Imagine an ideal world, where opportunities were granted regardless of personal circumstance, gender, race or sexuality. A world that not only celebrated diversity, but actively encouraged and nurtured inclusivity. That is the world that International Women’s Day actively promotes, because celebrating women’s achievements and raising awareness about discrimination is imperative in the drive for gender parity, and a more equitable society.
International Women’s Day 2023 promotes the all important mantra of EmbraceEquity, seeking to look further than just equality, but to draw focus to our need for equity within communities and society as a whole. This idea of equity demonstrates our need to consider every person and their individual circumstances in order for them to thrive.
What is the difference between equality and equity?
Both words mean even, fair or equal when we look at their latin roots, however, they are inherently different.
Equality views fairness as offering every person the same opportunities and resources, believing that even distribution is equal. Whereas equity recognises and understands that giving everybody the same opportunities is not enough. We need to consider every person’s circumstances and tailor the resources and opportunities that we offer in order to produce an equal outcome.
“Equality is leaving the door open for anyone who has the means to approach it; equity is ensuring there is a pathway to that door for those who need it.”
–Caroline Belden (Writer, ‘The Inclusion Solution’)
Even though there have been huge steps taken in recent years to fuel and nurture this idea of equity, there is still a long way to go, for instance, did you know that on average, women retire with £123,000 less than men?
A recent report showed that only 1 in 25 of CEOs in Britain’s largest publicly listed companies are women. – Sky News
What does International Women’s Day mean for Browndog Agency?
“Browndog has come a long way in the last few years in many areas of the business – sales, number of clients, team size, but one of the biggest achievements is how we have increased our female to male ratio.
This in turn gives us a stronger platform for growth, puts our female colleagues at the heart of the business in marketing, client services, design and content, and I look forward to seeing our ladies continue to progress through the company. I’d love one of them to replace me one day.” – Alexis Bradbury, Strategy Director
At Browndog, we value every single member of our team. We believe in giving everybody a voice and control over their growth within the business, as well as supporting each other through our own personal achievements and milestones.
Today, on International Women’s Day (IWD) we would like to take this opportunity to explore the women who have inspired, encouraged and liberated our very own women at the agency.
Women in work
IWD is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant contribution that women make across design disciplines. There are so many women designers and illustrators that inspire and push the boundaries of creativity. Here are just a few that we love at Browndog:
Marylou Faure is a French illustrator that uses bold colours and overexaggerated shapes to create playful work, mainly of the female form. Her work spans across print, fashion and animation, with the goal to tackle the issues she cares about with global brands that focus on social or ethical causes. She has created campaigns for Netflix’s ‘Just Love’ Campaign and Nike France Women’s 2022 Home Jersey.
Visit Marylou’s website here
Follow Marylou on Instagram here
Sophie Tea is a UK contemporary artist that has risen to fame on Instagram, providing a new way for people to buy and enjoy art. Moving away from using traditional galleries, people can buy art in monthly instalments, rather than upfront. This opens an opportunity for everyone to enjoy art without the price tag. Inclusivity is a strong theme throughout Sophie’s work – her recognisable ‘Nudie’ era has female bodies at the core, whatever shape and size. They even made it onto the catwalk just in body paint!
Visit Sophie’s website here
Follow Sophie on Instagram here
Jessica Walsh is the founder of the American creative agency &Walsh – a creative director and designer, whose company focuses on advertising and art direction. But that’s not all. She is also the founder of Ladies, Wine & Design (LWD), a non-profit organisation that organises events and mentorships for creatives, encouraging diversity across the industry. LWD is global, with over 20 groups set up throughout the UK.
Visit the &Walsh website here
Verònica Fuerte is a designer, and founded her design studio Hey in 2007 in Barcelona when she was just 27 years old. The studio is synonymous for its bold, geometric style. She has since launched the hugely successful HeyShop and womenatworkbyhey! Podcast.
In an interview with designby-women.com when asked what advice she had for women and under-represented creatives trying to get their first role in a design studio she said:
“Use your voice and give your opinion. Also, perfection will never arrive, the process is about learning.
“Over the years, and particularly in the last four, I’ve noticed a change. Suddenly I realised that I was very alone in this industry. Only around 17% of the Creative Directors in the world are women and one of them is me.”
Listen to the Women at Work by Heystudio on Spotify here
Follow Veronica on Instagram here
Jade Purple Brown
Jade Purple Brown is a New York based artist who has worked on campaigns with brands including Macys, Clinique and Sephora. Her distinctive work centres around female characters and vibrant colours.
If you haven’t heard of Jade, you may have seen her artwork on the 2021 Adobe Illustrator launch screen. In 2020 she released a beautifully illustrated book ‘Words to live by’. The publication highlights 50 positive quotes from inspirational women through beautifully illustrated typography.
Image Credit: Jade Purple Brown
You can listen to Jade being Interviewed on the ‘This Way Up’ Podcast here.
Visit Jade’s website here: https://jadepurplebrown.com
Follow Jade on Instagram here
If you’re on the lookout for more inspiration, news and insight from those working in the creative industry, check out Creative Boom. Founded by Katy Cowan, it is one of the UK’s leading online magazines but has now expanded into the podcasting world, with episodes every week. Katy interviews creatives across all disciplines, with everyday advice, real-life success and failure stories and encouragement for those either starting out or fully into their careers. It’s definitely worth a listen!
It wouldn’t be right for International Women’s Day to pass without discussing the incredible work of former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama. The impact she has had on the lives of women across the world is undeniable. One of many projects Michelle is involved in is The Girls Opportunity Alliance who work to empower adolescent girls globally to achieve their full potential by transforming families, communities, and countries.
