Better the balance, better the world

The International Women's Day 2019 campaign theme is Balance for Better.

The future is exciting. Let's build a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play - all the time, everywhere. From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Collectively we can all play a part.

Collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world is key. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance.

The first International Women's Day occurred in 1911, supported by over one million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group, or organisation specific.
Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained, The story of womens' struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights''.

Below, a diverse group of successful professional Dunedin women share their stories, and what International Women's Day means to them.


Sharon Lont - Sharon Stark Lont

What is your background?I grew up in  Gore, Southland. I value the experiences I had growing up in a rural area at a time when life was simpler than it is today. As a child I learnt the...

Christina Bellis - Thankyou Payroll

What is your background?Originally from Canada, I've spent my career working with different social and environmental causes to make our communities and world a better place. Over the past decade I...

Barbara Bridger - CEO, Otago Community Trust

What is your your background?I was born in Dunedin and am the eldest of five daughters. We are all spread around the globe which makes choosing holiday destinations difficult. Growing up I was very...

Sarah Alcock - Foleys

What is your background?I was bought up in Tapanui, a small farming and forestry community, attended the local high school Blue Mountain College.  It was a great place to grow up and my social...

Tradition of excellence continues at Columba College

Columba College offers it all - academic excellence, culture, arts, sport, community, fun, and friendship. One of New Zealand's distinguished schools, it has a long-established tradition of academic...

Sandra Clair - Artemis

Sandra Clair, founder of traditional plant medicine company Artemis, grew up in Switzerland where plant medicine is a normal part of primary health care and acknowledged as the basis of modern...

Megan Fairley - Notion

What is your background?I come from Balclutha, went to South Otago High School. Studied a Diploma in Tourism and Travel and recently completed a Bachelor in Applied Management at the Otago Poly. I...

Inge Doesburg

I was born in Germany, married a New Zealander, and travelled to New Zealand in 1988. I have been living here ever since.I have been interested in art from an early age. I went to a girl's school...

Amy Marslin and Michaela Ryan - Solomons

Two of the partners at Solomons, one of Otago's oldest law firms, Amy Marslin and Michaela Ryan have forged their own path, through a shared vision of a culture and environment where their team...

Emma Gilmour - Gilmour Motors

What is your background?Proudly Dunedin born and bred, I attended St Leonards Primary School and St Hilda's Collegiate before achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Design Studies at Otago University....

Margi Robertson - NOM*d

What is your background?I was born in Chatto Creek in 1953, my parents were Russian/Ukranian refugees who arrived in New Zealand in 1952. We moved to Dunedin when I was two years old and have lived...

Susie Staley and Rachel Cardoza - Staley Cardoza Lawyers

Dunedin boutique law firm, Staley Cardoza Lawyers incorporating Russell Cassidy Lawyer, is located in the heart of Dunedin city. Susie Staley and Rachel Cardoza believe part of being professional is...

Franca Vallinoti - Beaute

Please tell us your background?I have a 22-year career in the IT Services industry with multi-cultural experience across many geographies having worked in South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia,...

Robyn Buis - Robyn Buis Design

The senior interior designer and owner of Robyn Buis Design, Robyn has over 20 years experience with both residential and commercial design.A Dunedin girl, she headed away to study for a Diploma of...



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