Vice President – membership

May 2011

How would I, as Vice President, support the President in her efforts to empower the clubs to make a difference through Advocacy and Action?

A key duty for any Vice President is to support her President, so to begin with I would need to be clear on her thoughts, with a view to communicating her ideas effectively to the clubs.

On the other hand it is just as important that the President understands what your thoughts are at club level.

As Vice President it would be my responsibility to ensure effective face to face and telephone communication is maintained between clubs and executive.  No great changes to what is already in place, perhaps just a little reorganisation to ensure all clubs have a lifeline to the executive and renewed enthusiasm to bring the focus of BPWNZ clubs back to the intention of our founder.

Perhaps there needs to be a clearer understanding also that Advocacy within BPW is the simple act of speaking up or taking action on behalf of women.

This could be at an individual level, for instance there may be a member of your club who has an employment challenge; you as an individual, could advocate for her.  At local & community level, there may be an issue that as a club you could advocate for.

As clubs we all have the opportunity to put forward remits to conference on a national level that the whole of the Federation will support, and which could very well go on to make a difference internationally.

You as individuals and as club members, know what is possible in your clubs and opportunities need to be directed back to the President for her executive to be able to support and assist if necessary.

t should not be the sole responsibility of the Vice President, but the whole of the organisation, to support their elected representative.  Only through unity are we going to be able to achieve Empowerment within the clubs through Advocacy and Action

Lyndy Jackson

BPW NZ First Vice President


April 2011

Looking at the Basics…..

This month’s report is prepared on some back to basic tips for clubs members, the committees and club Presidents:

1.  Being proactive, identify areas that are relevant for your club in its                    current format:

•  noting what fractions are working well together

•  which areas need developing

•  identifying if the same women are doing the same roles, are there   new tools being introduce or other ways of sharing roles being   explored

•  look at who should be approached to visit the club, be a keynote     speaker and would they provide a different perspective or        approach.  Can they provide new ideas?

2.   Promoting what your club is doing successfully in your    community:

•   projects that members support

•   events that members wish to participate in, it only needs to be a     few to still have an impact in the community

•   provide examples of how the club is promoting itself

•   celebrate your club’s achievements through the national        newsletter, let everyone know when you have achieved a small or     large success, each one is a story to celebrate.

3.  Welcoming other women from clubs or other organisations:

•   look at upcoming speakers, issue personal invitations to women      in business who you think would be interested in attending

•   plan a community event, invite collaboration with other          organisations to participate for example the success of the UN Women/Zonta events on International Women’s Day

•   arrange a special Combined Service Women’s Dinner in your          area, have each group provide a brief report of what they are        doing, how many members they have etc.  It is a fun way of        finding what others are doing and the challenges they too face with membership.

On a final note I would like to congratulate all the women around NZ who have registered for conference.  At the time of preparing this report there were 93 women registered.   I would like to thank you all for your continued support within your clubs and in turn to the Federation.  You are the foundation that provides the support for the Executive to continue to work for you and for all women of NZ.

Kindest regards,

Carolyn Savage, BPW(F)

BPW NZ 1st Vice President

Email:, or

March 2011

Clubs – Membership and the Success of BPW.

It was a pleasure meeting with members at the recent Leadership Forum which provided the opportunity to listen to some interesting speakers and to learn from some of the current Club Executive Officers the issues and challenges that many face.   Only eleven clubs were represented at this event but it certainly reflected that there are common factors that many clubs share and it is not limited to the size of a club.  There are challenges that Presidents of both large and small clubs have, for example not getting enough members to step up into committee roles or the same women doing it all.

It was noted in the feedback form that my presentation was “very relevant, could’ve planned more time, too much content too fast” it was true on all accounts as there was a huge amount of information that was compiled to pass on to members but 15mins was just not enough time to cover all the issues highlighted, so I have offered the powerpoint presentation to any club that would like a copy, just send an email and I will forward it to you.

