Meet Ana, Our Impact Specialist
What's your role at Dignity?
I am the impact specialist at Dignity. I work directly with our schools/community organisations and manage the social media & communications.
What's the favourite part of your job?
The feedback we receive from those impacted by us! It’s amazing hearing the stories from young women and their teachers about how Dignity helps their community.
What does Dignity mean to you?
To me, dignity means feeling worthy. It’s about self worth. In this job it’s really about helping women feel that their periods, and the struggles and symptoms arising from them, aren’t a burden.
What's been the hardest/funniest thing to happen to you during your time at Dignity?
Despite the progress we’ve made with this ‘taboo’ subject, sometimes people are still shocked when I’m talking to them so openly about periods. I’m often calling schools to discuss donations and most times you have to speak with receptionists first so they can transfer you to the right staff member.
There was one instance where the receptionist left a message for my school contact about boxes of ‘furniture’ as they misheard me due to terrible reception in a rural school. I had a very shocked lady on the phone when the teacher called me back and I started talking about 80 boxes being delivered. She was telling me how concerned she was that the boxes would fit in the classroom and when I said the tampons and pads can be kept in the nurses room or under the desk at reception she yelled TAMPONS???? I thought we were talking about free furniture! We were both in fits of laughter!
Why do you think businesses should have Dignity at their workplace?
It’s a small gesture to show compassion to those who have spent years feeling shameful about a normal body function. It’s about empowering your own employees while leaving your mark on the community and supporting those who may be the next generation to fill your roles.
How can we make periods more normal?
Just talk about them! Share our embarrassing stories (we’ve all got at least one) and be open with your peers.
What do you do outside of Dignity?
I run a marketing and business development agency for fashion brands called Studio Twenty Eight. I get to work with amazing NZ business owners in the fashion industry to develop scalable business models and marketing plans, adding structure and overall strategy to their creative concepts.
Who do you admire?
I really admire our Co-Founders Jacinta and Miranda and I’m so lucky to have such a supportive team around me. Their passion, dedication and kindness is so inspiring despite their huge workload and I love being led by young women who are challenging the status quo. They’ve taught me how important it is to stick to your values in the workplace and to fight for change in the world when things don’t feel right.
What is a quote you live by?
Something that’s really helped me in my personal and business life is the simple quote:
“Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can”. I love this because it puts everything into perspective. You don't have to be rich or famous to start something amazing. I always doubted whether I could start my own business but I was surprised at the resources I had around me when I looked hard enough and asked for help where I needed it. It shows you can create anything if you stick at it, you just need passion and drive.
What would be advice to yourself 5 years ago?
You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Good things take time, just keep moving forward and it will all work out.