Best-selling author and television journalist Lotta Dann, philanthropist and Kanaloa Rugby chief executive Tracy Atiga and leadership specialist Sally Duxfield will celebrate #ChooseToChallenge at Kāpiti's annual International Women's Day (IWD) event on March 5.
Co-hosted by the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce and its Women in Business Committee and Kāpiti Rotary, this year's event will again raise funds for the Kāpiti Women's Centre.
Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce co-chairwoman Monique Leith said the event is an insightful and uplifting experience for attendees with this year's #ChooseToChallenge theme highlighting that everyone has a role to play in advocating for equity.
"We have seen some profound international movements in recent times including #MeToo, #Ihumātao and #BlackLivesMatter.
"Bringing visibility to equity issues is so important as it results in a heightened general awareness of how inequity hamstrings people from living their best life.
"Having the courage to challenge is not going above and beyond the call of duty to our fellow colleagues, business partners, employees, and friends.
"It is the bare essential that we must mindfully practice if we ever hope to live in a just, fair, and unified world."
Kāpiti Rotary Club president Shirley Stratton said they are proud to celebrate IWD.
"Rotary values and celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion," Shirley said.
"We choose to challenge gender bias and inequality in our clubs and in the communities that we support."
This year's speakers come from diverse backgrounds and offer unique perspectives on #ChooseToChallenge.
Journalist and author of best-selling memoir Mrs. D Is Going Without Lotta Dann will talk about her work raising awareness of addiction and the joys of sobriety, the challenges women face with alcohol, the liquor industry and how she learned to embrace her authentic self and transform her life.
"To me #ChooseToChallenge means be brave, question things, speak up, own your power, and embrace your glorious, messy, emotional self," she said.
Kanaloa Rugby chief executive Tracy Atiga will be sharing her experiences of playing rugby, being the first female chief executive of a professional rugby franchise, and challenging the academic institution as a tertiary student.
"To me, #ChooseToChallenge is a call for wahine to stand firm, speak truths, be open to vulnerability, embrace change and be fearless," Tracy said.
Leadership specialist Sally Duxfield will MC the event.
Sally owns award-winning Outdoor Pursuit Centre, Makahika OPC and has worked with business leaders, corporate teams, and the military.
She is passionate about the neuroscience of forming high performance teams in both the sporting and corporate worlds.
The Kāpiti IWD event will be held on Friday, March 5 at 12-2pm at Southwards Museum.
Lunch will be catered by Party Perfect. For tickets visit the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce website.
The Womanhood Journal
In celebration of International Women's Day, a project featuring women in business from around Kāpiti and Horowhenua, The Womanhood Journal is being released.
The Womanhood Journal is a collection of the stories of 25 local women in business with seven from Horowhenua and 18 from the Kāpiti area, with proceeds donated to Kāpiti Women's Centre and Palmerston North Women's Refuge.
Spearheaded by Kāpiti local Anna Colville-Smith from ACS Marketing Consultancy, Anna said the journal was born out of an idea to share inspiring stories.
"We recognise there is power in sharing stories for inspiration, education, and to uplift others so we chose to share authentic stories from a diverse range of women in business.
"Each woman has bravely written their own story in their own words, in the hope of encouraging others."
Five hundred copies of the Womanhood Journal have been printed and will be distributed across the region including at the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary International Women's Day lunch which will be held at Southwards Theatre on Friday, March 5.
Other copies will go into local businesses and a digital version is available for viewing at womanhoodjournal.nz.
Of the $2000 raised for the project, $1000 will go to Kāpiti Women's Centre and $1000 going to Palmerston North Women's Refuge to be utilised for their work in the Horowhenua region.
The theme for International Women's Day this year is "Choose to Challenge" and Anna said from a challenged world comes growth and change.
"We all need to choose to challenge to help forge a gender equal world and celebrate women's achievement.
"This sentiment was a key thought-starter for each contributor's individual piece in this publication."
The project was a collaboration with Lemonface Design and Deacon Rd to raise awareness for International Women's Day and the group behind it have the goal of it growing and becoming an annual publication that evolves every year.