Inaugural scholarship recipient committed to furthering women in business

A new scholarship supporting more women to study business at the University of Waikato has helped its first protégé, who is now encouraging others to follow in her footsteps.

15 Jun 2023

Left to Right: Matt Bolger, Angie Smith, Ashley Barleet and Simon Tong

Bachelor of Management Studies (Hons) student Ashley Bartleet, who is almost halfway through her final year at Waikato, is the inaugural recipient of the Craigs Investment Partners Scholarship for Women in Business.

The scholarship, launched in 2022, is worth $7,500 and provides financial support for a promising final-year undergraduate female student studying a Bachelor of Business or Bachelor of Management Studies (Hons). It also offers the chance for in-person mentoring with a senior female leader at Craigs’ head office, based in Tauranga.

Craigs established the scholarship to support more women into a career in business or finance, and Ashley was awarded the scholarship in recognition of the dedication she has already shown to the same cause and for her academic excellence.

Since studying at Waikato, Ashley has become a force within the Women in Business community. She joined the Women in Business Association board as Secretary and accepted the role of President this year, all while retaining an impressive straight A academic record. Ashley also received the Te Paewai o te Rangi Scholarship for outstanding academic excellence.

Ashley says she was surprised to be awarded the Craigs’ scholarship but also incredibly grateful to receive the support that would allow her to continue encouraging other women on the same journey.

“Receiving this scholarship means I won’t have to work so much to cover my fees. It gives me more time to give back to Waikato through being an ambassador or through the Women in Business Association, which I feel is important because it has given so much to me.”

Originally from Matamata, Ashley grew up on a dairy farm. In high school, she excelled at social science and business studies. Still, it wasn’t until attending a career expo at her high school, Matamata College, that studying business at Waikato piqued her interest.

“I didn’t realise how many paths you could take with business. There were so many options I hadn’t even thought about.”

Her passion for people and problem-solving pushed her towards majoring in Human Resources and Strategic Management.

Craigs Head of People and Performance Angie Smith says Craigs is proud to be supporting such a deserving recipient.

“Ashley’s pursuit of excellence in her studies and focus on her community are a strong match for our values at Craigs. The Women in Business Scholarship is one of several initiatives we have undertaken to ensure businesses of today and tomorrow are full of confident and talented women. Having a recipient of Ashley’s calibre in our first year confirms the scholarship is a great investment.”

Craigs recently became a partner of Global Women, which champions diversity in leadership, and the Craigs Women’s Wealth programme has been empowering female investors since 2007.

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