Warkworth Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW) president Sally Smith has been named as one of two vice presidents for the club’s national executive and won the club’s Outstanding Leadership award last month.
Sally has been president of the Warkworth branch for a year and a half and says the award was in recognition of the growing Warkworth club.
“Other clubs in New Zealand have been shrinking, but we now have the biggest branch in the country, with 55 members,” Sally says. “I give a huge amount of credit to the Warkworth club members. They’ve been hugely supportive and have made meetings fun and educational.”
Sally recently returned from a two-week conference on the status of women at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where she represented BPW.
“It was an amazing experience being at the General Assembly, listening to the Secretary General speak.”
The conference helped set sustainable development goals on the status of women, which all UN members are to aspire to.
“I’m on the Abuse Prevention Service committee for Rodney and Hibiscus and so I focused on domestic violence issues. Sex trafficking was one of the big issues discussed. It’s one of the biggest growth industries in the world.”
BPW is focused on encouraging equal opportunities for women and meets for dinner at the Salty Dog in Snells Beach once a month.
“It’s a great way to meet new people, especially for people who are new to the area.”
Sally is also focusing on encouraging young women to join the club.
“They will be the future. I’m looking to overhaul the education programmes we offer and make it more pertinent to what young people want to learn and to encourage women to have a voice.”
Last month the group learned all about belly dancing. Eleanor Trueman gave a glimpse into the development of the dance and how the variations related to the cultures of the countries where women practiced this dance form.