Skip to main content Site Map

International Women's Day 2024

To mark International Women’s Day 2024, we spoke to Elina Ashimbayeva and Tiahn Beuth-Pukepuke about what their mahi means to them and what it means to pave the way for future women.

Elina Ashimbayeva

Elina is an Experience Designer in our Ara Manawa design studio and has a background in product and strategy, education and start-ups. In her spare time, Elina is the founder of Storyo, a platform that shares the journeys of women, gender diverse and other marginalised people in Aotearoa. Elina came to New Zealand from Kazakhstan 13 years ago with her mum and two younger brothers. 

A staff member

One of the themes for this year’s IWD is Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress. What does it mean to you, to help ‘accelerate progress’ for the women you serve?

"I can't help but think that IWD needs to be more intersectional. What I mean is: focusing on women of colour, disabled women, women who are solo parents, trans-women, queer women, migrant women. People who experience multiple forms of marginalisation in our society. I believe that we should really embrace the notion of sharing power and resources. Not doing work to help someone, but giving up our power so people can come up with solutions that they need. I'm a designer so this is something I reflect on often. We can't keep showing up in places and thinking that we know better. We need to reflect on our personal privileges and see how we can distribute them to people who need them the most."

How do you hope your mahi inspires other women to follow in your footsteps? 

"Women are already doing amazing things. I am humbled if I get to follow in their footsteps.

"I started interviewing people for Storyo four years ago and I quickly learned that most people (women and gender-diverse folks in my case) didn't feel like they deserved to be interviewed because they didn't run their own companies or have awards to their name. I really want to change the notion of what contribution means. People who write poetry inspire everyone around them to feel. Teachers are shaping our next generation. The way a nurse or a social worker can make or break someone's health journey is huge! We live in a society that measures things via a capitalistic stick, awards, talks, salary – social hierarchy. A huge number of women are doing the work that literally changes this world by raising children, caring for others, being creative – I hope we all realise the value of that contribution."

Tiahn Beuth-Pukepuke

Tiahn is a nurse at Auckland Sexual Health Service() and was runner-up in the 2023 NZNO Young Nurse of the Year Award. Tiahn’s work through outreach testing helps assist Aotearoa New Zealand’s most vulnerable populations where access isn’t easy. The holistic core of her mahi as a nurse is to create awareness of health services that can assist the Māori, Pasifika, and wider communities.

A staff member

“Accelerating progress in sexual health for the women I serve means actively working to improve access to resources, education, and support that empower all to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. It involves advocating for policies that promote gender equality, providing comprehensive and holistic healthcare, and fostering a supportive environment that respects and values women's autonomy and rights.”

How do you hope your mahi inspires other women to follow in your footsteps?

“I hope that the mahi I am doing inspires wāhine by demonstrating the power we have to make a positive impact in our communities and beyond. By sharing my experiences, successes, and challenges, I aim to encourage other women to pursue their passions, break barriers, and strive for their goals with confidence and determination.

"I will end with a whakataukī (proverb). Let this be a reminder of our uniqueness and power as wahine. 

"Me aro koe ki te hā o Hine-ahu-one | Pay heed to the dignity and power of women.”

← Back to the news