14 Mar #BalanceForBetter – the changemakers campaigning for gender equality
Last week marked International Women’s Day 2019 – an international campaign raising awareness against bias and encouraging people to take action for equality.
The #BalanceforBetter theme of this year’s International Women’s Day will run all year long. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive and collective action and shared responsibility is key to driving a gender-balanced world.
Globally only 24% of all national parliamentarians are women.
The number of women holding the most senior jobs in Britain’s boardrooms actually fell last year. There are now just 30 women in full-time executive roles at FTSE 250 firms – amounting to 6.4%, and for every £1 of venture capital investment in the UK, only 1p goes to female entrepreneurs. Which means women are only getting 1% of business funding investment in the UK!
Gender inequality shows up in our everyday lives. Around the world it continues to hold women back and deprives them of basic rights and opportunities, which is why it’s Goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
For International Women’s Day 2019, we’re proud to showcase changemakers who are working to level the playing field and achieve gender equality.
BEEN London is a London-based brand turning landfill-bound waste into beautiful accessories.From leather offcuts and trimmings to recycled plastic bottles – we make sure discarded materials get a second chance in life and evolve into something exceptional.
Every piece is handmade locally in our studio in East London. Our supply chain is simple, transparent and is designed to help others thrive and have a balanced life.
We make sure all our makers are paid fairly and work with a social enterprise training people with learning disabilities on packaging and postage.
Heidi Fisher, Make An Impact CIC
Make an Impact CIC is a social enterprise that supports other social enterprises and charities to grow, become sustainable and to measure, manage and report their social impact better.
We believe in #BalanceForBetter because research has proven businesses that have more women board members outperform those that don’t financially and in terms of talent, reputation and innovation. It just makes sense to stop having all male boards!
Shockingly, only 10 countries in the world have equal numbers of men and women setting up businesses. At Make an Impact we get to increase the balance because 41% of UK social enterprises are led by women, and we get to help more women to set up and grow social enterprises.
Website – www.makeanimpactcic.co.uk
Twitter – https://twitter.com/heidilfisher
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/heidi.fisher
Facebook – www.facebook.com/makeanimpactcic
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/heidilfisher
Inspiring Women Changemakers
Inspiring Women Changemakers is a women-led movement for positive social change. Our mission is to guide and inspire women to speak up about the things that matter to them, to take on responsibility, and to take action.
We know that women all around the world experience disproportionate inequalities in pay, health, education and access to finance. As long as these gaps persist, it’s to the detriment of all.
Even in the UK, the average woman works “for free” for the first two months of the year due to a gender pay gap of around 17.9%, a new study by The Trades Union Congress (TUC) suggests.
The gender pay gap is even wider in certain sectors and places, and for women from minority groups. Campaigns to promote gender equality such as #BalanceForBetter are much needed and we are happy to support it.
Website – www.inspiringwomenchangemakers.co.uk
Facebook – www.facebook.com/InspiringWomenChangemakers
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/inspiringwomenchangemakers
Twitter – https://twitter.com/WmnChangemakers
Tracy Wathen-Jones, Cheese & Teas Creative
I am an intuitive communicator with a strong technical background in nature conservation, sustainable agriculture and horticulture. I grew up with small scale dairy farming and market gardening.
Aged 31 I undertook a move to rural Ireland to start horticultural businesses and a smallholding.
I have always had an interest in native and rare breed livestock and so after purchasing some land I bought a number of native breeds. During this time I started to use Twitter and discovered a bunch of ladies also in agriculture in Ireland and this began my journey into land based communications.
Since then I have taken part in International organic leadership training, writing for magazines and training women in social media.
In January 2019 I began working freelance under my business name Cheese & Teas Creative. I am focussing on creating content, devising strategies and training people in social media and communications specifically for businesses and organisations involved in the sustainable food/farming, gardening and health industries.
Wayaj is the first native travel app designed to explore and book sustainable and socially responsible vacations across the world.
It aggregates the best eco-hotels in an engaging and user-friendly experience. From treehouses in the jungle to private tropical islands, from historic castles to shared rooms in the center of trendy cities, Wayaj offers a wide variety of destinations in terms of travel style and budget. All the hotels are scored using our comprehensive eco-rating system.
Positioned at the intersection of travel and environmental sustainability, Wayaj leverages the power of tourism to promote the preservation of bio-diversity on our planet while empowering local communities.
The Wayaj app is currently available on iOS and Android, and it is free for users and hotels.
The founder of Wayaj is Nelly Gedeon, EE MBA. Originally from Haiti, Nelly is a successful entrepreneur and is currently overseeing several projects with social and environmental impact.
Find out more: http://wayaj.com/
World’s Biggest Garage Sale
World’s Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS) is a Brisbane based start-up, designing solutions to commercialise the circular economy through the activation of unwanted goods.
We’re building a company that maximises the value of goods already in the economy, through recycle, repurpose, reuse, and re-commerce. In doing so, we’re diverting landfill and drawing wealth from waste.
Currently, WBGS hosts large-scale local re-commerce events, and we are developing a digital platform enabling communities globally to reproduce these events through a toolkit.
This allows WBGS to provide positive impact for people, planet and profit for purpose on a global scale. WBGS aims to reduce waste generation through prevention, recycling, and reuse of goods that would otherwise lie dormant in households and ultimately risk disposal in landfill, we activate the community to participate in more sustainable forms of disposal of unwanted products, and more sustainable forms of consumption.
WBGS have already generated huge social impact from our Brisbane events; diverting 3.3-million kilograms of goods from potential landfill and adding $1.7-million worth of social value to the global economy through waste diversion and preservation of natural resources, and raising $151,000 for charity benefactors.
Our business has recently been the proud recipient of two prestigious sustainability awards for our work in the Brisbane community; The Cleanaway Waste Innovation Award at the Cleaner Suburbs Awards, and the YURIKA Sustainability Award for Sustainability in Business at the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.
Y.O.U is Your Own Underwear – an ethical business producing stylish, 100% organic cotton underwear for men and women, with a giving back model that provides underwear to people in need.
I want to support and empower women through every element of our business:
Our work with India’s leading sustainable manufacturer helps support the women and families left behind because of the high suicide rate amongst conventional cotton farmers.
Our giving back model means we provide thousands of pairs of underwear to women and children who don’t have their own, and so are excluded from school and work, particularly during their periods.
And finally we empower the people who wear our underwear, with our no airbrushing commitment and hidden body positivity messages inside our undies.
I believe that gender equality is key to solving many of our current social, environmental & political issues – balance really is better for everyone!