It has been 125 years since New Zealand gave women the right to vote, and yet many of us still face a battle for fair representation amongst the workplaces, the industries, and the private and public sector companies that drive our economy and our livelihoods.
It almost seems like you can’t go a day without hearing a statistic about the under representation of women at a senior level within a particular industry. Whilst it is important to look at how far it is that we have to go, I think it is also important to look at how far we have come and what lessons can be learnt from the many New Zealanders who have pioneered the way into top positions in some of our largest and most male-dominated companies.
On 16 February, we launched our inaugural Journey to Excellence forum – a logical and inevitable turning point in the life and evolution of M2woman, celebrated with an incredible panel of trailblazing women – Theresa Gattung, Naomi Ballantyne, Justine Smyth, Linda Meade and Tracey Cross – who are at the forefront of business and efforts in this country to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Let’s face it, it is precisely through such women in leadership that greater political, social and economic development for all can be enabled.
With such an amazing audience of New Zealand women to connect with, we decided it was time to help push these critical agendas forward in a pivotal way. It is important to look at statistics and percentages, and to talk about the problem from a macro perspective but we also want to share the personal and individual battles, failures and successes of the women who are countering those statistics. Ultimately, it is about sharing these lessons and creating actual action points for change, and you are such a vital part of carrying these lessons and calls to action into your workplaces and your networks – and also of course, into your own outlook. This is M2woman Journey to Excellence.