International Women’s Day, 8th of March 2016 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?” event, 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 yesterday’s celebrity event – not only successfully raising awareness of the issue – but also $1000 for Kapiti Youth Support!

Guest speakers included: former Wellington mayor, Kerry Prendergast; CEO & founder of PledgeMe, Anna Guenther; RNZAF Helicopter Crewman & former Miss Manawatu, Louise Nelson; former MP & politician and Kapiti Rotary Club President Roger Sowry; Rotary District 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 Manning’s discussion on NZ Rotary and the need for greater diversity in an organisation known for the phrase ‘male, pale and stale” – to the difference between male and female thinking with Louise Nelson’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 as CEO of PledgeMe, Anna Guenther ended the debate with impact, dropping the f-bomb 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 (*f-ing*) 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 yesterday’s event was anything to go by – you won’t want to miss it!

View all the images from the event on The Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page.

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