From the Membership Brainstorming meeting in January there were a number of items and tools that were identified, thanks to BPW NZ Life Member/Past President Joan Bielby who passed on information that she in her turn was given from a previous member of BPW, the three Ps and as PP Joan Bielby noted it should be the four ‘Ps”.  I presented this concept to clubs in the greater Wellington area that BPW NZ President Angela McLeod and I visited on the 14/15/16th January and then President Angela McLeod announced it in her opening presentation to members at the Leadership Forum (acknowledging PP Joan Bielby) and certainly more detailed information is available in the powerpoint presentation.  So what are the four ‘Ps’:

  • Promotion: how a club promotes itself in its local area, is there a club brochure, is it relevant and up to date, the club newsletter does it include a biography of the speaker, news of local, national and international events and what other tools are used, for example the local media or a club website.
  • Programme: how detailed is the club programme, are speakers planned for a whole year or is there flexibility to allow for other events to be inserted?  Having a clear programme with a majority of speakers confirmed will allow the members to promote, in advance, upcoming events and speakers.
  • Projects: having some specific projects identified early in the year will provide members with some clear aims, goals and directions.  This will allow for members to say how they would like to participate and will assist in the sharing of the workload.
  • People: the success of BPW is through its members, without members you do not have a club, but it is important to note that it is not how small or big a club is, if there is not support and encouragement then the very structure of the club can be undermined.   How a club is promoted by its members in the wider community will also impact on its potential growth and future sustainability.
  • Professionalism: finally my ‘P’ added to this equation, we are an organisation that promotes business and professional women, therefore we as individuals must be professional in how we deal with each other within the club, within the community and through our communications with each other.  My challenge to every member is are you being professional inside the club/organisation as you would be with your work colleagues?  Do you come to work together or have you a separate agenda, do you look to provide support or are you there to undermined others?  Remember we are a volunteer organisation and respect should be given to everyone you work with, you don’t necessarily need to like them, but you should always show courtesy and respect.  I believe in the old saying “treat others as you yourself would like to be treated.”

Finally: I look forward to seeing you all at the BPWNZ 47th Annual Conference, Waipuna Hotel, Mt Wellington, Auckland on the 2nd April 2011.

Carolyn Savage, BPW(F)

BPW NZ 1st Vice President

Email:, or

February 2011

Welcome to 2011.

With the New Year now underway, some clubs will have taken the opportunity to meet informally, others will be having their first dinner meeting and welcoming back members they last saw in December (or November for some).

Membership Tools & Guidelines for the Future……

Upon reviewing the various membership levels and some of the issues different members and clubs around the country have presented it was decided to do something very different in approaching the challenges including holding a membership brainstorming meeting in January 2011 and warm thanks are extended to the following women for making time to meet:

  • Past Presidents Joan Bielby (who was our hostess), Dianne Glenn and Anita Devcich
  • Imm Past President Faye Gardiner
  • Colleen Brooker (past Executive Member & Badge of Honour Recipient (2010)), Auckland
  • Melissa Jones, YoungBPW, Auckland
  • Robyn Davison, Individual Member, Christchurch

The tools and guidelines that developed from this meeting were used as a basis to discuss ideas and solutions for three clubs in the Greater Wellington area after being invited to meet with them all.  The same offer has been and is extended to other clubs if required.  It provided an opportunity for members to identify concerns on the clubs current direction or obtain additional ideas to have members’ participation.  It is important to note that it is not the size of your club that counts, there are similar problems experienced by Presidents with 80 members or 10.  It is often assumed that it is easier for a larger club but if you don’t have your members support or have women share the workload then it can be the same story “the same women are doing it all the time……” Our strength is through the participation of everyone, be it a small role or a large one and the women we meet along the way.  So something to think on “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down…” Oprah Winfrey, American television personality.

Club Presidents/Secretaries: please send through a copy of your existing Club Constitutions/Rules to ensure the Federation records are up to date to the 1st Vice President – Membership, C/- PO Box 409, Waiuku 2341, or email to  Thanking you in advance for your assistance in this matter.

Upcoming Events to diary for Clubs/Members Participation are:

  • 12-13th February: Leadership Forum for club Executive Officers, TBC
  • 2nd April:                BPWNZ 47th Annual Conference, Waipuna Hotel, Mt Wellington, Auckland

December 2010

Congratulations to the New BPW Club Committees for 2010/11.

As Christmas is fast approaching and the majority of clubs have now held their AGMs, new and existing members have stepped up to lead their clubs in the next year.  I would like to personally congratulate every woman who has made this commitment to her club and to a greater extent herself.  By undertaking your new/continued roles you are telling everyone in your club that you believe in the future of the club and what BPW means to you.  It is important for the growth of any club to have a good committee, it is also crucial for the success of a committee to have the support of its club members.

