Geneva Mentors Healthcare’s Future Female Leadership

New Zealand, like many other countries in the world is in desperate need of more health professionals. This is coupled by the fact that 44% of current nurses are aged 50 or above according to a 2016 – 2017 report by the Nursing Council of New Zealand. Having less health professionals means that we can’t achieve our healthcare aspirations as a country.

To help attract more new talent to the industry, Geneva Healthcare signed up as a mentorship partner with GirlBoss, New Zealand’s leading network for young women. Their programme, GirlBoss Edge: Healthcare Edition supported over 200 young women from different regions and backgrounds across New Zealand. A key component involved participants working on an authentic healthcare challenge. Geneva’s female leadership team participated as mentors, including:

  • Toni Gerbes, General Manager, Strategic Growth and Partnerships
  • Lindie Van Wyk, National Clinical Manager
  • Sarah Stevens, National Clinical Manager – Professional Rehabilitation
  • Caroline Fabian, Area Manager Auckland, Community Living
  • Belinda Dodunski, Service Development Lead – Deaf and Support Services

This partnership enables Geneva Healthcare to give back to the next generation and support young people through COVID-19, as well as cement Geneva as a preferred employer for the next generation and continue to champion diversity and inclusion.

I wanted to be part of this experience, encouraging young woman to pursue their healthcare aspirations, as at one point I was in their shoes, wanting to assist people with their journey,

Lindie said.

I wanted to share what I have learnt through my experience at Geneva. In particular, learning from people at the top of their game, including Josephine Gagan, Chief Executive of New Zealand Health Group, and Veronica Manion, Chief Executive of Geneva Healthcare,

Toni highlighted.

The GirlBoss Edge: Healthcare Edition mentoring was a success; 99% of the young women taking part said the mentors highlighted what was possible in the future for them thanks to the connection with their mentors.

Alexia Hilbertidou, GirlBoss Chief Executive, could see the difference in these young women.

We have seen significant shifts in the confidence, career skills, and self-belief of the young women involved…they left feeling empowered in their own ability to follow their career goals,

she stated.

The mentees also raved about their experience. “It was so lovely getting one on one advice from a real healthcare professional. It felt so personal and was so inspiring, I am so thankful,” said a Girlboss mentee.

“Recently, I had my mentoring session provided by Geneva Healthcare; it was truly eye-opening. It was an amazing experience; it gave me a good outlook on healthcare that I haven’t seen before. I love what Geneva stands for,”

says Alexis, a GirlBoss mentee.

Our Geneva mentors were also thrilled,

“I was really impressed to see them so dedicated to this challenge. They had come up with such innovative ideas, and you could see the compassion in their eyes as they discussed how their ideas could help their community, friends and family,”

Belinda said.

“I had the pleasure of meeting the most amazing, competent, socially aware young women. Their ideas and ability to articulate their thoughts, hopes and strategies for a solution based healthcare future was well thought out and inspirational. Each had the vision to make a difference in the world; our future healthcare is in good hands,”

Sarah emphasised.

“I would encourage anyone within our industry to take up this opportunity. The ability to mentor these young women is a fantastic experience for all, including those involved but stretches to the wider community,”

Sarah mentioned.

“We look forward to assisting GirlBoss with future endeavours because as an industry leader, we are committed to supporting the next generation of female professionals to boost into our sector’s workforce, to embed the ‘heart’ in healthcare’s future leadership,”

Caroline concludes.

For more information on GirlBoss New Zealand, please visit