You've done something right if you earn the title "badass" online.

The badass is a woman who carves her own path. She wears, drives, drinks, watches and listens to what she chooses, when she chooses, where she chooses.

I'm quoting verbatim from an online dictionary collated by cool young people. Parents, badass is apparently the woman your daughters aspire to be.

So congratulations to Sienna Miller for displaying enough badassery to earn that title. And hoorah that she earned it taking a stand for women.


The English actor claims she was offered a part in a Broadway production this year.

There were only two actors in the play: herself and a man. But when she found out she was only being paid half what the man was being paid, she walked away. Badass.

It's fitting she told that story in the same week we marked Suffrage Day in New Zealand. That was yesterday. Big party at your place, right?

You know those dumb questionnaires where you get asked which three people you'd invite to dinner and everyone always picks Jesus, Nelson Mandela and someone off-the-wall to establish their intelligent hipster credentials?

I'd pick Kate Sheppard. I'd love to know how that woman feels about how our sex is faring in society.

Maybe she wouldn't beat us around the head quite as much as we may expect.

Maybe she'd approve of Parliament's portraits of former female Prime Ministers, the women who stand in front of congregations every Sunday, the women running a couple of our biggest cities.

Maybe she'd be stoked New Zealand women are nearly keeping up with the boys when it comes to the dollars rolling into their bank accounts. For every buck a boy earns, we earn a sweet 91 cents.


Maybe she'd be proud that the nine cents between us is the smallest gender pay gap in the developed world.

I reckon she might tell us to use this weekend to celebrate how far we've come, before we glove up again to battle it out some more.

There's no doubt there's still a fight ahead.

One of the biggest signs of how well women are doing is the number of them running companies. One count says only 14 per cent of board members are women.

Two years ago it was 12 per cent. So we're heading in the right direction but at that rate it will still take women another 36 years to fill half the seats around the table.

And women still have to work harder to get those board spots.

When Harvard Business School looked around board tables in New Zealand a couple of years back, 45 per cent of the male board members had what they called "advanced degrees". But 88 per cent of the women had the same qualifications.

So when Kate comes to my dinner party, I'd hear her out and then this is what I'd say to her: Women have done brilliantly, but they have to push themselves harder.

They have to ask for what they want and believe they're worth it. They don't do that as well as guys do. That's a fact.

Men have to acknowledge women equal dough. Companies that have women on their boards earn more money than companies without women on their boards. That's a fact.

Kate would have to accept my facts - it's my dinner party after all. Then we'd raise a toast to Sienna Miller for being a badass, and a world that's grown up enough to celebrate the fact that she is one.