We believe in the transformative power of love.
This statement fuels so much of what we do here at Ergobaby. We truly believe that love (and babywearing) can change the world! To carry our love forward and ensure their healthy and happy future, we believe it is our responsibility to work towards the world we envision for our children. Part of that work includes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for our employees and customers.
Today is just 1 out of 365 days that we get to celebrate women!
International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Read more about the history of International Women’s Day here!
Celebrate How Far We’ve Come
When we look back on the last few decades, it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come with women’s rights. And when you look back on just the last few years alone, A LOT has happened!
Take a look at some things happening around the world for women:
1. Girls are Getting Educated
Women account for more than two-thirds of the world’s 773 million illiterate people, but that is changing. More girls are in school now compared to 15 years ago. In 2020, the president of Sierra Leone ended its ban on pregnant girls attending school and Tanzania followed suit not long after.
2. Tech Equality in African Nations
According to data from the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Africa has the widest digital gender gap, with only 18.6% of women using the internet (versus 24.9% of men). In 2018, the ITU, UN Women and the African Union Commission (AUC) got together to create African Girls Can CODE. The four-year initiative encourages girls across the continent to become digitally literate and encourages further education and careers in tech. More than 2,000 girls will attend coding camps, setting them up for careers in information and communications technology.
3. Period Poverty is Being Addressed
Women are making waves across the globe in an effort to normalize menstruation and give all women access to sanitary products. In February 2020, the Scottish Parliament passed a bill to make pads and tampons free for anyone who needs them, following its decision in 2018 to make them free in schools. Now, 12 countries including the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and Botswana provide free sanitary products to girls in schools.
4. Number of Women in Decision Making Positions are Increasing
As of March 2022, there were 74 female CEOs employed at America’s 500 highest-grossing companies, up from 41 in June of 2021 and just 7 in 2002. Nasdaq recently filed a proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to require all listed companies to have at least one board member who identifies as female and at least one board member who is LGBTQ+ or a member of an underrepresented group. If a company can’t meet the criteria, they must explain why or they will be delisted.
5. Countries are Addressing the Gender Pay Gap
Current statistics show that women earn 77 cents to every dollar earned by a man. Additionally they perform 76% of the total number of hours for unpaid care work. (Think of childcare, domestic work etc…) But recently, New Zealand passed an Equal Pay Amendment Bill to ensure that women in historically underpaid female-dominated industries are paid equally as men for the same work. Spain also implemented a law that ensures that businesses do not perpetuate the gender pay gap. This law requires all businesses to submit their pay figures and evaluate their gender positioning. In addition, any companies with more than 50 employees will have to create a four-year equality plan for balancing the number of men and women employees.
While we still have a way to go, it’s good to celebrate and recognize how far we’ve come!
This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity and the International Women’s Day Org has defined a few areas to highlight:
Celebrate the Women Forging Change
Elevate Visibility of Women Creatives
Build Workplaces Where Women Thrive
Improve Equality for Women in Tech
Forge Women’s Empowerment Worldwide
Empower Women’s Choices in Health
Applaud Equality for Women in Sport
So today, we’re highlighting women that are doing all of the above. Making waves, forging new paths, and creating spaces for women to thrive.
Celebrate the Women Making Waves
Women Forging Change
Jackie Nguyen | Cafe Ca Phe
In 2022, Jackie opened Cafe Cà Phê which is Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shop and now operates their first brick and mortar location in Columbus Park. Cafe Cà Phê centers their shop around the culture of the coffee as well as amplifying the Asian and Asian American narrative in the Midwest.
How are you forging change in your community?
During the pandemic, I was a musical theatre actor working on a Broadway tour. Unfortunately, my job was cut short due to COVID and I quickly pivoted to creating a space for community. My new adventure is: Cafe Cà Phê, a new coffee shop centered around amplifying the Asian and Asian American narrative in the Midwest through Vietnamese coffee.
