Angela Meyer and Anna Dean

Angela Meyer (left) and Anna Dean, Gender Intelligence Strategists.

Double Denim founders Angela Meyer and Anna Dean are feminists from way back.

For Angela Meyer, growing up with three sisters meant ‘girl power’ was not just a catchphrase but a way of life. It wasn’t until after she left home that she faced sexist attitudes, and saw how these beliefs affected her and the women around her. Her dance troupe, The Real Hot Bitches, became a way to celebrate the diversity of women, while challenging society’s attitudes around what women ‘should’ look like, through the expressive power of dance.

Anna Dean’s feminist awakening occurred while she was a 16-year-old exchange student in Japan. Here she encountered a ‘sometimes intense patriarchal society’, suffering regular harassment on public transport. For the first time, Anna realised she was being treated differently because she was a young woman.

Later, Anna and Angela’s lives intersected and they discovered a shared desire to instigate change and find a way to end the systemic oppression of women. They joined forces professionally in 2016 when they founded Double Denim – a strategic consultancy specialising in gender intelligence. They call their particular brand of work ‘stealth feminism’.

Their Aotearoa Gender Intelligence Insights Report is the first piece of work of its kind in New Zealand. This comprehensive dataset provides information about how New Zealand women are faring economically and emotionally. The research shows just how powerful the female economy is, but also highlights some disturbing statistics about the everyday lives of women in this country. It draws attention to the ongoing struggle for women’s rights and equality in New Zealand – despite New Zealand women winning the right to vote in 1893.

Motivated by their insights, Double Denim use this data to craft their campaigns. They work with a large community of like-minded people who share their determination. Leading by example is important to Angela and Anna, who lead an all-female team and collaborate with female directors and scriptwriters on their campaigns.

Double Denim’s 2017 ‘Treat Her Right’ campaign for the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions fitted in with Anna and Angela’s work ethos and personal goals. The campaign focused on raising awareness of New Zealand’s pay inequity, and asked why little had changed since the 1972 Equal Pay Act.

Alongside Double Denim, Angela and Anna run the Ace Lady Network – a social-media-based community and events series focused on sharing inspiring, often humorous stories about what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.

The Ace Lady Network uses Facebook to share information and connect with women in New Zealand as well as globally. They regularly hold public talks and workshops, and produce podcasts and a newsletter. Find out more about Anna and Angela in the following video.

Further information

https://www.facebook.com/aceladynetwork/

https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/201819995/the-ace-lady-network

Explore more stories about women's activism in New Zealand

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