I was 23 when I had my first leadership position working for a German-Belgium multinational company. I was one of four women globally, with the other three being at least 20 years older than me. They were the true pioneers spanning the cultural landscape of Argentina, Greece, Ireland and finally me in New Zealand. Theresa from Argentina was an incredibly accomplished leader, who paved the way for the rest of us but it was never an easy road for her.

Luckily, back then I was young and naïve enough to just get on with the job. I didn’t know what I didn’t know and my passion for my work was what fuelled me – building teams, delivering awesome service to our customers, being inclusive, learning fast, growing exponentially and wearing my favourite bright pink suit with a suitable lipstick to match!

But that was back in the day.

Things have evolved.

I asked some inspiring women I know for what advice they would give their younger self, their daughters, granddaughters or young people in general and here’s what they had to say:

My Mum, JP, Rotary Board Member and Retired!
“As for words of wisdom, well not sure about that other than to say, always be true to yourself, respect yourself and others, follow your dreams and never give up, listen to the masters, live with integrity in all that you do, always be responsible and take ownership of your actions – all actions have consequences good and bad, and respect everyone irrespective of colour, race, or religion; we are all human beings.”

Jenny McDonald, Founder of Ananda Tours
“I’ve always appreciated people who have reminded me to trust my instincts. Decisions I have made this way have been my best ones somehow, more deeply satisfying. I encourage my daughters to do the same. Actually it’s even good now for me to remind myself of what’s worked well for me over time as I still forget !! Celebrate today as women.”

Nadine Tereora, Chief Operating Officer, Partners Life
Advice I would give my younger self: “Keep moving forward, if it feels right go for it and don’t be afraid to change direction along the way. Only you know the right path to take! Don’t let others judgement define who you are. Something you have always encouraged me to do Jo.”

Hannah Talbot, University Student (and my daughter!)
“Stay connected to that feeling. You will know the one. It is a feeling that moves you through every moment, one that does not get younger or older, one that does not take up too much space or not enough space, one that cannot be lost or found, one that is not subject to the bounds of time or space, because it is boundless. The line between the physical world and the metaphysical world, that brings dreams to life. That is yours to keep and it is what makes you special; hold onto that innermost knowing. It will always guide you, if you let it.“

Victoria Garlick, an incredible Business, Marketing and Australia’s Growth Expert
“A female leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to go. Amazing female leaders take people to the next level, without them even knowing that is the direction they wanted to go in”.

Pam Brossman, Founder of EvolvingHQ
“You are the answer. Believe you can. Build and learn as you grow. Become who you were born to be. Most importantly, take focused action daily towards your monthly goals and always finish what you started as that’s where your next success spurt will come from.”

Judi Sculley, Founder of Transform Your Life with Stress Solutions
“You are strong, smart, and savvy. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Listen to your gut, breathe and take each day as it comes. You already have the wisdom inside you; just believe in yourself and follow your own dreams.”

Jo Worthy, Author of Love Worthy and Empowerment Coach
“To love you more. This is when the true ‘miracles’ occur.”

Veronica McDermott , Copywriter and Chatbot Strategist created 52 things she learnt in her first year of business and here’s a snippet of some of those:
“Changing the world starts with changing one person’s world. As a working mother, there will be times when you put your client’s needs before your kids. You’ll feel shit – start the next day with your priorities in place. Dance in the lounge room with your daughter when she asks you to. Your question is probably stupid – ask it anyway. Grow your team BEFORE you’re ready. Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you, both online and in the real world.”

Veronica Stellas, Self Love and Authenticity Coach
“How is your relationship with yourself? To love yourself is the most important relationship you could have. Share your gifts with the world & contribute to this world. Let your light shine & eliminate the fear!”

Rachael Quilty, Founder of The Brand Architect Jump the Q
“Your brand story, life experiences and life lesson are aligned to your brand purpose and brand mission. One day the pieces will fit together perfectly and you will understand the hardship you experienced served a greater purpose. Your brand story and brand solution matters. Stay on purpose.”

Dori Molitor CEO and Founder of Women Wise
“Step into your power, find your voice and live the life you were called to live.”

There isn’t a women I know that had to overcome some amazing odds to be here now, following their passion, living their dream, working together, contributing to something bigger than themselves and selflessly serving others. That’s what we do.

Let’s celebrate the power of women and the women of the world this International Day for Women.



Jo Hutchinson is a Visionary, Founder of ‘The Path of the EnLightened Leader Program™’, a Reiki Master and Facilitator of Inner Journeys. She inspires people to be empowered leaders, to envision new futures, to transcend limits and forge new pathways so that together we contribute to creating positive impact for people and the planet through fulfilling a greater purpose.

To find out how she can help you, book a complimentary 30-minute Empowerment Call by visiting www.greatspirit.co.nz

For daily tips and inspiration, follow her on Instagram and Facebook.