While someone may be the President or the Editor for the newsletter, they need to know that their members can also be there to assist or participate when invited to do so.  If you are asked to write an article for your newsletter and you have agreed to do so, do it on time, provide it in an easy format for the editor to download and add a picture or two if you wish.  Your club newsletters are for all members and it is a way for you to communicate what you are doing, or a project you may be interested in and you may find it easier to present it in a written format than speak to it at a club meeting.  Provide some ideas that you would like to see added into your year’s programme, the committee are always looking for things to make BPW more interesting for its members, don’t just sit back and ‘wait for it to happen’.  It has been easy for some people to say we were not giving any direction or any ideas, but what could you have given that might have made ideas grow…..?

It is often expressed that the ones that end up doing everything are the ones on the committee.  You don’t have to be a committee member, and  by supporting the committee when they are undertaking projects or raising funds for the benefit of  your club and your community will ensure a successful and rewarding outcome for all.  A job shared is a job halved, imagine how it would be  if you have 5 women all participating in a small way, the results will astound you.

You will also be aware of the KTA programme.  In there you will find ways you can assist your committee members and achieve various achievements under the Bronze, Silver or Gold levels.  Speak to any of your committee members and say you:

  • would like to write an article for the upcoming newsletter,
  • want to assist the treasurer for a night,
  • would like to Chair a meeting,


  • want to plan an event for a particular month’s meeting

By assisting in any of the roles, not only are you helping your committee members, you are learning new skills and you will probably provide new ideas for other members to take on.  The success of a club is the success of its members, the whole working together for the future growth and development of BPW.

Now an administration request, along with the new committee details would the President/Secretary please send a copy of the club’s current Constitution and Rules to BPWNZ, PO Box 28 326, Remuera, Auckland 1136 for the attention of Vice President – Membership and Executive Secretary or email to and that we can include them under your membership files/records.  Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Why BPW?

There are two questions you are asked on the profile membership page when you sign up on the BPW International website, the first is About Me and the second is Why BPW?

Can you answer Why BPW, what made you join and stay as a member?  There are various reasons why women have joined BPW over the years:

  • wanted to be part of a large organisation with similar views and aims,
  • friends had introduced them,
  • were made aware of a women’s club in the area which provided an opportunity to meet and talk with other women in a stimulating environment,
  • was new in the district, wanted to make new contacts,
  • seen newspaper articles regarding events, came along was interested and decided to join,
  • had undertaken some research and liked what BPW was about, it could be one of the many factors, e.g. networking with other business women, being advocates, having the ability to lobby Government with other like minded women,
  • were recipients of a BPW Scholarship from a club in their area, or the Massey Scholarship.

There will be different reasons for every woman in your club and some will be similar.

In today’s current environment, with all the technologies at hand, the ease of communication, the convenience and ease of food preparation, a woman’s life is actually more demanding than in our grandmother’s (or even great-grandmother’s) time, with less time,  so BPW gives women the opportunity to take time out once a month to discuss issues that are relevant for all women.

So you have answered the question Why BPW?

Now I will ask a more challenging question for you.

How do you promote BPW, how do you tell a potential new member or encourage another woman to come along to your club dinner meeting?  As stressed by Gabriella Canonica, BPW International Vice President – Membership Chair, at BPW Franklin’s October dinner meeting,  BPW is not a service club or charity organisation, it is about:

  • investing in women learning leadership roles,
  • enabling more women to be in decision making roles,
  • ensuring women have positive power in their lives,
  • encouraging all women to seek the right to economic
  • independence,
  • developing gender budgeting….. more in my report
  • from BPW American Samoa conference.

(Photo left to right:  Diane Dean – BPWNZ Project Convenor, Carolyn Savage – BPWNZ Vice President Membership, Gabriella Canonica – BPW International Vice President – Membership Chair, Dianne Glenn BPWNZ Past President., Faye Gardiner BPWNZ Immediate Past President)

Being a member of BPW provides an opportunity for all women to undertake different roles.  For some members they feel comfortable working in the background, providing support behind the scenes andfor others it is taking leading roles and promoting BPW in a wider arena, both Dianne Glenn and Faye Gardiner have done this successfully internationally.  Each member contributes in their own way.  A club needs those that are there each month for dinner and to listen to speakers and those members that want to undertake more.  The skill of a committee and President is to provide an avenue to meet the various needs of these members.  A good way to find what members will want for 2011 is to have a strategic planning meeting; ask for ideas (put pieces of paper down for notes) and get them to give you some ideas of what they perceive as important.