As of 2022 the programme has funded 54 projects in 20 countries.
Michelle states “Our goal is to help clear away all that’s standing in the way of girls achieving their dreams. While that’s too big of a challenge for any one of us to tackle alone, it’s something I know can be accomplished if we all work together.”
Image Credit: Obama Foundation
Read more about The Girls Opportunity Alliance here.
Jameela Jamil is a British actress and creator of the iWeigh movement which is a community and podcast that encourages women to discuss their ‘weight’ in terms of their achievements and presence in the world, rather than the number on the scale. Inspired to start the community, Jameela Jamil began her iWeigh movement just over two years ago when she saw female celebrities in a magazine, being labelled by how much they weigh. Outraged at the fact that you would never see male celebrities featured in a magazine labelled by their weight, she encourages people to discuss their attributes in a positive way.
The iWeigh movement is inclusive for all, and the podcast always ends with a person sharing the statement “I weigh” followed by their achievements and the things that are important to them. For example, in a recent interview Reese Witherspoon shared, “I weigh 30 years as an actor and a creator and entertainer. I weigh finding my purpose in life to tell stories and help other women tell their stories. I am a proud mother of three incredibly thoughtful, conscientious children. I weigh my contribution that I plan to give back to the world and those are the things that I feel really, really good about. Oh, and I weigh, I weigh as funny as I am on any really great day.”
Jameela continues to use the platform to share original content that explores social issues and increases representation of marginalised groups.
Learn more about the iWeigh movement here.
“We exist to raise the standards in gynae health by creating innovative products and services that fit conveniently into our lives.”
Daye is a female owned business, working to change the idea that a one-size-fits-all healthcare model doesn’t work. They work to educate consumers on making healthy choices, particularly in period care, by shining a light on the outdated ways that the period care industry is built.
They’re changing the products that we put into our bodies, removing toxic materials and ocean-ruining plastics to provide positive period care for all. They are a certified B Corp who pride themselves on bridging the gap between sexes, as they believe everyone deserves the same level of healthcare. They’re doing this by recognising that gynae health is not ‘women’s health’ it is human health, and should be studied and researched in the same way; most medical research until now has been largely based on male physiology and therefore negatively impacts the standard of healthcare experienced by women.
Similarly, Wear ‘em Out is a female founded business that is working to educate in the period care industry, focusing on removing menstrual waste from landfill. Did you know that a single disposable pad or tampon takes longer to degrade than the lifespan of the person who wore it? It can take up to 800 years! 4.5 billion disposable menstrual products are used in the UK every year, equating to 200,000 tonnes of menstrual waste that is sent to landfill.
They’re making the switch to eco friendly periods easy with their range of reusable cotton pads.
Women in sport
Serena Williams is undeniably one of the greatest Tennis players of all time, with 73 career singles titles and 23 career doubles titles. She has been a supporter and promoter of women’s rights both on and off the tennis court.
In her essay written for ‘Fortune’ to honour IWD she noted that if women are going to tackle everything life holds, they need fellow gals’ support by calling out stereotypes about female behaviour, fighting against outdated rules and expressing empathy towards each other.
“While I think all women are superheroes, we are not superhuman and we need each other’s support. We need to give each other grace when we fall short—and when society sets unrealistic expectations or our workplaces have antiquated rules. We must band together and fight for what’s fair.”
The essay concluded by encouraging readers to ‘come together and support one another in honour of all the groundbreaking women who came before us – and those who are proudly following our lead.’
Follow Serena on Instagram here
Lissie Mackintosh is a Content Creator, Podcaster and Presenter focusing on everything Formula 1. Being relatively new to the industry, Lissie’s online presence has skyrocketed over the past 12 months. Starting out on TikTok, she has since launched her podcast Going Purple and has interviewed numerous F1 drivers and contributors for a range of platforms and worked on campaigns with Shell and Ferrari just to name a couple.
Lissie started creating content with the aim to create a safe space for F1 fans to be ‘unapologetically themselves whether they’ve watched the sport for 30 years or 2 months’ and wanted to ‘Bring a fresh light to F1’. She discussed the lack of women in the sport in an interview with SkySports.
“We need more women who are relatable and being shown. That’s the way to get younger girls interested in the sport. The roles aren’t just male roles. We all need to be aware of the fact that representation on F1 isn’t quite where it needs to be at the moment,” she added.
“But there are so many incredible women within F1, the sport would not run without women and the women within F1. I hope to be able to shine a light on all of those women because I am so inspired by them all.”
Follow Lissie on Instagram here
Read Lissie’s full interview with SkySports here
Listen to Lissie’s podcast ‘Going Purple’ here
Manchester City & Puma
Manchester City and PUMA have this week announced the launch of a kit range to celebrate girls and women in football in Manchester.
Inspired by Emmeline Pankhurst, a pioneer of the Suffragette movement, the new PUMA kit highlights both her Mancunian roots and passion for female equality with the green, white and purple featured in the kit paying tribute to the Suffragettes colours.
80% of girls feel they do not belong in sport and only 14% of girls aged 5-16 achieve recommended levels of physical activity.
In order to address these challenges, PUMA will sponsor City in the Community’s City Girls programme and help enable the charity to provide free weekly football sessions for 250 girls across Manchester over the next year.
This Girl Can
This Girl Can is an award-winning campaign that was launched in 2015. The campaign strives to support women who want to get active, but may lack the confidence to do so due to ability, size, background, culture, etc.
The campaign can help women to find sports teams or exercise classes that will work for them, without any judgement.
“Women come in all shapes and sizes with all abilities and from all backgrounds. Some of us are expert sportswomen, some of us are a bit rubbish. It doesn’t matter.”
Find teams and sports near you here