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Follow Your Arrow: The new event for women in business fighting the good fight for equality

A new event meant to inspire women in business is coming to Auckland. But it aims to be so much more than an evening of inspiration from women who know a thing or two about kicking butt.

We all have different ways we get inspired. For some of us, it might be going on a nice holiday or catching up with friends and family. For others, it might be reading a good book that gets the mind’s gears whirring. And for others still, it might be hearing from awesome human beings who have put in the hard yards to achieve success and get to the level they’re at.

If the latter is your style, then you’re in luck – there’s an event taking place in Auckland on Thursday that promises, if nothing else, to be pretty bloody inspirational.

Follow Your Arrow is a collaborative event for women in business in Aotearoa. The brainchild of Louisa McClure – digital engagement manager at a major New Zealand bank – the event will bring four women at the top of their game to share some of the lessons they’ve learned from their careers in the business world, and to empower the audience to go forth and kick butt.

Louisa McClure.

McClure says the idea is a relatively simple one, but that it’s more important now than ever to encourage more women in business, especially with a goal of achieving an even gender split among New Zealand business leaders by 2020. “Follow your arrow was created from feedback within the Girls in Business Facebook group, started by Gretta Van Riel & Iyia Liu,” she explains. “I wanted to create a forum where women can come and learn, to share and take back insights to their own startups, new ideas or day jobs.”

Mandy Duncan, of Noah & Bowie, says it’s important to be able to impart knowledge with other people. “I wanted to be a part of this event to share my highs and lows with women in business,” she explains. “I wanted to be able to share my honest take on being a ‘working mum’ and how I manage my time with my kids and husband.”

Mandy Duncan.

Raglan Coconut Yoghurt’s Tesh Randall says something similar. “Running a business, especially a fast-growing one, is a bit of a crazy ride,” she says. “I get asked almost daily for advice from other business owners and people thinking about starting out, so when Louisa suggested this event idea it seemed like a great way to share tips with ladies who might either need a boost or some help to get going. I love the saying ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ - for me, that’s what this night is about.”

Tesh Randall.

The event will touch on the theme of pursuing goals to attain success. Girl Undiscovered’s Sara Orme says it’s something that particularly resonates with her. “Personally I have followed my arrow which spans over 30 years,” she explains. “It takes me through years of being a young mum, finishing my university degree, and starting out on my freelance/entrepreneurial life.

“I wanted to create a forum where women can come and learn, to share and take back insights to their own startups, new ideas or day jobs.”

- Louisa McClure

“I believe we’re a type, a tribe of women who often chooses a challenging but ultimately fulfilling path. Our arrows can be strong, confident and fire in a straight line but it can also waiver, feeling heavy and unable to fire. My career has certainly been a mix of highs and lows, and it is all of this that gives me the strength of who I am today as well as the power to fuel a rewarding entrepreneurial life. I can’t wait to share my journey. The easy bits and the hard bits and hope to inspire women out there who have taken the plunge to follow their arrows.”

Sara Orme.

The Caker’s Jordan Rondel is another woman in business who will be speaking at the event, which will take place at 6pm at GridAKL in the City of Sails. “While public speaking is not my forté, I agreed to be part of this event because I know I would have loved to attend something like this when I was first starting out in business,” she says. “Advice from someone who has gone through the highs and lows of running a business first hand is so valuable, and I hope that by speaking in front of a group of people who are in the beginning stages of a startup, I can shed some empowerment and courage.”

Jordan Rondel.

It may be one event on one evening, but McClure says Follow Your Arrow is much, much bigger. “In a year of flux, this event signifies the movement to get more woman to think about their own journey, the power they have, and true sense of being able to achieve things on their own accord,” she says. “I see this is a less of a ‘one-off drop in the ocean’ and more of a movement to signify a true change for women and their creative minds.”

Follow Your Arrow will take place on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 6pm to 8pm at GridAKL, located at 101 Pakenham Street West in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter. Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/follow-your-arrow-auckland-tickets-37364175254.

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