When I was in high school, I participated in a New Zealand entrepreneurship program and launched my lip balm from Vaseline and vanilla essence.
Ten years later I developed my first export company and then I finally started to think about the gender issue and how it affects me when my business develops in New Zealand, I will tell you in detail at the end.
In 2018, the New Zealand government, through NZTE, an agency that supports exporting companies, decided to do something about it by making Women in Exporting, a team that I have the honor to lead and we aim to attract as many women as possible. the field of export and to grow companies throughout the world.
OK, it sounds good, but is boosting women actually a good business? The answer sounds yes and we put it in numbers.
Only 15% of New Zealand’s manufacturing companies are led by women, but if we can get 50% of companies led by women, that corresponds to an 8% increase in New Zealand’s GDP to $25 billion.
We know that much needs to be done to meet this goal. Women only hold 22% of the same leadership roles as men in publicly traded companies, but it has been trending for some time.
And in general for the matter, we know that globally only 2% of venture capital to run companies by women, there are medium obstacles that are not against men and women.
The research is that it will take 267 years for men and women to have economic equality globally, and I don’t know what you think, but that’s too long, so we want to do something about it.
We truly believe that we can leapfrog from the rest of the world.
15% of export companies in New Zealand are run by women, we know that in Canada it is a similar figure and has been doing this for more than 20 years, and in Australia the percentage is slightly higher.
What did we do?
We have decided to double the number of women we work with in the next three years with the long-term goal of achieving parity so that 50% of companies that work with women are led.
We have established two groups of clients to work with so that women can export business, how can we influence the remaining 30% of the main companies to think about the global issue?
We create groups so that women can learn together to make their team go global, either in groups only or in groups with mixed or mixed men.
This challenge is something that we share with Mexico and the world, but we are happy to see great progress.
A little over a year ago, Mexico agreed with the Global Trade and Gender Organization of Canada, Chile and New Zealand.
This convention promotes mutual trade and gender-strengthening action, and will open up new opportunities to increase women’s participation in trade, as part of other efforts to improve gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
So while there is a lot to do, there is also a lot to celebrate this Women’s Day.
PD The anecdote
As we checked into New York, in the hotel after a convenient week with our distributors and the hotel manager, I turned to my male CEO and said, I hope your business is going well, sir. And then he said, I hope you enjoyed your business in the city, and I am a woman who runs $80 thousand, which I started on my own.
Anna Guenther, Women in Export NZTE