Thursday, 31 March 2016

Kapiti’s debate leads change for greater diversity

(L-R): John McBeth, Rotary Club of Wellington President Kerry Prendergast, Rotary Club of Kapiti President Roger Sowry, District 9940 Governor Simon Manning, Louise Nelson, Anna Guenther and Liz Koh who is Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce Chair and Rotary Club of Kapiti Immediate Past President (at the podium)
Words and photos: Hannah Delaney, PR Communications Manager, Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce
International Women’s Day on March 8 was widely celebrated in New Zealand, but in case you missed it, pencil Kapiti’s event in your diary for next year.
The “Is it in the Genes?” debate, jointly hosted by The Kapiti Rotary Club and The Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce is likely to be an annual celebration with over 200 attendees at the celebrity event - not only successfully raising awareness of the issue - but also $1000 for Kapiti Youth Support!
Guest speakers included: former Wellington mayor and Rotary Club of Wellington President Kerry Prendergast; CEO & founder of PledgeMe Anna Guenther; Royal NZ Air Force Helicopter Crewman & former Miss Manawatu Louise Nelson; former MP and politician and Rotary Club of Kapiti President Roger Sowry; Rotary District 9940 Governor Simon Manning; and sports commentator John McBeth.
Event MC Wallace Chapman of Radio New Zealand National, set the debate tone that ranged from Simon’s discussion on New Zealand Rotary and the need for greater diversity in an organisation that has been known for the phrase “male, pale and stale”, to the difference between male and female thinking with Louise’s demonstration of her initiative to use a trolley to transport 52kgs of Army equipment - as opposed to carrying it over her shoulder like her male counterparts!
Voicing her corporate experience, Anna ended the debate with impact, in her brilliant point about climbing the corporate ladder, which was met by a round of applause from the audience.  “We also need to be supporting women through the ranks and supporting them as they go up the ladder… and actually, let dudes climb down that ladder if they want to as well. Heck! Let's change the ladder!”
Stories and tales that all concluded one thing: we have come far in society, but there is still a way to go.
For those who missed it, make sure you save the date for next year, because if this year’s event was anything to go by, you won’t want to miss it!