This year's International Women's Day celebration focuses on #PressForProgress, joining together to promote gender equality and collaborative, progressive action on challenging stereotypes.
Today, women around the world are joining together to celebrate womanhood in both business and society.
We spoke with co-founder of NuFACE Tera Peterson, FOREO Online Retail Manager Hamida Said-Omar, GloPro Co-Founder Jamie O'Banion and Elvie founder Tania Boler to reflect on their hopes and plans for the year ahead.
What does International Women's Day mean to you?
Tera: International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate us. A celebration of where we have come and how strong we are…as individuals and collectively as us! It is also a reminder to stay focused, particularly in light of current events—there is still more work to be done.
Hamida: For me it means empowerment, strength and togetherness; a great day to highlight those key points which I believe are key for women around the world.
Tania: It’s a day for celebrating all that women have achieved - socio-economically, politically, and personally. Women have been stepping up for centuries and the women’s rights movement is one that should be commemorated in remembrance of the women who paved the way for us today, as well as all the women that are working to keep pushing it further forward.
Jamie: For me, International Women’s Day is a moment to reflect back on annual achievements in gender equality and align as a united voice for progress yet to be made.
This year's theme is #PressForProgress. What's the biggest change you've seen in business in recent years?
Tania: Since Elvie began in 2013, we’ve seen a massive growth in the femtech industry as women are increasingly demanding better technologies for themselves. We’re forcing investors to take notice of this massive gap in the market. It feels more and more inevitable that there will be the first global women’s consumer tech brand emerging by the end of the decade.
Jamie: The biggest shift I have noted in the beauty vertical is a desire for radical transparency. Gone are the days when consumers were satisfied or even intrigued by the dream-in-a-bottle mystique. They want to know the why and feel empowered by education and ultimately choice. We have moved from being a brand to being a movement.
Hamida: The push for equality in all fronts in the workplace, this is now trending, and people start to talk about it, I think this is a great progress.
Tera: The biggest change I’ve observed, is that companies in the industry are embracing their women founders. At one time these founders were often swallowed up by the process and replaced as their companies became larger and more involved. Recently, the trend has been to keep these founders in place, acknowledging their insights, their spirit and irreplaceable value to the business.
As a mother, what’s the change you’d like to see for the next generation?
Tera: As a mom of twin, 1-year old girls… the change I’d like to see for them is the gender division erased. Hard-work is hard-work, a professional is a professional-- no matter what the race, gender, color or creed!
Tania: That womanhood is to be celebrated, not something to be embarrassed about.
Jamie: We need to cut the guilt and stop being so hard on ourselves. If we want to create a generation of women that celebrates hard work, passion and grit, we have to SHOW them what that looks like. We must never apologize, hide or change ourselves to fit our perception of female success.
Hamida: To be recognised for their talents, hard work and skills not because you are a female, another colour and so on, only for their capacities and what they bring on the table.
This post is part of a wider series celebrating International Women's Day. Click on the following links to read the full interviews from Tera, Tania and Hamida.