Now to complete this report I have to unfortunately include the following difficult item.  Within any club there can be women with their own agendas, with very strong personalities which can cause discord, negativity, poor leadership, bullying and a breakdown which affects the club’s direction.  BPW is about being:

  • Businesslike in our relationships,
  • Professional in our manner, language and presentation, and finally being
  • Women, using the good qualities, not being jealous, vindictive, vicious or be threatened by women with different perspectives or experience.

It is often said thatwomen can be their own worst enemies; how they will pull another woman down rather than see her succeed, will indicate a woman has a ‘mental disorder’ or lacks the necessary intellectual experience to do this or that, will even pull a group apart for their own personal agendas.  This is not BPW, it is against our Aims and we as a collective have come together saying we are business and professional women, let us lead by positive examples.  This will result in others following suit which will ultimately lead to the organisation’s growth in the future.

So to finish in the words of Indira Ghandi (former Prime Minister of India):

“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist……” Indira Gandhi (1917 – 1984), Indian Politician

Carolyn Savage, BPW(P)

BPW NZ Vice President

Email:, or

November Message

BPW NZ – Membership and Future Growth?

To start this report I would like to say thank you to all the members around the country who have taken the time to send me emails, it could be just to ask a simple question or for acknowledging some of the items that have been presented in the last couple of reports.

At the time of preparing this report, preparations were being finalised for my trip to BPW America Samoa’s Conference and it should be acknowledge that BPW NZ is being represented by other members at key events during this period, including:

  • Anne Todd-Lambie (Past Pres.), BPW International Chair of the Constitutional Advisory Committee has attended the BPW Europe Constitution Workshop in Vienna, the BPW Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Singapore and will finish at BPW Australia’s Conference in Perth,
  • Faye Gardiner (Imm. Past Pres.), Anita Devcich (Past Pres.) and Diana O’Brian have attended the Asian Pacific Regional Conference and will be attending Australia’s Conference
  • Elaine White and Lyndy Jackson as BPW NZ delegates at BPW Australia’s conference.

The success of BPW NZ is through its members and I would like to acknowledge every woman in this organisation who promotes BPW proactively through:

  • club participation, attending regular meetings, ensuring if not available they register their non attendance,
  • undertaken roles in their club committee or sharing the workload, supporting committee members by doing a role when asked to,
  • club community events, through supporting organisations in your area, e.g. Women’s Refuge, Police projects or White Ribbon appeal
  • fundraising events, providing help to setup and clean up, sell tickets, sell raffles and obtain sponsorships, and
  • finally where all the members come together, working under the Aims of BPW and having the skills and professionalism to work constructively with all their members, even having the ability to acknowledge when some personalities may differ very much to their own but not letting that impact on the future of their club

Well done to you all and here is to the future growth of BPW NZ.

Carolyn Savage, BPW(P)

BPW NZ 1st Vice President

Email:, or

October Message

BPW NZ – Membership and Future Growth?

At the Northern Regional Meeting I was in a position to present a powerpoint presentation on how I view BPW as a relatively new member…… maybe when I get to 10 years it could be said I have reached my first milestone and I will be an old hand!  The purpose was to illustrate to members that the BPW name is part of who we are, it has respect both at the NZ government level and through International and the United Nations and can not be changed, this is who we are.  So from this standpoint the following was provided (in a broad sense):

  • the structure of clubs and the age demographics of our membership
  • identifying the member levels within a club, e.g. members who just come to socialise, those that get involved in their club committee, others at National committee level and those with the time, energy and resources to go forward to International level.
  • new members, what happens with them?  Are they left on the side line?  Do they have anything to offer?
  • a strong club recognises the various skills and levels of involvement by members and how each gains from the other through that knowledge and experience.

