Last year saw women’s rights splashed across most of our news, with the #MeToo movement and campaigns that championed a louder voice for those who weren’t being heard. And it seems that a lot of high-power global companies are using their platforms as a megaphone, pioneering campaigns that see equal rights put first. Here, we round up a few of our favourites on the scene, putting gender equality smack bang on the middle of the map.
Among wider efforts to tackle social and environmental issues, beauty giant L’Oreal became the Founding Partner of the Women4Climate initiative in March last year. Aiming to empower and mentor young women to address climate change in their hometown, they’ve been directly helping to get grassroot campaigns off the ground, such as a system to promote and rate sustainable restaurants in France.
Just in time for International Women’s Day, Vans are launching ‘Girl Skate India’ on March 8, backed by India’s first female pro-skateboarder Atita Verghese and designed to challenge the male-dominated arena. Getting more girls on board globally too, they’re opening 100 skate clinics across the world, encouraging young girls to find confidence and independence through sports.
Credit: Annie Splatt
London’s very own mayor Sadiq Khan has used his position of power in the battle for gender equality, announcing the #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign last year. A twist on the feminist slogan of the sixties and seventies, he has pledged to work towards gender parity and tackle such issues as the gender pay gap, professional accessibility and education across the city, calling upon cities worldwide to do the same.
Not only was Tresemmé started by a powerful woman against all the odds, but they also continue to work towards gender equality in the workplace. Announcing that in doing so could affect the global GDP by 12 trillion dollars, they launched the Levo Partnership. Leading in-person professional workshops in over 25 cities globally, the partnership seeks to give women back the confidence to smash the glass ceiling, whatever their industry.
We love when a Hollywood star uses their voice for good, so Elizabeth Arden’s latest collaboration with Reese Witherspoon made us sit up. Launching ‘March On’, an initiative that champions female empowerment, Witherspoon has exclusively designed her own lipstick with the beauty brand, donating 100% of the proceeds towards the project. They’ve also pledged funds to the work of UN Women, and makes a final flourish to Reese’s industry-rocking work on the #TimesUp movement.
#LikeAGirl has for too long been used as a negative. But Always has taken ownership of the phrase, and launched the #LikeAGirl campaign to highlight the amazing things women can do. Based on a study that shows 49% of young women feel scared to fail on a day-to-day basis, they’ve invested in education projects around the world that teach young girls about puberty and their cycle. Not only this, but parent company P&G have long since been funding UNESCO and providing female refugees with the basic sanitary needs they were lacking.
Credit: #HeForShe campaign
Social media went into meltdown in September 2014, when actress and ambassador Emma Watson, kick started the UN Women‘s #HeForShe campaign. It was the first cog in a movement that is pushing for gender equality – highlighting that it is indeed a humans rights issue, and not just exclusive to women. Galvanizing more men than previous initiatives, its work has seen 1.6 million people take action, 1.1k events around the world and a global platform created where we can unite for good as humans. It even collaborated with Pantone to create a unique campaign colour: a bold magenta that stands for energy, power and a call to action.
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest in positive living. If you’ve enjoyed reading about campaigns fostering equality, you might also like: In the News: Why women must play a greater role in the global economy, Brands That Care: Kids Brands Innovating with Materials, June Sarpong on Why The Time To Diversify is Now, Woman of the Future: Helen Newcombe talks Responsible Business, The Glass Ceiling Story