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GridAKL are proud to announce that we will providing space to host the monthly meet ups of the Women’s Collective - an organisation founded by Taryn and Sasha Kljakovic; that holds a discussion series to facilitate conversation around the needs and challenges that are specific to women across both their personal and professional lives. Each month sees different accomplished speakers, all incredibly inspiring and thought provoking in varying ways. The speakers are not always female, but each has a unique perspective on the struggles that females can face - and each allows an insight into a different viewpoint that challenges the often ingrained characteristics and stereotypes held by our societies, and also by ourselves. 

The first event of 2015 kicks off at GridAKL on the evening of the 25th Feb, hosting the founder of Little Bird Unbakery Megan May, and Rebecca Wadey; owner of The Centre, a yoga and wellness centre. These talented women will be speaking to the topic of ‘Building a Community’ .To RSVP to this event and read more about the speakers, head here.  

I interviewed Taryn Kljakovic, Co-Founder of the Women’s Collective and all-round-amazing woman, to see what pushed her and her partner to start this awesome movement.

What inspired you to found the Women's Collective? 
TK:I went to see Alice Walker (Author, The Color Purple) at the International Writers’ Festival early last year and she spoke about the power of Conversation Circles, that we can affect change in the world just by focusing on looking after our patch of soil, and our community as a place to start. I had been feeling frustrated and sad at the state of affairs in the world for a long time, but I had no idea what I could do about it to make things different. So, after hearing Alice, my other half and I decided to focus on starting conversations as a place to begin. We just expected a few friends to turn up, but we were completely surprised to see how many people came from all walks of life. It seems there is a real hunger for more ‘real talk’.

Is it just for Women?
TK:The Women’s Collective is designed to reflect the needs of women, our experiences and our stories. So it is primarily for women, however we believe that in order to have gender equality in the world we need to support the men in our lives to get on board with supporting us back. So our events aren’t exclusively for any gender, but more for a particular type of person who wants to make the world a better place.

What do you see as the greatest barriers to success for women and how can they best be addressed?
TK:I think the greatest barrier to success for women is women. What makes us unique, can also be our weakness – in the respect that we consistently put others before ourselves, and we often downplay our value in business. In order to succeed, we need to have our own backs and our that backs of our fellow female colleagues. You also have to be in to win, so sitting back and talking about everything that needs to change without taking any action is also working against us – hence the need for the Women’s Collective.

Tell us about a past speaker that inspired you in an unexpected way?
TK:I particularly loved our talk with Dr. Katherine Gale, a world class Breast Surgeon working in New Zealand. She is working with extraordinary technology to greatly improve the treatment offered to women suffering from Breast Cancer. She has been a significant part in developing the technology and procedures used in removing the cancer and in reconstructing the breast afterwards. She is a complete boss, hyper intelligent and game-changing – and she has such a warm manner and killer style to match. I loved that combination. She was squashing stereotypes all over the show!

Upcoming (2015) speaker that you are excited about?
TK: Michelle Dickenson – scientist, innovator, adventure addict, introvert and all round great human.

Where do you see Women's Collective heading in the future?
TK: We want to continue to grow our community of women locally and around the globe. We want to provide more kick ass events and workshops and develop a digital platform for women to tell their own stories, and to connect with each other.

Find out more about the women collective here.  

Casey is the Community Co-ordinator at GridAKL and is the main maven behind our instagram account! Follow her (and us) by clicking here. 

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