As part of this event I was asked if part of the presentation could include participation by Amanda Bennet, a woman from the community, in her 40’s, and as Amanda Bennett put it, “the market we should be aiming at.” Amanda was a very good speaker, providing an insight into the different volunteer groups she has worked with and her time in Dress for Success.  Her role at this event was to challenge the women in the room on how they could get someone like her to become a member.  Her questions were:

  • what is BPW?, what do you do?
  • how do you promote BPW to potential members?
  • what have you got to offer a mother and working woman?
  • what will she and women like her get out of it?  How will they benefit and be able to ‘sell it’ to other potential members?
  • Amanda recommended ‘soft partnering’ with an organisation like Dress for Success, which provides clothing for women who are starting out into the workforce again……. Possibly run a seminar with these groups together.

Midland Regional Meeting at Kiwi360, Te Puke had also taken a similar approach in having women who did not know anything about BPW provide a workshop panel which was chaired by Mark Boyle “Honorary BPW member” and CEO for Te Puke Focus.  This workshop illustrated quite strongly that our vision statement is as valid today as it was when first written by Dr Lena Madesin Phillips in 1919 “To be the leading NZ organisation representing the interests of working women and advancing the status of all women.” Mark had all the members present from the clubs identify what BPW meant to them before any of the panellists spoke and another clear factor was identified, that BPW is made up of three strands,

  • a group women who come together once a month, for dinner and have guest speakers which educate members on relevant subjects
  • women who seek network opportunities, but we have not developed this to its full potential
  • advocacy and issues for those women who want to get involved in more key areas.

At the end of this workshop BPW Te Puke had gained four new members, each with different expectations and needs with one saying Issues is where should would like to be involved in.

So Membership, how can clubs continue, from the smaller to the larger groups:

  • finding out what your individual members like, a number come to the dinner, but maybe there is something more they want to get out of it but not sure how to ask, start mixing your members up so they get to talk to someone else around the dinner table
  • have five minute slots at each meeting, where members who have put in their business card (or a card with their name on) and can speak to the members about what they are doing
  • identifying the members in your clubs who are interested in Issues and get them to set up a subcommittee to deal with some of the current projects, let them take the responsibility and lead the club
  • foster twinning between clubs, for smaller clubs in relatively close regions, take a month out of your normal club environment to all join another club for that month’s meeting, look at projects you could work on together
  • organise an event with a group of clubs in your region to all meet, discuss items of interest, have a key note speaker, look at carpooling to ensure its success
  • look at participating in social events, take a step away from the formal occasions maybe once or twice in a year
  • add something new to the programme
  • look at a buddy system or as the member from BPW Katikati called it –  “Gals Pals”

To further strengthen clubs the following are also being developed:

  • BPW NZ Twinning for NZ Clubs, to link clubs who are dealing with a particular issue/item within their club and would like advice guidance from another who has successfully dealt with it in their own, e.g.
    • BPW Auckland with its Cultural diversity and programmes
    • BPW Franklin with its history of successful fundraising events
    • BPW Huntly & Districts with its Wearable Arts events
    • BPW Kapiti with obtaining funding through the Charitable Trusts
    • BPW Cambridge with the development of websites for use by other clubs, skills and knowledge in marketing within their community
  • For smaller clubs, there is no rule within the Constitution that one has to meet every month or in their own area, look at all going and attending another club’s meeting, see who their speaker is, contact the Club President and say you would like to join their meeting.

Networking, this is one of the reasons women in business come to a BPW meeting, therefore to support our current members and to develop growth in the future an Occupational/Members Business page will be set up on the website.  It will list all the occupations that members work in (NO NAMES WILL BE PUT ON THE SITE) and will have a Contact Us section for women who want to work with other women in a particular business in their region, for example:

  • Accountants – fill in the form here and you details will be sent to a woman in your area
  • Travel Agents  –  fill in the form and an agent will be in touch to discuss your travel arrangements
  • Web Designers

This is intended to be a tool that members within the organisation can use to strengthen their business and work with other members in the organisation.  It is also intended that women outside the organisation will see these businesses that are women managed and they too will want to work with women in our organisation.

When recently corresponding with a couple of members it was indicated to them I had been in this role for seven months, but it will in fact have been five months by the end of September, a relatively short time to get up and running to assist all the diverse elements of members.  The above and previous articles are only the beginning of things that have been seen as stepping stones to help membership and clubs grow in the future.

Carolyn Savage, BPW(P)

BPW NZ 1st Vice President

Email:, or

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