'Māori are innovators and it’s time we are recognised for it'
The co-founder of New Zealand’s first period-proof underwear company, Awwa, didn’t plan to start up two successful businesses after she left her career in corporate law.
But growing up Michele Wilson knew, no matter what she did, she had to achieve one thing.
“I wanted to prove to everyone that I can be successful while being a loud and proud woman of colour. Māori are innovators and it’s time we are recognised for it,” Wilson said.
“To protect me, my family told me to hide that I am Māori. Even in school we were warned that growing up Māori or Pacific Islander meant we had fewer opportunities than our private school counterparts.
“That really p....d me off. Imagine trying to find your purpose in life while denying to everybody who you actually are,” Wilson said.