International Women’s Day celebrates the economic, social, cultural and political achievements of women, while continuing to push for gender equality. This year’s theme is Each for Equal; collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.
On Monday 9 March we were joined by six inspiring speakers at simultaneous events held in Christchurch and Dunedin, to reflect on what diversity and equality means to them, and how they have navigated (and overcome!) potential barriers and challenges to pursuing their careers.
SIGNAL, joined by Lentune Software Solutions, Onside, EPIC, CerebralFix and Drive Software, hosted five inspiring women in business to 120 attendees at EPIC. They came came together to share their stories and to shine a light on gender bias.
Delphine Ducaruge, General Manager at Orbica spoke about "what we can do to help fight bias at home, in social environment and at work. The biggest bias is our own. We're hard wired to believe men are better than women".
Cate Love, Communications Specialist at Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research and Les Mills fitness professional has a passion for helping people to feel empowered and good about themselves through group fitness. Cate shared her message of how the power of fitness to change and uplift our physical and psychological well being.
Phillippa Jacobs, Founder, CEO at Pinnacle&Co. Ltd, current Chair and former President of Zonta Christchurch, is passionate about empowering woman to have a more rich fulfilling life. Drawing on her past experiences, she shared the importance of standing up for women in New Zealand and internationally who are unable to do so themselves. "We can get more women involved to help speak for those who need to have a difference made to their lives, where they can’t speak for themselves or just need a hand reached out to them."
Michelle Polglase, Director at MindsetLab spoke about the power of the mind, self belief and confidence, in getting her through the 2-day individual Coast to Coast multi-sport experience. "I learned a lot about what I am capable of. By taking on the trail in bite sizes and continuing bit-by-bit, I completed the entire course - never give up!"
General Manager at CerebralFix, Nadia Thorne touched on the three ways most of us are subtly sexist in the workplace, and how to develop more responsive and positive leadership qualities.
In Dunedin we celebrated with special guest and TIME's Next Generation Leader, Rasha Abu-Safieh. Rasha shared her incredible story of fighting unemployment in Gaza, by connecting young Palestinian's with the world and providing hope to over 600 tech-savvy Gaza youth through GGateway - an Impact sourcing social enterprise in Palestine.
Coming together to share stories is what makes us feel connected, included and that we are all in this together. We would like to say a huge thank you to our contributors and sponsors: Lentune, Onside, EPIC, Cerebral Fix, Drive Software, and MC Wendy Rockhouse, with support from Jo Murray and the SIGNAL team.