Womanhood #EmbraceEquity Journal features inspiring stories of female leaders

 March 07, 2023

"Embracing equity is about recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and that we must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances. The process is ongoing, and it requires us to identify and overcome intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or systemic structures," comments Anna Colville-Smith [pictured below], projector coordinator of women's magazine, Womanhood Journal.

"The beautiful thing about sharing stories is that we can all learn from each other’s experiences - especially if we have experienced inequity. Sometimes it feels as though society still has a lot of undoing to do, and sometimes it’s powerful to come together, reflect on positive and uplifting stories, and remind ourselves that every bit of effort can go a long way. How interesting it will be to reflect on this conversation in another ten years’ time!" she says.

Anna Colville-Smith IWD

The 2023 Womanhood Journal, which shares a collection of female business stories from across the Kāpiti & Horowhenua region, was released in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD).

“The Womanhood Journal is a testament to the impact of storytelling. It is my only hope that my story lifts another woman,” says magazine editor Anna Colville-Smith.

Chapter Three of the Womanhood Journal features stories of more than 30 women from our community who have shared stories of their own experiences, career paths, and life journeys. "Knowing that people can face inequity in any part of their life is a key takeaway from this collection of stories," says Ana "My hope is that we all seek to learn to recognize this and challenge it so that together we can feel proud of helping others to feel a sense of inclusion and belonging in whatever place they have arrived at in this remarkable thing called life."

Featuring diverse stories of business women


Connector and project coordinator, Anna Colville-Smith from ACS Marketing Consultancy, says after the response to the inaugural journal she and her team were reminded of the power of storytelling.

“Last year we distributed 500 journals across the region, thousands read the stories online and our book was covered on the International Women’s Day global website. We have heard stories of people being inspired by what they read and women featured told us the process of telling their stories helped them," says Anna.

Anna explains that the interest in the project has grown since it commenced in 2021 with women feeling empowered by reflecting on their journeys in life and business. 

The need for forums like the Womanhood Journal

Womanhood Journal

Mindful of the IWD theme #EmbraceEquity, Anna says we all need to work harder on inclusion and not taking a one size fits all approach. 

“As women we need forums like the Womanhood Journal to remind our communities and ourselves of our resilience and the strength in our differences. It has reminded me that we all have different needs and equity is about ensuring we all have a pathway to access what we need to succeed," adds Anna. 

This year, 30 women were profiled across business and community, including Lucinda Caldwell from Seriously Pickled and Steph Osborne from Layed Design who both feature on the cover of the 2023 Journal.

Raising money for important New Zealand charities 

The third edition of the Journal sees proceeds donated to the Kāpiti Women’s Centre and Horowhenua Women’s Refuge with over $3,000 rasied to date. The project has donated over $8,000 to these organizations since it commenced in 2021. 

Ambitions to grow and celebrate more women 

The Journal was designed by Lemonface Creative and edited by Deacon Rd. All of the pages in the magazine feature the ‘steps’, which a symbol for this year’s International Women’s Day theme. These 'steps' represent that we do not all start from the same place, and we all need to acknowledge and adjust to gender imbalances.

The group behind the project have the goal of it growing and becoming an annual publication that evolves and includes a different set of women every year. 

500 copies of the Womanhood Journal have been printed and distributed across the community and are available through a donation.

A digital version of the Womanhood Journal is available from the website, plus find out how to get involved in 2024 and share your own female-focused project.

See the previous IWD 2022 #BreakTheBias Women's Journal here.



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