It was a long and crazy process starting this business but thankfully, it was a step I needed to forge change in the Midwest and within myself. Kansas City, prior to my shop, had zero focus on the Asian community. There is no community center, no real presence of community, even though there are many Asians that live in the midwest. Our coffee shop serves as a central meeting spot for many of the Asian and Asian Americans in KCMO. Not only this, but many other communities have began to gather here. It wasn’t something I was necessarily SEEKING to do, but the opportunity of forging change came organically, which is the best way.
What does #EmbraceEquality mean to you?
#EmbraceEquality means walking the walk. Talking the talk is so performative and fake to me. But putting your money where your mouth is and exemplifying those things you preach is super important to me. My shop’s employees are made up of 100% marginalized communities. This is how Cafe Cà Phê EMBRACES equality by quite literally employing, supporting, and giving space to those who are marginalized. We hire Asians, Immigrants, Queer folk, artists and women. We seek actively to support these communities.
Equality in our country to me is nowhere near close (in my opinion and experience), but changing the demographic of coffeeshops and what they look like on the inside, gives me hope. There are so little coffee shops that are owned by a minority woman, even less with Asian ownership. So, to me, giving myself a spot at the table amongst coffee shop ownership, is a big step towards embracing equality.
Kate Daniel | South Mountain Goods
Kate is a mother of 3 living on the Central Coast of CA, raising her babies on the land and creating beautiful pieces of art and jewelry in her home.
Tell me about South Mountain Goods and a bit about your life as a creative.
South Mountain Goods started by accident, in a way. I was in the midst of a hard time in my marriage and being a fresh mom again. My 2 boys were born 18 months apart and my husband was gone for work for 4-5 months at a time, twice during that season. Postpartum depression really hit hard with my second son and I found relief, joy, connection, and hope even through creating again. I picked up clay and never looked back.
I have a fine art background, so the arts feel like home to me. I’ve spent a lot of time with sketch books, painting, using clay, diving into art history and wandering museums for days, and it has led to a life of wonder, daydreaming, “taking time to smell the roses”, and ultimately really working with my hands and a physical product. As a mom, these passions have morphed into maybe more practical everyday uses. Over the years, I’ve found my way back to sewing for my family, expanding my knowledge on cooking and really falling in love with baking, and enjoying the simplicity of keeping a garden and growing some of our food. My children love to partake in these things as well, and it is a fun way to connect with them and with nature.
What is the most challenging thing for you as a creative while also raising little ones? How do you use your creativity in parenting?
Time. It can’t be bottled up and saved for another more convenient moment. It is always chugging along, and I’m stumbling through how to use it well. It is a constant struggle for me. I’m not sure that I can ever say that I’ve done it well, which is even more frustrating. I am learning as I go, which is the best way to learn, but can be painful as well.
We homeschool our kids. It’s been such a fun opportunity for me and a privilege to be able to be a part of my kids’ lives in this way. We approach school with a different mindset than either my husband or I experienced personally. We incorporate learning into the most basic and essential parts of life – the kitchen – we both love food and cooking. You can learn a lot in the kitchen about nature, the cycle of life, mathematics and measuring systems, chemistry, following directions, reading, and history. We also spend our days reading or listening to audiobooks together. We are a screen free home, so it creates great opportunities for a lot of story and play time. They’re still young, and school is very fun and wild and full of crafts and scissors and days at the beach playing in the tide pools collecting little creatures to learn about.
Have you ever felt invisible as a creative in your fields?
Ha! I’m not really sure how to answer this one. Being a very small business in a world filled with them, it is very intimidating. I would say that most days as a small business owner feel invisible. The world of social media is incredibly quick and constantly changing, and it’s hard to keep up in a healthy way. But we do what we do because we truly love it and it gives us joy, hopefully. It’s not for the crowds. Or the fame. Or the follows or likes or algorithms. We create to create. And we throw it into the abyss of creativity and cross our fingers that just one person might find it interesting. But if not, that’s not going to stop the creative mind from doing what it craves to do.
Who are some other creatives that inspire you?
I get to work amongst so many amazing small town creatives, many of them being females, so I want to take some time to highlight a few… painter Amanda Cox of The Little Salt Wagon, Photographer Albany Katz, Interior Designer Kelsey Sikkema, Whitney Riles owner and founder of Findings Market, and creative Elisa Mcglaughlin of Truly Kindred to name a few small business ladies doing some really amazing and inspiring things in their fields. I am encouraged and continually inspired by what they’re doing.
