Speakers: Hon Julie Anne Genter, Minister for Women, Tiana Epati, Dr Lupe Taumoepeau

Host: Inland Revenue Women's Networks (IRWN)

Venue: Inland Revenue offices in Manukau, Napier, Nelson, Upper Hutt, Wellington and Dunedin

Date: 6 March 2020

Women's Networks within Inland Revenue's offices around the country hosted a livestream viewing of the International Women's Day 2020 Breakfast at Parliament. Katie Thomas, from IRWN in Wellington, provided a summary of the event and key messages from speakers on the theme, 'Each for Equal'.

International Woman’s Day is celebrated on 8 March.  The theme for this year is “generation equality” or each for equal – creating an equal and enabled world.

The day was celebrated at Parliament and via livestream with speakers such as:

  • Hon Julie Anne Genter Minister for Women, Associate Minister for Health and Associate Minister for Transport.
  • Dr Lupe Taumoepeau New Zealand's first female vascular surgeon and only Pacific Island vascular surgeon in Australasia.
  • Tiana Epati President of the New Zealand Law Society in April 2019.

At IR, we held livestream events across the country in Nelson, Manukau, Napier, Dunedin, Upper Hutt and Asteron.

While in NZ we have seen the gender pay gap close significantly within the public sector over the last few years, when you scratch the surface of equality, things are far worse not only for women in the private sector but also for Maori, Pacific Island and other minorities – not to mention women who are disabled.

But the gap goes even wider than this globally – a recent NYT article stated that unpaid work of women contributes towards 10.9 trillion globally. So while we measure the success of our economy on commercial transactions, we neglect to recognise the part that women play in roles that do not have a dollar figure assigned to them. Without this work, our global economy would be in a far worse position.

There is a huge focus on diversity and inclusion across the public sector in NZ with CEOs working towards transformative action towards equality – and this includes the work that we are doing here at IR. Actions that need to be taken don’t just include closing the gender pay gap; it is also about working towards greater pay transparency and more flexible work opportunities – a vital part of ensuring equality especially in a public sector working environment that has historically been built around the needs of white, abled bodied men.

We celebrate IWD once a year but in order for real, transformative change to occur, we need to work towards equality every day until gender equality becomes the norm. Not one country in the world has achieved gender equality so we still have a huge amount of work to do not only within our country but globally.

What can you do as an individual to support?

  1. Educate yourself. There is a plethora of material available.
  2. Make sure you are inclusive; not only in the workplace but also within your friends and whanau
  3. Be an advocate; you don’t have to be a woman to support gender equality. We also have young women and men around us; be the role model for them when it comes to equality and inclusion.

For more information on IWD and a replay of the speakers at parliament today, head to the IRWN Yammer page or Zonta's YouTube channel. If you would like to know more about our network, get in touch

Signing off with a great quote from Dr Lupe Taumoepeau’s speech:

“A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink”.


A poster to attend an IWD breakfast livestream in Nelson
IR's office in Nelson views the livestream and enjoys breakfast nibbles

Back to Learning/event summaries