Kate Gatfield - Jeffries (Middlemore, 2015/16). OC of the Month - March 2022.
Tuesday, 5 April 2022

For our March OC of the Month we speak with Kate Gatfield - Jeffries (Middlemore 2015-16)

Kate was head of Middlemore house in 2016 and after completing a Law and Commerce degrees in 2021 from Auckland University, Kate is now making waves in her field, having won the EY Global Corporate Finance Woman of the Year 2021 from a pool of nearly 3,500 women worldwide, she then went on be named as the 2021 Westpac Women of Influence Young Leader Winner. Kate is also on the
International Finance Student Association (IFSA) global 25 under 25 list.

Kate is deeply passionate about championing young women to succeed. In 2019, she co-founded the Women in Law mentoring programme, which has since supported over 500 women. Kate has helped launch similar initiatives across other University Faculties and abroad. In 2021, she was the Co-President of Women in Business which launched a new programme for 60 students, providing women with career opportunities in male-dominated pathways. 

We were delighted to welcome Kate to take part as one of our amazing panelists in our 2022 International Women’s Day Forum and Breakfast at the College with this year’s theme being Break the Bias. The forum had to be run virtually due to Covid restrictions and was live streamed into each of the Girls Houses so staff and students could take part in the discussion.
In her OC of the Month interview, Kate shares with us some memories of her time at King’s and gives us an insight into the important work she is doing now as an entrepreneur and diversity champion.

Old Collegian of the Month
  • When you were at King’s College, what did you want to do for a career after you graduated?
I was set on becoming either a lawyer or businesswoman, so I covered my bases and enrolled in Law and Commerce degrees.
  • What is your best memory of your time at King’s College? 
The lively debates and robust discussions in my philosophy class with the late Rev Murray Bean. In hindsight, not much course work was completed but the lessons on life values have stuck with me. Murray gifted me the book Affluenza: How to be successful and stay sane by Oliver James. I keep it on my bookshelf as a reminder of what truly matters in life.
  • Which staff member do you remember most favourably from King's College and why?
Julie Kerr, an all-round wonderful woman with an excellent sense of humour. She taught me English Literature and certainly pushed me to think critically, work hard and be confident.
  • What advice would you give to your school age self?
Don’t fear failure – you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!
  • Tell us about yourself now and what you do for a career?
Over the past five years, I have had the privilege of working alongside hundreds of young women, listening, and learning about their struggles and aspirations. These experiences have been the catalyst for starting Moodi, a women-centric mental wellness brand.

Moodi is founded upon the belief that feeling mentally energised, confident, and motivated is just as, if not more, important than how you look. The importance of protecting and improving mental wellness is heightened now more than ever, as we face a mental health endemic and the effects of Covid-19 on all facets of women’s lives.

  • What does/did your job involve? 
As an entrepreneur and diversity champion for young women my days always look very different! I am grateful to be working at the intersect of my two greatest passions; uplifting women and using entrepreneurship to achieve far greater impact and change than ever possible alone. Currently with Moodi, we are focused on being a TikTok-first brand which involves a lot of content creation and community building. 

TikTok is a great platform to authentically engage, educate and inspire. It is relatively untapped for brands, so my business partner and I have also founded Wave Seven, Australasia’s first TikTok-exclusive marketing agency. 

I spend a large portion of my time mentoring other young women and collaborating to develop new diversity and inclusion programmes. My next big project in this space is a global initiative with EY.
  • What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Taking risks and backing myself.
  • What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
Winning EY Global Corporate Finance Woman of the Year. I am most proud of this achievement because at school I struggled with maths, dropping the subject in year 11. As a university student, I was rejected for business jobs due to my maths results despite meeting relevant criteria.

I worked relentlessly to improve my own numeracy skills, hoping to be a role-model for girls in finance and business. Given I come from a non-traditional finance background (studying marketing and management), this accolade also demonstrates the importance of diverse skillsets and experiences. I tell other young women don’t be afraid to draw on your unique strengths to deliver different insights and perspectives. Take a seat at the table, but more importantly, be confident in speaking up.
  • What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
More sunshine! I am off to the Caribbean on a one-way ticket later this month for an adventure (and no doubt more sun!).
  • What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
I would want the company of a good friend, a hammock, and a surfboard (because maybe if I’m deserted, I would have time to learn!).  
  • How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who made the world a better place for women and girls.

If you know and old collegian that would make a great 'OC of the Month' then please get in touch with Nicola Davies, Executive Officer for the KCOCA at: n.davies@kingscollege.school.nz