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Women in AI for social good

This is a Tech Alliance event

Pricing Information

  • Free for all attendees


From healthcare, to finance, education and government, artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping every part of our lives.  It is also helping solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. However, women account for less than 25 percent of the AI workforce.

Please join our next event to discuss women in AI for social good.  Be inspired by Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh’s vision to increase female participation in AI, for the benefit of all.  She will be joined by a panel of guest speakers to explore female-led AI that’s good for the world.  Join the conversation, network and create valuable connections.



Dr. Mahsa Mohaghegh, Director of Women in Technology and Senior Lecturer, School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, AUT

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh is the Director of Women in Technology and a Senior Lecturer at AUT’s School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences. With a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, she is heavily involved in researching and developing high-level AI strategy in contexts such as the future of work and digital disruption. She is on the Executive Council for AI Forum, and is a board member of NZ Tech representing government and education, and on their sub-board for diversity and inclusion. She was also recently appointed to the board of Variety – the Children’s Charity, an organisation dedicated to supporting children and young people in need across New Zealand. She is an external technical advisor on AI strategy to a few New Zealand SMEs. Mahsa is also the founder and director of charitable trust She Sharp, which aims to encourage more girls to study STEM fields. She was one of ten finalists for the 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. In 2019 she was the Champion Award winner of the YWCA Equal Pay awards, and in 2020 presented with the Massey University Distinguished Alumni Award for community service.


Jacqueline Comer, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Areto Labs

Jacqueline Comer is co-founder and chief product officer of Areto Labs, a social enterprise that uses machine learning to build more positive and inclusive online communities. A lover of words and linguistics, she spent much of her career as a journalist, copywriter and creative director, before pursuing her master’s of technological futures and investigating using natural language processing to surface microaggression in text. That work, along with successfully launching an Areto Labs Twitter probot called ParityBOT_NZ, which uses NLP to combat toxicity directed at women election candidates, convinced her to pivot her career to focus on using AI for social good. She loves reading, traveling, doing crossword puzzles, and spending time with her partner, daughter and four pet chickens.


Kirrily Denny, Head of Conversation and Persona Design, Soul Machines

Kirrily Denny is Head of Conversation and Persona Design at Soul Machines. She plays a pivotal role in shaping compelling digital interactions, by crafting engaging conversational experiences for our state-of-the-art Digital People. Her career has covered the creative direction of award-winning campaigns and television productions for prestigious companies around the world including Mediaworks, Television New Zealand, Nickelodeon Australia and National Geographic Channel. She loves rambling along empty beaches and come nightfall, watching a good movie with a single malt whisky in hand!



Jean Yang, VP and Co-Founder, Onit AI Center of Excellence

Jean Yang is the VP and co-founder of the Onit AI Center of Excellence. Jean worked as a lawyer before becoming the COO and VP of Legal at McCarthyFinch, a legal AI venture that was acquired by Onit.  While there, she helped build the business from infancy to acquisition and lead product and technology development. Jean was named Emerging ICT Leader of the Year 2019 and is a founding executive of LegalTech NZ.



Nikki McLay, Co-Founder and Director  of  AI  Partnerships,

Nikki is a conversational AI writer and developer  with a background in design and art. She is also co-founder of, an award-winning company that has pioneered thinking around the need for machine learning systems to be culturally intelligent and inclusive.




Heather Gadonniex, Growth-Oriented Leader

Heather Gadonniex is a growth-oriented leader passionate about bringing world-changing technologies to market and scaling social impact. She is a data-driven strategist experienced in developing and leading go-to-market, communications, and sustainability initiatives at start-ups and multi-national organizations. Most recently, Heather served as the VP of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Sama, a leading San Francisco based machine learning company focused on producing high quality training data for the world’s leading AI teams. Heather is an active member of Partnership on AI, including spearheading work to create guidelines for ethical data sourcing and enrichment. After spending nearly two decades in San Francisco, Heather recently relocated to Auckland with her family. She is most happy when she’s growing companies that make a positive impact, enjoying the outdoors, and sharing wine and cheese with awesome people.


Event details 

  • Date:  Tuesday 8 June
  • Time: 5.00-8.00pm
  • Venue: AUT, 55 / Room WG308 – Wellesley Street, Auckland
  • Cost:  Free, with a cash bar

This event is Physical only


  • Maps of location here
  • How to find the room here


Special thanks to AUT and She# for hosting this event.





Jun 08
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


AUT, 55 Wellesley Street, Auckland
AUT, 55 Wellesley Street
Auckland, 1010
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