WHAT A DAY TO ACKNOWLEDGE!
Today is International Women’s Day, and with this year’s theme being #BreakTheBias we thought now was the perfect time to spotlight some incredible women-led businesses that are trailblazers in their sectors. The female founders in this list are doing some incredible work, paving the way for women everywhere to follow in their footsteps.
The dating app giant, Bumble, was created as a result of its founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, being subject to gender-orientated online harassment and abuse during her time working for a different dating app. After leaving to protect her own mental health, she decided to set up Bumble as a dating app that puts women in the driving seat.
The app uses a women-led approach, wherein female users are the ones to initiate contact with matches. As well as protecting the initial point of contact, the app also shields users from unsolicited explicit imagery with automatic blurring and a pop-up that asks a user to confirm that they would like to proceed to view an image. The company values are rooted in respect and kindness, and the app has become a safe-haven of sorts for so many women when using online dating.
Bumble has now expanded to become a space for networking as well as dating, with branches for creating friendships and business connections.
Fenty Beauty was born out of a frustration that its founder, Rihanna, felt when searching for make-up to suit her skin tone. She had found that make-up artists and stores were well-equipped for Caucasian skin tones, but were failing individuals who did not fit into this box. Instead of accepting this lack of inclusivity, Rihanna decided to start Fenty. The brand is truly inclusive, and is designed to allow everyone to feel welcome and considered.
The launch of Fenty Beauty triggered a real change in the make-up industry, and soon increasing numbers of brands were seen to bring out products that were suitable for all skin tones and types.
Paired with Fenty Beauty, Rihanna has also created Fenty Skin, a skincare line designed with the same ethos of performance that doesn’t compromise on inclusivity.
Sadly, cancer is something that a huge number of us will experience in some capacity throughout our lives, but for the cases that are caught early, a diagnosis doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Breast cancer charity Coppafeel is all about promoting an awareness and understanding of the signs to look out for, in order to catch any potential cases as early as possible.
The charity was founded by twin sisters Kristin and Maren Hallenga, after Kristin was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 23. The passion that comes from the sisters’ personal experience with the cancer shines through everything that Coppafeel does, and is likely a huge part of the charity’s wide reach and success.
Via the Coppafeel site you can donate and volunteer, you can access resources to further your understanding of the cancer, gain support to ease any anxieties that may be lurking, and you can also sign up to receive text alerts to remind you to check your breasts each month.
AllBright is a member’s club based in London, operating both in-person and online, which aims to support women in the workplace. Through connecting like-minded women, conducting over 100 training courses both in-person and online, hosting events and workshops, and putting out curated content from experts, AllBright is an inclusive community that helps women thrive professionally.
As women in business themselves, the club’s founders – Debbie Wosskow and Anna Jones – wanted to create a space where women could feel confident to develop their skills and push themselves, but with the usual gendered challenges and barriers removed from their path.
As is the case for so many successful businesses, Peanut was created after its founder, Michelle Kennedy, spotted a gap in the market after the birth of her first child. Michelle was surprised by the lack of support available for her questions and concerns as a new mother, and this is how Peanut came to be.
The app is a sort of social network for women, to connect and share their own stories as they navigate fertility, pregnancy, motherhood, and menopause. It’s a virtual support network that aims to provide as much support as possible for women as they move through these unchartered waters.
Peanut also acts as a resource hub thanks to its blog, with articles written by industry experts on a huge range of women’s issues.
While a lot of progress has been made in levelling the professional playing field and removing gender bias from the workplace, there is still a way to go before true equality is reached. The founders of these companies are part of the change that is reducing the uphill battle for so many women, and hopefully in another few years the landscape of work will be a more inclusive and less traditionalistic place.
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