Qtown women in­spired

Central Otago Mirror - - WHAT’S ON -

DASHA KUPRIENKO

A woman who has helped raise over $23 mil­lion talked to Queen­stown busi­ness women about well­be­ing, fit­ness and fem­i­nism.

En­tre­pre­neur and co-founder of New Zealand’s first crowd­fund­ing plat­form Pledge Me, Anna Guen­ther, said Pledge Me had helped more than 1200 cam­paigns raise in ex­cess of $23m in six years. Now she is plan­ning to move into Aus­tralia.

‘‘It’s the first woman-led plat- form in Aus­tralia and New Zealand. There’s not many women in the fi­nan­cial mar­kets,’’ she said.

She was pas­sion­ate about treat­ing peo­ple equally and said it would take about 80 years to have full gen­der equal­ity in New Zealand and 217 years in the rest of the world, ac­cord­ing to re­search.

‘‘There’s a lot of talk that we have to fix women, be more con­fi­dent, bet­ter at busi­ness, learn all these things and be kick ass nin­jas, but I don’t think that’s a so­lu­tion. We have to shift the so­lu­tion and cel­e­brate peo­ple wher­ever they are at be­cause the struc­ture is bro­ken.’’

More than 230 women at­tended the an­nual West­pac Queen­stown Chamber of Com­merce Women’s Con­fer­ence on Thurs­day.

Guen­ther said the Queen­stown con­fer­ence was giv­ing women space to get to­gether and dis­cuss ideas.

‘‘In a world that’s male dom­i­nated — to ac­tu­ally get a chance to get to­gether and see how other peo­ple are do­ing things is really im­por­tant.’’

How­ever, it would be great to have males at­tend the con­fer­ence too.

‘‘How do you ac­tu­ally cre­ate spa­ces women have for them­selves but also spa­ces where men feel com­fort­able go­ing into to lis­ten to a bunch of bad ass ladies speak­ing?’’

Na­dine Hig­gins, Bar­bara Kendall, Diane Foster, Lisa Ta­mati, Rez Gardi, Elise Beavis and Lisa O’Neill were also speak­ing at the con­fer­ence.

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