Celebrating International Women’s Day: Nicola Relph

March 8th is International Women’s Day. Here we talk to owner of Adulttoymegastore, Nicola Relph about her thoughts on the global celebration and if it’s actually useful to women.

1)     What doesdoes International Women's Day mean to you?

To me, International Women’s Day is about celebrating the success of women in all areas of life. It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come, our determination, and that we are proud of, and celebrate, other women.

2)    What dodo you believe can be done to address gender stereotypes?

I think it’s important to continue a positive and empowering narrative that spreads the message that we are all people, and we are all equal. Whether it’s interpersonal between a small group of people or spreading that message far and wide, the more that people assume that narrative as the norm, the more normal it will become.

3)    What progressprogress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?

15-20 years ago, the adult industry was dominated by men. Now that has completely changed, and about half, if not more, of the industry is influenced by women. That’s because of the ever-increasing awareness that sexual pleasure is for everyone, and it’s ok to be a woman and enjoy sexual pleasure.

4)    What’s youryour International Women’s Day message?

Your mindset is everything. If your mindset is right, anything is possible. It’s the 21st century and nothing can stop us anymore. We have all the resources available to us, and so many opportunities. We just need to take them, believe in ourselves, and do whatever it takes to get what we want. We’ve also got to support each other. Actively seek out and surround yourself with like-minded women who are positive and empowering. It makes all the difference. 

5)    What areare the most effective ways to counteract the negative stereotypes of feminism, especially in the workplace?

I’ve always believed that actions speak louder than words, and if I was great at what I did and put in the work I would earn the respect just like anyone else would and I wouldn’t be treated any differently.

I think the key is for people to speak up if they face discrimination or believe they are being treated unfairly and tell their direct manager or HR depending on what’s appropriate for their situation.

6)   What doesdoes it mean for you to be a woman leading the sexual wellness space?

The sexual wellness space is going through a transformation at the moment and I think there’s lots of important pieces of the puzzle leading that change. It’s a combination of people having the ability to access products and services easily, the increased availability of education regarding sexual wellness and pleasure, and an increase in mainstream media covering sex topics. There’s also been a mindset shift of being able to talk about sex more openly with other people, and that’s a credit to the normalisation that has taken place.  

I feel like I’m simply helping to facilitate one or more of those pieces, such as through our educational videos and content, our sexual wellness podcast The Electric Rodeo, or the events we host and sponsor. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and pride that as a small to medium sized New Zealand business we can help to facilitate that change across the globe.

7)    Share aa women’s empowerment moment that inspired you?

I was recently a finalist in the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards for the Business Enterprise category, and although the in-person event didn’t go ahead because of Covid, it was live streamed instead and it was so inspiring to hear stories of the other finalists’ success and the incredible work they’re doing in our communities and internationally. It was such an amazing experience and it filled me with pride to be a finalist alongside 60 other women that are all doing such great things.