Founder/Director, Rautaki Collective
To me success means… More quality time and experiences with my whānau. Implementing strategy and long-term sustainable outcomes for my iwi. A significant increase in Māori and Pasifika businesses achieving sustainable growth and financial success.
Best advice I’ve been given… It wasn’t presented to me as advice. It was told by a man I respected to a friend of mine. “She doesn’t know how to sit under someone’s leadership.” I was offended when I heard it of course, but later I realised he was right. I needed the right mentors and leadership in my life that I could learn from rather than avoiding critical feedback that would only help me to grow.
I made my first dollar… At a hair salon in Marewa, Napier. In my first-year high school, we had a work experience day where we had to find ourselves a job that we could learn skills and get paid. Although I was mostly cleaning for the day, it was super fun and nice to get rewarded with small payment at the end. It excited me to become old enough to get a proper job.
Life motto: Fake it till you make it. I know this one is controversial, however, for me, it taught me that even though I may not feel or look like I know my sh*t, own what I do know and be confident in my own skin that what I do have is enough. That in turn taught me to believe in myself more.
My goals for the next 12 months are… Complete my thesis for my Executive MBA. Complete building our foundational systems and processes for the business as well as completing a half marathon. Support my son transition into his first year of primary school and help him grow into more of an amazing and curious little human.
The main challenge for women in business is… We tend to think we have to be 80-90% ready for the next role we want before we apply for it. Whereas men could confidently apply at 50% capability for their next role.
We need pay equality because… I know women that work beyond our roles on a daily basis. Because we are typically more emotionally inclined, we will also take it home with us and won’t stop until the job is done. As well as hold our households together. Pay rate should never be subject to gender.
The change I want to see in the next 12 months is… More business collaboration as well as more confidence for Māori and Pasifika to ask for help, ask for business, and charge what they are worth. I want to see more Māori and Pasifika discovering and learning more about the taonga (treasure) of the indigenous knowledge from their tūpuna and embracing this within their businesses as a competitive advantage to share with others and the world.
Diversity in the workplace is… Not just in having people of diverse backgrounds in your workplace but also in the way you think and behave too. A lot of organisations nowadays want to include more Māori culture and may include a pōwhiri (formal welcome) for a new executive member, but won’t invest in upskilling staff in other cultural competencies such as learning at least the basics of Te Reo Māori (Māori Language).