Are you over 18?  Want friendship and networking?  Wish to help other women and be a voice for women’s issues, experience personal and professional development, education programmes and projects? Then there is great news. Business and Professional Women New Zealand (BPWNZ) has re-established a club in Christchurch.  There is a meeting each month immediately after work for a drink and snacks followed by a short meeting with the meeting finishing by 7.00pm or 7.30pm.  This is format which works well in clubs in bigger cities enabling friendships and networking in very busy lives.
The various Business and Professional Women’s clubs around the country have had many successes in changing the history of NZ. Sept 19 Suffrage Day celebrates women of New Zealand obtaining the right to vote in parliamentary elections since 1893.
There are programmes that develop women’s potential in leadership, mentoring, and personal development. The organisation is active in advocacy ensuring women from all walks of life have their voices heard. Immediate Past President Carolyn Savage having represented BPW NZ at the United Nations earlier this year says “being a member of this organisation can provide the opportunity to network and connect at a local, national and international level.  Gain skills to speak at a club, conference or at an International Congress or event at the United Nations….you can choose…..”
 The organisation aims to improve women’s economic, political and social status as well as access to education and professional development within the organisation with their programme of Keys to Achievement (KTA) unlocking the potential of members. BPW also work with small to medium businesses to ensure there are pathways to equality of opportunity for all women.
BPW encourages women to accept political responsibilities at local and national levels, so any Christchurch woman who would like to make a difference in this sphere will find this organisation will help that happen. BPW  is very keen to promote understanding and co–operation amongst women throughout the world.
In 1930 the founding President of BPW International  Dr Lena Madesin Phillips said “Each woman, as a citizen, must bring to the national policy of her own country, the contribution of forward-looking and constructive thought followed by determined action”.
Following the advice of the founding national president a group of Christchurch women are putting into practise this ‘determined action’ and have formed a new BPW club in Christchurch. An inaugural meeting was held in August and this month members will have a stand at the Women’s Lifestyle Expo  where information will be distributed to visitors about the venue, format and dates of the monthly meetings to come.
Since 1939, BPW NZ has been building women’s careers and skills, by holding workshops and training events, providing scholarships, lobbying for women’s issues, building public issues awareness through the media, and much more. Our members also make a difference through more than 15 branches nationwide, each with their own projects, scholarships, and programs.
Come and visit the BPW stand  at the Woman’s Lifestyle  Expo and make the local women’s voices heard, there are so many wonderful women in Christchurch and together they can make a difference to some of the injustices in the world and bring to the attention of the NZ government the changes needed to improve the NZ society.
For further information please contact:-
Publicity:  Virginia Warren E  P: 09 2389430. M 027 229 1367
BPW NZ National President: Vicky Mee  P: 09 2381045 M. 021 116 8948
BPW NZ IPP Carolyn Savage  P:  03 366 7815   M:+64 21 745 599
On 19 September 1893 the governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
Benefits of BPW Membership

  1. Form lasting bonds with wonderful women from all walks of life from all over the country.
  2. A Legislative Voice.Receive meaningful legislative information and updates on important work-life issues.  Our focus is on improving the environment for working women. We have lobbied on issues such as Matrimonial Property, Student Loans, Employment Relations, Disability Strategies, Prostitution Reform, Pay Equity, Health & Safety in Employment, Paid Parental Leave and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs Action Plan for Women.
  3. Women Helping Women.Get involved and make a difference.
  4. Scholarships for Working Women. BPW provides local and national scholarships for ‘second chance’ education and young women embarking on their educational journey.
  5. As working women we face similar challenges and joys in the pursuit of a balance between our professional and working lives. Our members provide each other with support and success strategies that help us grow and change.
  6. Leadership Training. We work to expand the leadership capacity of our members to enable them to make influential contributions to their community locally, nationally and internationally.  BPW believes that increasing the number and quality of women leaders improves our ability to make life better for all women.
  7. Opportunity for Advancement.You can gain experience at the local and national levels, with mentors to help you every step of the way.
  8. Personal Development.BPW offers a supportive environment where women can work together to share in the personal growth and development process and acquire personal development skills.  Our members learn assertiveness, gain self-confidence, find ideas and support, benefit from mentoring and gain encouragement and inspiration from the experience and achievements of fellow members and a wide range of guest speakers.
  9. BPW offers events all over New Zealand and internationally.
  10. Programs and Meetings. Our Clubs meet monthly for dinner and hear from inspirational speakers on a range of subjects of interest to working women – some recent examples from clubs include: a political forum featuring women candidates from all the major parties prior to the general election, a seminar on “How to turn big ideas into successful small businesses”, and a recent migrant shared her experiences as a refugee fleeing Iraq.
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