My name is Anita Scott and I was born and raised in the Netherlands. In the summer of ‘99/’00 I spend 7 months at Massey University in Palmerston North. That’s where I met Ron. He followed me to Holland where we got married in 2004.
We lived in Holland and two years in upstate New York in the USA. We returned to New Zealand in June 2008. We have 2 daughters age 2 and 3.5. I work full time as site manager for DMV-Fonterra Excipients (we manufacture pharmaceutical grade lactose) and my husband looks after the girls.
Early 2009 I joined BPW Hawera and I am currently vice-president Membership & Development and young BPW convenor for BPW Hawera. In Gisborne I put my hand up for BPW NZ young BPW convenor.
I have a lot to learn, since I am relatively new to BPW, but I also have a lot of ideas for BPW. I was a bit disappointed to learn the low number of young BPW members, so that’ll be my first and most important challenge of the year: Raise young BPW membership.
I would like to hear from you and learn what is important to you. What would YOU like to get out of your membership? Understanding what it is the young members are looking for is the key to increasing young BPW membership.
Please help me on my mission and send me your thoughts!
The young Business and Professional woman
- We have 19 young BPW members in New Zealand.
- A bit over half of us are in our early thirties.
- The youngest member is almost 20.
- Highest number in Gisborne (7 young members)
- Highest percentage in Hawera (26%)
- Almost two thirds of the clubs don’t have any young BPW members!
So, how do we attract more young women to BPW?
Well, we are the ambassadors of BPW, so we have to get out there and make sure young women learn about BPW in local newspapers, club expo’s, during local events and via word of mouth. They have to know what the federation of business and professional women stand for.
And last but not least we should be easy to find, so make sure contact information is available and up to date!
BPW for you
BPW focuses on advocacy, leadership, personal development and networking. You might have joined initially for the social aspect, but found out about the good work BPW is doing on advocacy later or discovered the endless opportunities for personal development.
I am developing a survey to find out what first caught your attention when you heard about BPW, why you joined and what you are getting out of BPW. I would like to use this information to help clubs increase membership of younger members. I am also working on a plan to organise a seminar for young NZ women. This will be open for non-BPW members as well, but combined with a meeting of young BPW. I will be asking you for input from you regarding the program for the seminar, so please start thinking about interesting guest speakers, personal development (workshop/ presentation) etc. and send me all your good ideas.
Child care/ Maternity leave
Yes, we’re that age group. Not all of us will have the desire to have children, but for those who do there is the dilemma of what to do with your career. How long will you take maternity leave? And why is there a cap on the maternity leave pay? Info can be found on:http://www.ers.dol.govt.nz/parentalleave/employees/what-is-available.html Please let me now what your thoughts on this matter are. Are you coping?
One of the issues that most young women struggle with is finding the balance between work and the care of a young family. Some of us are blessed with a supportive husband who looks after our lovely children, but there usually comes a time when our partners want to get back into the workforce as well. Then we have to decide whether we would like to work full time or part-time or stop all together. Is part-time work available? Is childcare available? How long are the waiting lists? And what about breastfeeding?
Please let me know what your thoughts on this matter are. What is important to you? What are you struggling with? And what should be addressed to make things better?
If there are any issues you would like to draw attention to and/or motivate BPW NZ to lobby for, please let me know and we can address it within the group of young BPW members. I would like to send at least one remit in for the next BPW NZ conference from us, the young members, to make sure our voices will be heard. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a huge admirer of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and I was delighted to see her on the cover of NEXT magazine this month. It’s good to see that women like her are recognised all over the world. In her case with Honorary doctorates from Oxford and Cambridge, as Honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music, Member of the Order of New Zealand, Honorary companion of the Order of Australia, Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and in 2009 as Maori Business Leader of the year. This last one was a bit of an eye opener, because I never saw her as business women, but of course she is.
Queen’s Birthday is just behind us and I would like to highlight a couple of women honoured this year:
Dame companion of the New Zealand order of merit:
- Mrs Temuranga BATLEY-JACKSON, QSM, JP, of Manukau. For services to Maori.
Companion of the New Zealand order of merit:
- Mrs Alison Mae PATERSON, QSO, of Auckland.
For services to business.
Officer of the New Zealand order of merit:
- Mrs June Airini GRANT, of Rotorua.
For services to Māori art and Māori.
Member of the New Zealand order of merit:
- Mrs Pamela Joan RICHARDSON, JP, of Akaroa.
For services to conservation and the community.
- Miss Elizabeth Lyall WILSON, of Dunedin.
For services to education.
Companion of the Queen’s service order:
- Ms Sandra Lorraine CONEY, of Auckland.
For services to women’s health.
- Associate Professor Susan Margaret ST JOHN, of Auckland.
For services to social policy.
Queen’s service medal:
- Ms Shona Yvonne HOBSON, of Kaitaia.
For services to the New Zealand Police and the community.
- Mrs Sandra McKERSEY, of Whangarei.
For services to education and the community.
Next time you are thinking about who to invite to your meetings as guest speaker, may I suggest you google for the honoured women we have in New Zealand and I am sure you will find some amazing women in your part of the country that can share some of their journey with you.