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Celebrating International Women's Day

Kia ora, and happy International Women's Day (IWD)! Today, we celebrate the incredible accomplishments of women throughout history and the ongoing fight for gender equality. As we reflect on the progress made regarding women's rights and opportunities, it's essential to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done.

Unfortunately, gender bias persists in the job market, and women often face more obstacles than men when job hunting. This includes discrimination, lower pay, and fewer opportunities for career advancement, particularly when trying to enter a male-dominated field. It's disappointing that even in 2023, this bias still exists, and women can struggle to be taken seriously or given equal opportunities. Highlighting your achievements and skills on your CV can combat this. By focusing on concrete accomplishments rather than subjective qualities, you can demonstrate your value to potential employers and overcome any biases they may have.

In New Zealand, the gender pay gap remains a concern, with women earning 9.5% less than men on average. This number rises to 14% for Māori women and 21% for Pasifika women. This means that women may need to work harder and negotiate more aggressively to secure a fair salary. Researching the market rate for your skills and experience and being prepared to negotiate for your worth is critical. Additionally, women are underrepresented in leadership roles, with only 18.5% of board members in the top 100 listed companies being women.

As a woman small business owner and CV writer, I know firsthand the challenges women face in the job market and the workplace. Breaking through the glass ceiling and making your mark can be challenging, particularly in male-dominated industries.

Despite these challenges, women in New Zealand are making significant strides in the workplace. In the last decade, the number of women in senior management has increased from 24% to 31%, and women are starting their own businesses faster than men. Women own over 38% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in New Zealand. Owning a business can be attractive to many women because of its flexibility, allowing them to manage their time more effectively and control their financial future.

Balancing work and caregiving responsibilities can be challenging, so it's crucial to communicate your availability and boundaries with your employer to establish a healthy work-life balance.

Networking is essential, as attending industry events and meeting other women working in your field can help you connect and get your foot in the door. Being confident, assertive and speaking up when you feel unfairly overlooked or dismissed is also crucial. Don't hesitate to negotiate for better pay or working conditions or ask for help or support if needed.

For those already in the workforce, advocating for yourself and other women and being a mentor can make a massive impact. Remember that by supporting each other, we can achieve great things.

I'm committed to helping women succeed. Whether starting your career or looking to take the next step, I can help you craft a CV showcasing your unique strengths and achievements. So, if you're a woman looking to take your career to the next level, don't hesitate to get in touch. Together, we can help you achieve your goals and create a brighter future for women in the workplace. Happy International Women's Day!