A dose of kiwi inspiration: International Women’s Day #ChooseToChallenge

Written by Rachael Frear.

Hosted by New Zealand Business Women’s Network & Kea New Zealand.
Review by Rachael Frear

What an amazing night hearing from three of New Zealand’s greatest female success stories - chef Monica Galetti, London Bridge Hospital CEO Janene Madden and fashion designer Emilia Wickstead during this year’s International Women’s Day event to discuss the theme: Choose To Challenge.


My top highlights:
1. Kiwis have a phenomenal reputation in the UK for our “roll up your sleeves, get on with it attitude”
When I made the move from NZ to the UK, I had heard about the reputation of our Kiwi predecessors, speaking to our can-do attitude, work ethic and resilience. All these values shined throughout when hearing Monica, Janene and Emilia speak about their upbringing, careers and lives.

The panelists came from very different professions; however, all discussed this similar kiwi nature when facing challenges too, with Emilia explaining “we have that roll up your sleeves, get on with it attitude and I think that was something that was instilled in me from a very young age from my mum”. Throughout the event, you could feel the love and admiration Emilia has for her mum as one of her biggest inspirations and supporters.

Our Stories: Jodi Zervos

Written by Nicola Cockroft.

Struggling to make herself understood at the mobile phone shop and stifled by the humidity on the walk there, Jodi Zervos found herself wondering if she’d made the right decision moving to Hong Kong a few years ago. “It was hard at the beginning. It takes time to get to know a place.” But her kiwi determination kicked in, she gave it time and eventually settled in.Jodi Zervos

Jodi has always had a sense of adventure. She moved to Cairns from Auckland when she was 18, where she discovered her passion for diving around the Great Barrier Reef. There, she also started her career in hospitality. It wasn’t what she’d planned, but she’s philosophical about the paths we end up on. “Everything in life is an opportunity put in front of us,” she says. “I always ask myself: Am I learning? Am I growing? And if it feels right, I follow it.”

So when bitten by the travel bug, she started a new adventure in the UK, travelling and exploring for a number of years. She also worked managing catering contracts for the British Museum and the Barbican.

Review: Business Book Club: You're not Listening

Written by Nicola Cockroft.

Author: Kate Murphy 

“Listening is the neglected stepchild of communication.”Not listening

Have you ever been bored when someone is speaking to you and counted down the minutes until you could extract yourself? Turns out, part of the problem could be you, or at least your listening skills.

The author of this book, journalist Kate Murphy, shared many examples of how she, and others, have uncovered some wonderful stories or resolved issues that wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t listened well. Murphy suggests we can uncover more interesting stories and information if we give the speaker time to talk, stay curious and ask them questions that delve further into what they’ve already shared.

Our Stories: Emma Keeling

Written by Nicola Cockroft.

Ahead of International Women’s Day we caught up with Emma Keeling, who will the MC for our headline event on Monday 8 March.Emma Keeling

Whether it was fighting it out with the boys on the football pitch or fending off nay-sayers as the only woman in the newsroom, Emma Keeling has certainly had her fair share of challenges.

A journalist for 25 years, Emma started in radio and ended up in TV. She worked on a variety of news and current affairs shows in New Zealand before securing the Europe Correspondent role for TVNZ.

“I thought I knew what I was getting myself into but two years of terror attacks and Brexit soon made me realise I didn’t, but I had to just get on with it. Looking back, I feel proud of how I adapted and the stories I told.”

She feels “chuffed” to host the NZBWN International Women’s Day event with this year’s theme ‘Choose to Challenge’. So what has she found most challenging in her life? “To be honest keeping those little voices in my head quiet and getting out of my own way. Although men come a close second,” she says with a grin.

Emma was born in Auckland and grew up in Kerikeri. She wanted to play football but there was no girl’s team, so she played with the boys until her dad pulled her out when she hit puberty. “I was furious, but I ended up on the golf course caddying for him one day when I was bored and that’s when I started playing.”

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