International Women’s Day 2019

Today’s theme for International Women”s Day,  #BalanceforBetter, came a week earlier for those at the Royal Federation of N.Z. Justices’ Associations conference in Blenheim. #BalanceforBetter promotes gender balance, “essential for society to thrive”.

Conference delegates heard Guest Speaker, lawyer and women’s advocate, Steph Dyhrberg on this topic, and others, in her candid and thought-provoking presentation.

Steph Dyhrberg, BA LLB, Partner Dyhrberg Drayton

Steph has been a strong voice condemning law firm culture following sexual misconduct complaints by law students, and doesn’t pull any punches when criticising those responsible and the New Zealand Law Society. She also admires all those who, having suffered ill-treatment and harassment, come forward to confront their aggressors.

Steph’s presentation underlined the absolute right for women to be treated equally and with respect. Today’s #BalanceforBetter message continues her theme, calling for collective action and shared responsibility to drive a gender-balanced world.

Steph Dyhrberg reminded the Conference that diversity is not confined to traditional gender issues (think LGBTQ) but goes way beyond them (think race, the socially and financially deprived). And as for Justices of the Peace, any threats made against them is a form of harassment and must be acted on.

Steph is the inaugural New Zealand Rugby Independent Complaints Manager and as such she told Conference delegates that she’s been made aware that it’s essential for every organisation to have a policy to deal with complaints with proper processes in place so they are investigated objectively and resolved in a timely manner.

(This year’s Conference had earlier agreed to updated policy on how Federation and Associations handle complaints against Justices).


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