What does #EmbraceEquity mean to you?
Accepting justice. Claiming fairness. Looking beyond the pool of white men grasping for control in what has felt like an embarrassingly long time of world history. I’m so encouraged by the change I’ve seen and experienced in my short lifetime for women and POC. It’s long overdue. But I’m here for it! We have made some great progress, but there’s plenty of room for growth for equity among all peoples and sexes.
Building Workplaces Where Women Thrive
Erin Erenberg | Totum Women
Erin is a mom of three, IP attorney, serial business builder, fund advisor and the founder and CEO of Totum, a community-powered platform to help women live whole, integrated lives.
Tell me about the work Totum Women is doing.
Totum means “whole” in Latin, so everything we do is meant to help modern mothers be whole. “Wholeness” is important to us because we’re in a culture that tells moms a lot of lies. Words and phrases like “balance”, “have it all”, and even “mom guilt” set up mothers to think the standard is perfection, and they’re failing if they fall short of that. No wonder moms are overwhelmed and exhausted. In 2021, we pivoted from a consumer focus (RIP our Totum Treats lactation cookies) into helping shift the systems holding mothers back. In the workplace and in Washington, we’re challenging the systems that make it unnecessarily hard for mothers to thrive, to be whole. This is sometimes offering corporate workshops and office hours to employees who are juggling paid work and care, and other days it looks like flying into DC as part of my work with the Chamber of Mothers, to lean on legislators to pass laws advancing mothers’ rights.
Why is it so important to support working women and mothers?
Modern women and mothers are still, in 2023, working from a disadvantage. From the sustained pay gap, which is worse for women and mothers of color, to the persistent under-representation of women in the CEO seat, the concerns of women and mothers aren’t being centered in business.
What does it look like to create workplaces where women can thrive?
It’s going to take more representation in company leadership. There’s no substitute for (insert marginalized group) being represented on the leadership team. When it comes to an organic consideration of humanity in the workplace, we’ll only get there when leaders are walking in the shoes of the people we hope to build up. So centering this on women, we need more female-identifying leaders in order to create company cultures that take into account the experience of working while female.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity. What does that mean to you?
It means that a person should be able to live a whole, dynamic, fulfilled life – at work, at home, at play, and in relationships – without consideration for gender, sexuality, race, socioeconomics, or background.
Kara Lee | The Well Community For Women
Kara is the founder of The Well Community For Women, a nonprofit co-working space uniquely designed to support women and mothers.
Tell me about the work The Well is doing.
The Well is a community for women that offers co-working space with on-site kids programs, special events, workshops, support groups and so much more. We are here to bring moms into connection with other moms and to alleviate the ever pressing mom guilt that we all experience. At The Well, moms can get all their work done while loving teachers play, educate, and nurture their children right next door. While moms certainly enjoy the benefits of the community and infrastructure at the Well, we serve women who aren’t moms as well. From freelance artists to entrepreneurs, the Well provides an incubator of collaboration in its beautiful co-working space along with soundproof phone booths to allow private calls or virtual meetings. We also have sister nonprofit organizations we support through sponsoring a membership, hosting events, workshops and classes. The women in these organizations are overcoming human trafficking, teen pregnancy, addiction, and trauma. For more information on these strategic partnerships, please visit our website.
When you support The Well, you are supporting these other organizations’ efforts as well. We can do so much more for our city TOGETHER. Women need The Well- women from every background and walk of life. We are here to support them all.
n 2023, we look forward to adding parenting classes, job development workshops, support groups, mentor mom programs and so much more. We offer so much more than co-working space at The Well.
Why is it so important to support working women and mothers?
Women have incredible jobs to do. We live, breathe, eat, sleep with someone needing us every moment of the day. So many of us have job training, degrees, experience and drive that makes us want to do exciting things outside of our homes as well. Since the pandemic, though- things have gotten even harder for us. The economy has lost at least 8 billion dollars since the start of covid from women leaving the workforce. In a perfect world, we would have more hours in a day to pursue our passions, careers, AND be intentional, hands-on parents. But clearly, we are not living in a perfect world and every day moms are having to make that choice. So many women would love to stay at home with their children but are forced to work and many women who long to use their education and training in the workforce are forced to stay home because of childcare costs. There doesn’t seem to be a solution to this problem… until now. Enter The Well.
