Lowering the Ladder

Welcome to the Lowering the Ladder Series - a selection of interviews designed to inspire, empower, and encourage each other in the health and safety profession. Those times when we lower to ladder to help someone up or are encouraged to climb the ladder ourselves, can be turning points in our lives, supporting us as individuals, and the profession as a whole.

Interview 1 - Susie Ratnakar, H&S Advisor, Boffa Miskell, Christchurch

Interview 2 - Lisa Taylor, Snr Health, Safety & Wellness Advisor, Ministry for the Environment

Interview 3 - Min Tobenhouse, Health & Safety Coordinator, FAST Harvesting Ltd

Interview 4 - Robyn Bennett, OHS Consultant and NZISM President

Webinar Recordings

Women in Safety II

ASB case study - Deb Pitout

Welcome to the first in our "Women in Safety II" series, a bi-monthly online lunchtime session, a space for women to meet and share Safety Differently case studies and journeys, and for ideas to flourish. The series is facilitated by Moni Hogg, a nationally recognised Safety Differently Specialist. With eight years’ experience using the Safety II approach, Moni is passionate about enabling women to lead from the front as visible change agents.

This first session features Deb Pitout’s journey with Safety II, from her backstory as an Innovation Lead for WorkSafe, to her current role as Head of Safety for the progressive NZ owned bank, ASB.


Wellbeing and burnout for women

Dr Amanda Wallis & Bronwyn Moth

Women in the safety profession are often tasked with the responsibility of protecting and caring for others. But who looks after them when the pressure is on? The WISE network joined with Dr Amanda Wallis and clinical psychologist, Bronwyn Moth, from Umbrella Wellbeing to help women put the focus back on themselves.

This valuable webinar covers:
  • what burnout is,
  • what the warning signs are, and
  • how to prevent it.

Developing Māori competency in OHS

Vance Walker

Vance Walker is a recognised expert in pragmatically connecting Māori culture with health and safety. His focus is to develop new Māori based practices that improve risk perception, communication, and use of controls by Māori and vulnerable workers.

In this webinar, Vance takes us through:

  • A history of mātauranga and tikanga Māori and health and safety
  • Building Māori competency by individual practitioners

Women in the workplace as OHS professionals

Roja Gorjifard

While we often hear that health and safety is a male dominated environment, more and more women have been entering the field and making their mark. Roya was curious about the triggers that brought female OHS professionals into the occupation and how they started to make their presence felt. In this webinar she shares the key findings of her research.


Shifting the frantic

Jasmine Harding

The Women in Safety Excellence (WISE) network extends a warm, open invite to anybody who shares the feeling they need to switch down from a constant top gear. In our modern, hyper-connected, “always on” world, many people describe feeling frantic, overwhelmed and as if they are constantly playing catch-up. This mental overdrive often means it can be hard to utilise well-known time management strategies, manage stress, or work productively, and it can feel impossible to ever fully wind down.

In this webinar, registered clinical psychologist, Jasmine Harding, from Umbrella looks at the common factors behind the frantic and explains practical strategies proven to help you maintain calm and control.


Self-Care in OHS: 7 levers to wellbeing

Louise Schofield

In this interactive presentation Louise Schofield takes us through 7 levers to improve mental wellbeing. The focus is on helping you to upgrade your brain and reduce anxiety, and the provision of some practical tools to help break the cycle of low-mood. Louise covers:

  • Lever 1 - Nutrition as it specifically applies to Mental Wellbeing
  • Lever 2 - Movement
  • Lever 3 - Sleep
  • Lever 4 - Nasal Breathing
  • Lever 5 - Cold water therapy
  • Lever 6 - Joy
  • Lever 7 - Self-talk medicine cabinet

This webinar offers new information, inspiration and practical tools that you can immediately put into practice.

Challenges for H&S Consultants in New Zealand

Margaret van Schaik

In this webinar and Q&A session, Chair of the Women In Safety Excellence (WISE) network group, Margaret van Schaik, covers start up tips, the state of the market and some challenges for H&S practitioners who want to move from in house roles to consulting.

Margaret covers topics such as:

  • Business management skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Liability issues for consultants
  • Scope of practice


Cultural Intelligence

Greg Dearsly

Cultural Intelligence (CQ), is a research-based construct based on intelligence research. It is defined as “an individual’s capability to function effectively in a variety of cultural contexts including, national, ethnic, organisational, and generational”.

Anyone can become more culturally intelligent and in this webinar our presenter, Greg Dearsly, explains why this capability is critical to our profession.

Greg has recently completed his Masters in Leadership with Massey University and his findings in the area of cultural intelligence will form the basis of this webinar.


Women in Leadership study:

The current climate of NZ leadership (2019)

Companies with equal gender representation among executive leadership teams claim there are benefits beyond financial. These companies report to be more innovative, more effective in pursuing environmentally friendly practices, have stronger business and equity practices, increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Menstrual Cycles and Mental Health

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is something that most people who have periods will experience. Hormones are powerful, and when they’re fluctuating (as they do before your period) they can make us feel pretty physically and emotionally out of kilter. Sometimes, the symptoms of PMS can go beyond just discomfort, manifesting as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) - a severe form of PMS.

Unfortunately, PMS is common. From bloating and headaches to bad skin and sensitive moods, a whopping 90% of us will experience at least one PMS symptom before our period. If that wasn’t enough, before our period, hormones can also amplify things like anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions we may already be trying to manage. Thanks, hormones!

In this guide, Yoppie explores PMS, PMDD, uncovering the unique relationship between your period and your mental health to help you get on top of PMS for good! There are useful self-care tips and wellbeing advice - how the right diet, exercise, emotional and stress management practices help - it's well worth a read to help yourself and others too.

Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand is a charity that works towards creating a society free from discrimination, where all people enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing through 'The Five Ways to Wellbeing'.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing at Work Toolkit is a stepped guide to improving mental wellness in your workplace. It includes fact sheets, tips, tools and templates to make it easy for you to support your teams in building the Five Ways into their daily lives. The Toolkit can be downloaded as one document or in sections:

Other Mental Health Resources

COVID-19 resources