Today is an important day for everyone because it is International Women’s Day.

The 2019 UN theme is « Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change ».

It is an opportunity for women to share with the rest of the world, experiences they have come across in their social or work environment, good or not so good, reflect on how to overcome personal challenges and achieve a truly diverse equal opportunity business and employment environment.

I have been President of the NZ West Indian society, Vice-president of the French NZ Chamber of Commerce, and am currently  Vice Chair of the NZ Pacific Business Council since 2017.

As the sole woman on the NZPBC Executive Board, I am keen  to bring a different perspective to business relations between New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and in particular help develop women’s entrepreneurship in the Pacific region. This is important because business ownership tends to be predominantly male in the Pacific Islands.

Also as a lawyer in my own firm and a native French speaker, I have been able to develop useful and friendly business contacts in Tahiti and New Caledonia (they joined the Pacific Forum in 2016) with women in leadership roles at government and corporate level. Our common drive is to share our business experience and network, mentor young professional men and women and facilitate trade relations between French Pacific territories and New Zealand.

I definitely want to «Think Equal, Build Smart and Innovate for Change» in the Pacific.

Let’s do it together!

Catherine Sumpter
Vice Chair of the NZ Pacific Business Council