Your Say – Alliv Samson

COO and Co-Founder of Kami

I’d name my autobiography: “A Woman on a Mission.”

To me success means: Peace of mind and knowing that I have made a difference in the world.

Best advice I’ve been given: Don’t let others dictate who you are and who you will become.

I made my first dollar: When I was in elementary school, I sold Spice Girls lollipops, gummies, and other candies in class.

The most rewarding part of my job is… When people personally thank us for changing their lives, it makes me look back at what we have built and realise that the way in which we are affecting people is bigger than any number on our stats board. It is humbling and overwhelming. It makes the journey worthwhile.

Life motto: “Forget regret or life is yours to miss. No other path, no other way, no day but today.” – Jonathan Larson

Favourite book: Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

My goals for 2018 are: To continue growing and building the Kami community.

The women who inspire me: My mother, Sheryl Sandberg, Malala Yousafzai, Gloria Allred, and Melinda Gates to name a few.

The gender stereotype I can’t stand: That women can’t lead.

The main challenge for women in business is: Having an equal voice to men. When women speak, we are interrupted, ignored, or talked down to and when we assert our voice, we end up being labelled ‘bitchy’ or ‘bossy.’ To achieve success in any form of business, we women must be heard more as we bring a different perspective to the table and add value.

We need pay equity because: It is the future. A world with pay equity nurtures and encourages development and improvement for both men and women. Without pay equity, we are turning our back on progress and limiting our society to backward views.

Gender diversity in the workplace is: Vital to success. I am proud of my team as we strive for diversity and equality.

I advocate for change by: Being an example to others.

The change I want to see in 2018 is: More diverse C-suite leaders in New Zealand.