International Women's Day

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks an annual call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

Many will be surprised to learn that IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gatherings in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. More than a million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.

Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist or any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

This year’s theme is ‘Embrace Equity’. Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.


We give thanks to those females before us who paved the way

“We’ve come significantly far since 1911, so much so that we’ve almost forgotten just how difficult it was to be a woman. It’s little things like being allowed to have business discussions with men and having a voice that are rightfully so commonplace now. Even only 30 years ago we didn’t have rights over our bodies and contraception.” – Erin Whale Central Otago Property Manager

“I give recognition and thanks to the women of 1893 who stood up and got NZ females the right to vote, speak and gain confidence to work as equals beside men from then on.” – Megan Osborne Queenstown Sales Consultant


What does the day mean to us?

“IWD means a lot me as I’m heavily involved in women’s groups and have many female friends and colleagues around the world working in business. I’m helping organise a dinner with the Wanaka Upper Clutha Lions Club to celebrate IWD, with some fantastic, inspiring female speakers and all profits going to flood relief funds” – Sue Grant Wanaka Sales Consultant

“It’s empowering to have a day of recognition like International Women’s Day to acknowledge and support all sisters.” – Kirsty Sinclair Queenstown Sales Consultant


The real estate industry

“We’ve definitely made huge inroads since 1911 and the start of IWD; we’ve got female CEOs, and women are highly educated. It’s much more of a mixed-gendered working world as opposed to a man’s world.” – Krista Scully Dunedin Property Manager

“I was inspired to get into real estate after starting as a salesperson in a rural supply store and deciding to move into real estate. I have a big personality and like sales, as I like connecting with people. It’s more than just selling a house, it’s about getting to know someone, understanding them and gaining their trust. It comes down to people skills and not being judgemental, and I think women often have these skills.” – Mel Kenny Balclutha Sales Consultant


Harcourts Highland Real Estate

“In our six Harcourts offices we’re very fortunate to have an incredibly inspiring, generous and humble woman steering the ship, Marie Osborne. She gave me a sales apprenticeship opportunity and I was very privileged to learn the craft of real estate sales under her guidance.  Marie inspires us to believe anything is possible if you believe in yourself.” – Priscilla Uhrle Queenstown Sales Manager

“I believe that women have the opportunity to create their own workplace systems, can access training, a library of information, and have as much ability to excel in the industry. Harcourts gives great ground level support to ‘fly’ from. – Judy Ludemann Cromwell Sales Consultant

“The Harcourts workplace make you feel empowered and supported as a woman with such a great support network. One of the head trainers, Jo Able, is a very strong leader and we’ve got great mentors like Marie Osborne. It’s very motivating and inspiring to have these incredible women right at the top of the business. – Cara Shanks Cromwell Sales Consultant