International Women's Day - Women Entrepreneurs in Healthy Beauty - Rachel Winard, founder of Soapwalla
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
R: I've experienced a fair amount of sexism in my life. As someone who owns a 100% female-run + employed business, International Women's Day really hits home. International Women's Day can be traced back to 1908 as a movement to achieve full gender equality for women the world. 109 years later, we still haven't realized that goal. A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men.
In some ways, we need designated days of honor *now* more than ever.
What women have been an inspiration to you?
R: So many women! My mom is such an inspiration to me. She's always told - and shown - me that women can do anything we set our minds to. She managed to hold a full-time job, support me in all my endeavours, nurture a lifelong relationship with my dad (they've been married 43 years and are still best friends), and work on her own passions/hobbies.
Also, my spouse Stacey is my daily inspiration. Nobody makes me laugh like she does. And nobody makes me feel as supported or loved. Every person should be so lucky to have a Stacey in their lives.
From a business perspective, Eileen Fisher is my role model. She built a thriving, global industry from scratch and hasn't deviated from her original principles of ethical sourcing, clean design, and quality vs quantity.
The fictional character I most want to meet: Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec. I ADORE HER (and Amy Poelher, too!).
What impact does Soapwalla have on women?
R: I created Soapwalla in part to put out in the world what I wanted to see -- a thriving business that is also community, that does good and empowers everyone. We do that through the products we create, the events we sponsor, and the charitable organizations that we support. I also do that daily with the way that I've structured the business. We are non-hierarchical, meaning that every woman who works at Soapwalla has an equal voice. I ensure that our decisions are in line with the company's ethos, but I love the collaborative effort of our team.
What would you like young women to know about International Women’s Day?
R: It's never too late or too early to make your voice heard! Sing out loud and proud. Know that your voice is unique to you, and that the world needs to hear it.
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