International Women's Day 2017

Today is International Women's Day, so it made sense that the only female Director of Thread Harvest should be the one to write a blog post today!

So here I sit, glass of red nestled beside me, favourite candle burning for inspiration and all I can think about is the four men who I run Thread Harvest with. These men wouldn't necessarily stand out to you if you passed them in the street. They laugh at inappropriate jokes about bodily functions. They are as boisterous as they come. Their high fives to each other are always a contest as to who can make the loudest clap. To the naked eye they really are just typical guys.

But these four men do something few men would. They fight, everyday, to change the social situation globally for women. These four men are the ones who empower me to be all that I am and all that I bring to the Thread Harvest team. They respect me. Listen to me. Lift me up when I am struggling. And on a day where we are raising awareness for the empowerment of women everywhere, they are the ones sending me messages of praise and encouragement. These four men know the value women bring to the work place, they embrace it and support it wholeheartedly.

You might be wondering "well why then is there only one female Director?" which is a valid question. The answer is quite simple (and it's not for lack of trying to bring more women on the team!), it's because I chose to step up. I chose to be counted among the men. I chose to not shrink back. I chose to fight for women who cannot fight for themselves and I did this by acknowledging that I have been given an opportunity. So often we can leave the fight to someone else. We might throw a sentence or two behind these kinds of initiative but what are we really doing on a daily basis to change the situation for our sisters globally? Are we raising each other up in our own workplace? Are we singing the praises of our colleagues when praise is due? Are we encouraging and empowering each other?

Empowering women is our collective responsibility. We need each other to fight this fight. Both men and women. We need each other to speak up. We need each other to step up and take action against the injustice and inequality in our world. I would not be who I am today without these four men, in the same way these four men would not be who they are without me. We might not be able to change the world within a day, "but it’s precisely at those moments that knowing at least we’re doing it together gives us the strength to carry on." (ref.)

The theme for this year's International Women's Day is "Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030"

"The idea of this theme is to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and number 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The theme will also focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights." (ref.)

How can we say we hope for such things to be a reality if in our day to day we do not support, encourage and fight for those women in our immediate world? This target for gender equality won't happen unless we are all in this fight together. At Thread Harvest we are empowering women within our organisation, through our products and through the brands we partner with. We're so passionate about the empowerment of women we made it an impact badge - it's that important.

So on a day such as this I encourage you, dear sisters, to step into action within your own sphere of influence. Create change where you are today. And if you're lucky enough to find four guys who stand for you and your tribe, I guarantee you're bound to change the world.

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