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IWD 2021 - Nicole Edridge, ​Sanitarium

Published on 10 Mar 2021
Advice Trao


Join us as we celebrate International Women's Day over a month of special features, interviews and videos!

This global day recognises the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, with a mission to champion women of all backgrounds who dare to innovate, lead, and uplift others towards a more equal and inclusive workplace. At Human Synergistics, our mission is “Changing the World – One Organisation at a Time™” through developing effective leaders, innovative teams and positive workplace cultures, but we can’t do that without the help of our incredible network.

This year, we are taking the opportunity of International Women’s Day to celebrate a month of women in leadership and those that strive for constructive leadership and cultures.

As part of our series, we interviewed Nicole Edridge from Sanitarium New Zealand about her key insights into constructive leadership.


Nicole Edridge

Nicole Edridge
People and Culture Business Partner – Auckland Manufacturing, Sanitarium

Tell us a bit about when and why you first became accredited? I started my accreditation process about 2 years ago, not knowing anything about LSI - I hadn’t even heard of it before.  This was part of the leadership and culture programme in a previous role, and a lot of the HR team were getting accredited.  I was in a funny place personally and professionally, having just returned from parental leave and struggling to find my place back at work where there had been lots of changes in my absence.  I really didn’t appreciate at the time the opportunity that I was being given.

What are some key insights you’ve learnt through this tricky Covid-19 time around constructive leadership?  A key insight for me was the impact of leadership on a team.  While a leader may generally be considered ‘constructive’, in times of high stress, when tension is high and people are uncertain, people naturally become more vulnerable.  Insecurity driven behaviours can start to emerge, driving poor behaviours within teams.  The role of the leader is even more critical to ensure clear and consistent communication - both verbally and through their actions, and not just on what needs to be done, but the way in which the leaders expect their people to behave.

While most businesses are embracing the new buzz word, and “pivoting”, it’s important that leaders ensure everyone is being brought along on the journey, and not left in a head spin with all the change going on around them.

What have you personally learnt about yourself in responding to the challenges of 2020/21 and the pandemic? I guess the biggest learning for me during this time was with my own LSI journey.  I realised that I wasn’t happy and that I wasn’t being true to my-self.  I also recognised that I wasn’t responsible for other people’s journey, only for my own.  This helped me immensely to take back control of my future and make some big decisions.  When there is so much that is outside of our control; Lock-downs, restrictions, uncertainty etc, it’s important to focus on what you can control.

What does the 2021 International Women’s Day slogan, #ChooseToChallenge mean for you in your work life? “Choose to Challenge” for me means throwing caution to the wind and saying what’s on your mind – obviously in a constructive way (tact was never my strong point so it’s a work in progress for me). 

What’s the worst that can happen?  The world doesn’t need more people who passively sit by and watch, we need to speak up!


SanitariumAt Sanitarium Health Food Company we’re a passionate group of people who believe in the potential of every Kiwi to live well. The potential to be healthy - physically and mentally. The potential to be happy. And we believe this starts with simple, good nutrition because what you feed your body and your mind, changes the way you feel.

In 1898 Sanitarium started making health foods in Christchurch, and long before it became trendy, we were promoting the benefits of wholesome plant-based foods. We did this to give New Zealanders healthier choices and we’ve been doing it ever since. Today, we’re the nation's largest health food company and we're still 100% New Zealand owned.