A key cornerstone in the Global Women Kaupapa is to influence the communities around us to bring about the change we want to see — and our members are a true testament to this.
Vanisa Dhiru, Global Women Member and Human Rights advocate, recently joined in conversation with Stuff. The conversation was nothing short of inspiring, exploring Vanisa’s switch from corporate to social enterprise, landing a board role at a young age, and seeing that flourish into many, many more.
“We have a strong Māori community who are embracing their culture and that inspires a lot of us who walk in two worlds. But we need to take the next step and make the changes needed.”
Not only that, Vanisa’s candid interview explores her keen focus on intersectionality of ethnic and gender diversity, drawing on her own experiences as an Indian woman. “As a society we have made progress against systemic racism and people are now more confident calling out injustices, especially online,” Vanisa shares. “We have a strong Māori community who are embracing their culture and that inspires a lot of us who walk in two worlds. But we need to take the next step and make the changes needed.”
Vanisa also lends her wisdom as to why it’s not good enough simply to have a D&I policy: “It’s not good enough for businesses to have a diversity policy, they need to follow through and get diverse candidates on their interview shortlist. It’s something I have to deal with – I have the knowledge and skills to be at the table but are they going to listen to me? I have to fight to make that change.”
“I don’t want anyone to be the underdog, no one should have to be. Why wouldn’t you fight for that?”
Of course, when it comes to actioning her insights, Vanisa channels this as a participant on a multitude of boards, focusing on the not-for-profit sector and an impressive portfolio career.
“Having a portfolio career means I can be involved in things that interest me and where I can make the biggest difference. It means having to be organised but it also helps when board meetings fall on different days.”
It’s safe to say that having worn so many inspiring hats, his steers her perfectly in her direction of ensuring that no one’s the underdog. “ I don’t want anyone to be the underdog, no one should have to be. Why wouldn’t you fight for that?”