International Women's Day this year focuses on “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”
It recognises women and girls around the world who are leading the response to a sustainable, considerate future. A future that mitigates climate change, improving outcomes for all.
"Women are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most," published UN Women.
"At the same time, women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation."
RIPA Global Founder and CEO Mel Gollan is one of those building a new path towards a more sustainable future.
As a previous Sales & Marketing expert, her role was to grow customers and sales, not process endless receipts. After 10 years, she’d had enough.
She states her case eloquently, “I never wanted to see or touch another receipt again, so I reverse engineered the whole process and designed a brand new solution.
"I wanted to create a more efficient way to process expenses, that doesn't cost the earth."
And so came RIPA Expenses.
RIPA Expenses bridges the gap between the point-of-sale and accounting systems while keeping all original receipts in the RIPA cloud for tax compliance.
It completely eliminates paper receipts for businesses – who normally, would have no way to avoid BPA-laden, non-recyclable paper receipts.
In the US alone, 12 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted annually from receipt production, which is almost equal to 1 million cars on the road.
686 million pounds of waste and 10 million trees cut down accompany that – meaning not only is receipt production creating CO2, it’s also taking away what helps offset it.
The company sits alongside other Kiwi-made, green technology firms who are reshaping the way forward and the all-important conversations that go with it.
Through her vision and sharp business acumen, she developed a simple solution to an extraordinary problem and the reason she made the shortlist of Striving for Change: Inspiring Women Leaders, 2021 honour.
“Being of Maori descent and the first woman in my family to have soft hands is humbling. Each generation wants to do better for the next – my ancestors did their job, now it's my turn to do mine," says Mel.
"Young women are not engaging in tech at the same rates as men – for a number of reasons. They may get intimidated by self-doubt, scary-sounding jobs and a lack of understanding about the industry. By sharing our knowledge, we demystify tech for women between the ages of 12 and 18 and offer pathways to gain access to those jobs.
"Women are amazing fixers by nature and technology is all about fixing problems. Perfect match!” she says.