The corporate world represents a significant opportunity in promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality. When equality and inclusion are a company’s guiding principles, significant changes take place not only in the workplace, but in households and in each person’s thinking.
It’s fundamental to incorporate a gender perspective throughout all levels of a company, its values and each one of its processes. Internally, which implies creating discrimination-free work environments and implementing corporate policies that promote equal opportunity and professional development in women throughout all stages of their lives, in addition to fomenting a balance between professional and personal lives in all organization members. Externally, referring to maintaining coherence between company values and actions taking place in each phase of the value chain.
Personal care and beauty companies can take it a step further. They have greater potential to generate significant change to improve women’s quality of life, given that they represent a very effective medium for sharing a message of women’s empowerment. Advertising is a powerful tool that influences social attitudes, reinforcing ideas and ways of understanding the world. Since their products are used by women on a daily basis, they can promote values such as respect, tolerance and equality through their campaigns. The story behind these brands can be one of freedom, of strong and assertive women that have freed themselves from archaic stereotypes based on rigid gender roles.
However, in spite of certain brands promoting female empowerment, we are still exposed to many sexist messages. Women-oriented product companies have a greater responsibility in this cause. The objectification of women must come to an end. They should stop perpetuating traditional gender roles, establishing strict beauty standards, and pressuring women to look and act a certain way. It’s time to discontinue the belief that women are flawed and constantly have to make an effort to adhere to stereotypes defined by a masculine mindset.
At no time should corporations minimize the value of women. On the contrary, they should take advantage of their position and resources to spread a message, encouraging women to feel good about their bodies and stay true to themselves, reminding them to be proud to be a woman every day.