What does it look like to create workplaces where women can thrive?
Co-working spaces have popped up everywhere, but very few have childcare. Here at The Well we provide a space where their children feel safe and loved, all while mom is working at a desk close by. Loving arms hold babies, teachers educate in a play based, Montessori environment, and the blessed daily naptime brings even more peace to our space. While mom works, she has access to wifi, phone booths for private calls, support of the women at The Well and working in community around her- oh, and strong coffee! We provide resources to moms to help them in parenting through workshops and exciting bonding time through our events and Mommy and Me programs. This is your one stop shop for productivity, peace of mind, and fun!
What does #EmbraceEquity mean to you?
We strive for The Well to be an equitable place where everyone, no matter what ethnicity or background they are coming from feels peaceful and welcome here. We want women who have been through hard things to walk in and breathe. Women who have felt left behind in this world and not had the same opportunities to earn as much as men or have the same flexibility, will feel at home here at The Well. They will be surrounded by a community of diversity and safety.
Improving Equality for Women in Tech
Chelsea Kaufman | LEARN Academy
Chelsea is the co-founder and CEO of LEARN Academy, an online academy focused on providing equal access to knowledge and career development in coding and tech. LEARN academy is teaching a new generation of daring and diverse students to be compassionate, curious and professional web developers.
Tell me a bit about the work you do at LEARN Academy!
LEARN Academy is teaching a new generation of daring and diverse students to be compassionate, curious, and professional web developers. We care deeply about setting our students up for success, which is why we are one of the few bootcamps offering a guaranteed internship as the final component of completing our program. We strongly believe that it’s a combination of classroom and hands-on learning that sets our students up for success. We work with companies all over the country by providing internships and helping them diversify their talent pool. We’ve worked very hard to make our classroom an inclusive and equitable place and have been able to set an example for tech companies all over the country.
What are some of the barriers you’ve experienced as a woman in tech?
I often feel as if I need to justify myself and why my voice is valuable at the table. I’ve spoken at conferences before and have felt the need to give out my CV that says “see I belong here”. I’ve often been the only woman at the table and have been in situations where I was questioned and made to feel as if I wasn’t bringing anything to the conversation. The positive thing that has come out of those experiences, is that I’ve learned how to create space for people, how to lift them up, and how to help people see their value. Because I don’t want anyone, no matter who you are, to think that your perspective isn’t valuable.
How is what you’re doing making tech more accessible to more people, specifically girls / women?
One of the ways we work to make tech more accessible is by offering scholarships. Currently, we offer a scholarship for women and a scholarship for diversity in coding. We’re committed to amplifying diverse voices in tech and supporting individuals who want to break into the field. We’ve been able to work with nonprofit organizations all over the country to help create access for women in this field. But I think the most important work we’re doing is the work we do with companies. We help them evaluate their current practices and help them understand how to make space for a more diverse workforce. Both our internship program and our Software Residency program work with companies to make sure they have mentorship programs and communication policies in place that support the diverse pipeline that we bring to the table. We must create access for women in tech, but it’s just as important to make sure the environment we’re welcoming them into is ready for them.
What does #EmbraceEquality mean to you?
If we want to see more balanced, equitable technology being created in the world, we need to ensure that the people in the rooms creating technology are a diverse group. Every element of a person’s background informs their perspective, and there is so much value in that. No one’s perspective is the same, so everyone at the table brings value with them. We should be creating company cultures that support, encourage, and elevate those voices! It’s something I try to do every day.
Support Where We Want to Go
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to making a difference. Like you are just one person and your actions don’t matter. But they do! And there are actually some really simple ways to make a difference and support women in your community and globally. Here are 4 ways you can do that.
- Support a female-owned business
- Donate to an organization that is supporting women
- Start conversations with books, films, and podcasts created by women
- Volunteer at a women’s shelter