What International Women’s Day means to these four women

8 March 2022
By Fashion Quarterly

A global day celebrating the social, economic, and cultural achievements of women, International Women’s Day is a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. This year’s theme is centred around breaking the bias for a gender-equal world — one that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

In association with Partridge Jewellers, we check in with four inspiring friends of the brand to hear what International Women’s Day and breaking the bias means to them.

As Partridge marketing and communications manager Madeline Saxton-Beer explains, “each of these women are excelling in their respective fields, pushing the boundaries in business and creative industries. Together they represent inclusion, diversity and creativity. Women are a vital part of our jewellery business which is why we wanted to use this occasion to connect with and give a voice to this influential group of women.” 

Holly Burgess

Image by Holly Burgess.

It’s not often that we celebrate Tāmaki Makaurau born Holly Burgess in front of the camera — she’s often behind it, using her photography as a way of making sense of the world, and her place in it. Starting her career as a street style photographer, Burgess is now one of Aotearoa’s most in-demand fashion photographers. Based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Burgess’ roots are spread across Te Ika a Māui (North Island). 

Speaking of her hopes for indigenous women, Burgess says, “as a wahine Māori, I hope that future generations can be born into a world that celebrates them for who they are as tangata whenua. I hope our mokopuna can know who they are, and be nurtured by the lands and waters they come from, from a young age. Through papatūānuku, mana of women and the land is intimately intertwined, the more this is acknowledged, the more our power can be realised.”

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Holly Burgess wears Partridge Hallmark white gold and diamond spiral cuff, Aquamarine and Amethyst cocktails rings, diamond hoop earrings, Messika Baby Move Necklace, all from Partridge Jewellers. 

Mimi Gilmour Buckley

Image by Holly Burgess.

A celebrated restauranteur and hospitality advocate, Mimi Gilmour Buckley  has built many businesses from the ground up, playing a notable role in the evolution of New Zealand’s restaurant scene. After giving birth to her first child Olympia, who experienced a severe brain injury in utero, the scope of Gilmour Buckley’s advocacy widened. Challenging life as she knew it, Gilmour Buckley has taken her learnings around resilience and incorporated them into a new skincare brand and mobile app Iammi

Advocating on behalf of others is integral to Gimlour Buckley’s ethos. “I’ve seen accomplished and efficient women have their capabilities questioned many times. That’s why it’s so important for those of us in the privileged position to be able to call out bias — to do it. Even if it makes things uncomfortable (that’s what resilience is for!), it’s the only way we’ll make change”, says Gilmour Buckley. 

Mimi Gilmour Buckley wears Piaget Possession Green Malachite necklace and open bangle, Roberto Coin Princess Flower ring and earrings, Partridge Hallmark gold and diamond ring, all from Partridge Jewellers. 

Jessie Wong

Image by Tina Muciuli.

A fashion student frustrated she couldn’t find a leather handbag big enough to fit her essentials, Jessie Wong has now carved out a global name for her luxury leather goods brand, Yu Mei. The sustainably-minded bags are inspired by Wong’s Chinese heritage and the women in her life, including her mother and great-grandmother. 

Community is important to Wong, having founded Club Yu Mei, an inclusive space for all people. As Wong explains, “to me, it’s important to create space for women to rise up as leaders. This looks like supporting women-led businesses with capital and access to advisors and resources to level the playing field and ensure they succeed.”

Jessie Wong wears Longines Le Grande Classique watch, FOPE earrings and necklace, Partridge Hallmark bracelet, Messika ring, all from Partridge Jewellers. 

Victoria Harris

Image by Holly Burgess.

An advocate for financial literacy among women, throughout Victoria Harris‘ finance career, she has found herself to be the only woman in the boardroom nine times out of ten. With friends often asking her for financial advice, Harris, along with friend and business partner Sophie Hallwright created The Curve, a platform which aims to equip women with the knowledge and confidence to achieve wealth and financial freedom. 

Speaking of her mission, Harris says, “I would love to see more confidence in women when it comes to their finances. The empowerment and freedom that comes from growing your wealth can have such a positive impact on a woman’s future. However, today, there is still such a large gender finance gap which has held us back. We need to support each other, educate each other and lift each other up in order to change our financial future and the future for generations to come.”

Victoria Harris wears FOPE yellow gold bracelets, Moonstone and yellow gold ring and bracelets, and pearl necklace, all from Partridge Jewellers. 

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