women and was a mentor for First Foundation for four years.

She has a husband, a teenage daughter and a dog, all mostly house trained.

Hannah Ockelford



Hannah has been a supporter and contributor of Professionelle since its inception. Most recently Hannah has been the driving force behind Professionelle’s public events, where she has curated and hosted popular and entertaining events with some of the country’s most senior professional women. Hannah has also delivered some of Professionelle’s professional development seminars and was a founding mentor for Professionelle’s public mentoring programme.

Hannah spent the first 12 years of her career as a broadcast journalist, working for TV3, Radio New Zealand, Newstalk ZB, but for the most part at TVNZ. She worked for daily news (6pm), daily current affairs, and then long-form current affairs. Hannah worked locally, nationally and internationally.

While completing a post-graduate qualification in business, Hannah transitioned into the corporate world, spending more than five years working in marketing and communications for a global professional services firm.

Today Hannah is contracting and looking after her two pre-school children.