“We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.” - Beyoncé
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BalanceForBetter. International Women’s Day puts it simply as, “Better the balance, better the world.” The concept draws on the women’s empowerment movement and calls for a more gender-balanced world, and more specifically, equality in the workplace.
As a working woman about to give birth to a boy (any day now!), the idea of equality and balance has made me think about things a bit differently. It’s part of the reason why I love that Beyoncé quote so much (aside from the fact that she’s just Queen B in general). It allows space for men and women, boys and girls...equally.
Unfortunately, that’s not the way our world currently functions. Hence the importance of days like International Women’s Day. Thankfully, companies are starting to take notice and evolve their brands to empower modern day women.
As brands have shifted their focus, I’ve taken notice. So, without further ado, here are some of the brands that I think are truly empathically connecting with today’s women:
I mean, how could you write a post about female empowerment and not mention their latest ad, “Dream Crazier.” Even though it is sports focused, Serena Williams’ push to “Show them what crazy can do” could be applied to nearly any aspect of a woman’s life. It encourages us to lean into our emotions, follow our dreams and be ourselves throughout the process.
- Lola, Cora, This is L and Sustain Natural
Millennials and Gen Zers not only want transparency into the products they’re buying but also want companies to foster a “do good” element. These four brands sell organic feminine and sexual health products, allowing women to have a choice in what they put in their body. In addition, each has some element of paying it forward. For instance, Cora provides feminine pads and health education to girls in need and Lola donates menstrual products to low-income women and homeless shelters.
Netflix offers 52 weeks (a year!) of paid maternity and paternity leave (talk about balance!). Employees can split up the 52 weeks however they want which allows them to ease back into the workforce after dealing with the joys (and sleepless nights) of parenthood. Not only is a longer maternity policy good for the child, but it significantly increases the retention of women within a company. So really, win-win.
Where to start? The company’s mission is to “Build a Bra for Every Body,” so in February, they released 78 additional sizes. They have a variety of “nudes” to better represent skin colors and use women of all sizes, including plus size as models. The company is so passionate about being inclusive, that the CEO wrote a letter to Victoria’s Secret in response to comments by their CMO saying no one wanted to see plus size or trans women in their Fashion Show because it represented a “fantasy.” Specifically, she said, “We believe the future is building a brand for every woman, regardless of her shape, size, age, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation. This shouldn’t be seen as groundbreaking, it should be the norm.” This is the kind of norm I’m looking forward to seeing more of!
I'm sure there are plenty of brands that are working to empower women that I missed. Which ones are some of your favorites? I'd love to know! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or be part of the discussion on LINKEDIN!