She’s met the Queen, flown with NASA, spoken at more than 50 events in New Zealand and overseas, and founded New Zealand’s largest organisation for young women.
GirlBoss Founder Alexia Hilbertidou is now travelling around New Zealand empowering young women to aim high and create change.
The 20-year-old entrepreneur stopped off in Tauranga last week, encouraging female students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, maths, entrepreneurship and leadership.
Alexia told The Weekend Sun that it is a matter of urgency for more young women to join these growth fields and help close the gender gap.
“These are future-focussed fields where women can go out and create a positive influence in the world,” says Alexia.
“It’s really important that women are at the forefront of all technological change.”
Alexia delivered workshops at Tauranga Girls’ College last Wednesday and Otumoetai College last Thursday.
Workshops involve interactive discussions and activities exploring how students can maximise opportunities in STEAM and be leaders of change in their communities.
“It’s been a really amazing experience seeing young people so excited about GirlBoss. They leave the workshop inspired, empowered, excited to be ambitious and aim high.
“I encourage all the young women I work with to be unapologetically ambitious in the pursuit of their most audacious goals.
“Young women are capable. They have everything within themselves to be leaders. By providing examples and role models they realise they can create change today.”
Alexia has seen hundreds of success story emerge from students who have attended previous GirlBoss workshops.
“Recently, I went to a school in New Plymouth and asked two young women: ‘what can you do today to develop your leadership skills and make a positive difference in the world?’.
“They are now organising a youth voice conference on climate change, which is really exciting to see.”
Tauranga Girls’ College year 12 students Parvi Gounder and Tania Simpson left the leadership workshop feeling motivated to set the bar high for themselves.
“We girls often don’t want to put ourselves out there in case we get rejected or we fail. Alexia was talking about how rather than thinking we can’t achieve as highly as men, we should go out and seek opportunities and really get a plan going,” says Parvi.
Tania emphasises the importance of GirlBoss workshops, saying that lots of young women in her year group don’t have the confidence to take up leadership positions.
“It’s like breaking through the glass ceiling, she is showing us we can have confidence in ourselves and our abilities.”
For more information about the GirlBoss workshops, visit: www.girlboss.nz