Hello Fellow Ladies!
It is that time of the year when we all get to put aside the trials and tribulations of being a women (you know, not being tall enough to reach the top cupboard, inequality in the workplace, that kind of thing) and actually embrace our feminity. Yes it is international women’s day. So why should we celebrate International Women’s Day you ask? It is a day dedicated to honouring our important contribution to society as well as highlighting the need for gender equality. You would probably be a little surprised to hear that I consider myself a feminist, it probably doesn’t fit with the “bra burning stereotype” when I am into makeup and frivolous cutesy things, but the stereotype is a myth. The modern feminist is a woman who realises and embraces their female aspects whilst still believing that they should have the same rights as men in the workplace, society and the home. I certainly believe that we are getting there, in comparisson to years ago in Ireland when a women wasn’t alowed to continue work once she was married. However we still have a long way to go when you consider Irish women earn less than men, despite more women having third level qualifications. We are also under-represented in boards of management in Irish Companies as well as the Oireachtais and in local and regional authorities. Even in the female rich industry that I work in, many of the most successful companies are run by men! Hard to believe that so few women make it to the top tier of this industry, but unfortunately this is often the case. So what can we do about this you ask? Well it is about encouraging and embracing our fellow ladies and working together to try and change traditional roles. Next time you feel that a female colleague is a bitch, think to yourself if you were treated the same way by a man, what would you think? While reading Cheryl Sandburg’s book Lean In, this was one point she made that resonated with me. She calls it the Howard/Heidi study. Two professors wrote up a case study about a real-life entrepreneur named Heidi Roizen, describing how she became a successful venture capitalist by relying on her outgoing personality and huge personal and professional network. The professors had a group of students read Roizen’s story with her real name attached and another group read the story with the name changed to “Howard.” Then the students rated Howard and Heidi on their accomplishments and on how appealing they seemed as colleagues. While the students rated them equally in terms of success, they thought Howard was likeable while Heidi seemed selfish and not “the type of person you would want to hire or work for.” Sandberg’s conclusion: when a man is successful, he is well liked. When a woman does well, people like her less. So lets celebrate our successful ladies!!
It was while writing this post that a timely press release came through from The Body Shop Celebrating Amazing Women. So I thought it would be a great idea to share some of their women that are doing great things as a result of their Community Fair Trade Projects.
- Cecilia Arcos is president of CADO, an association of smallholder family farmers in Ecuador that aims to provide socially and environmentally sustainable alcohol. CADO recently set up a women’s empowerment group to help with issues such as domestic violence and self-esteem. Cecilia has just been re-elected by unanimous vote – a real achievement in a society that is mostly male dominated.
- A member of the Beza Mar beekeepers in Ethiopia, Tenaye became involved in honey production to earn enough to send her four children to school. She developed a biological pest control that prevents bees from being killed by ants, which is now being widely used. As a result, the government awarded Tenaye with the title of ‘The Best Woman Beekeeper in Ethiopia’.
- The Eudafano Women’s Co-operative in Namibia has 1,750 members who are building a business and a future on the ancient wisdom of marula oil. Serafina Shetukanga, who has four school-age children, says, “I use the money from marula to buy soap to keep my family clean, mealy meal to feed them all, and to pay for school fees so that my children can all grow up educated.”
Closer to home, there are some amazing women who I would also like to celebrate:
- A groundbreaking women who has paved the way for future women to be taken seriously in the sport of boxing, a hero of Ireland, Katy Taylor certainly deserves to be mentioned.
- Broadcaster and publisher with RTE and Newstalk and CEO Harmonia, Ireland’s largest magazine company and spokesperson for women in business, is there anything she doesn’t do Norah Casey is showing us how it is done.
- A woman in the beauty business, who is showing the men how it is done! Marissa Carter has had phenomenal success with both her companies Carter Beauty and Cocoa Brown Tan.
So I hope I haven’t bored you to death with my blog post as I know it is a bit of a departure from my usual beauty ramblings. I hope you feel as passionately as I do. To celebrate International Women’s Day tomorrow I have teamed up with the lovely people at The Body Shop and I would like to do a giveaway of a Makeup Session with me as well as this gorgeous gift set. All you have to do to enter is to like my facebook page as well as comment below.
Lots of love,