March is Women’s History Month, and marks International Women’s Day. To celebrate, we asked Levi Strauss & Co. employees from around the world about what this month means to them, what we can all do to empower women every day, how they’re supporting the women in their own lives and more. Here’s what they said.?
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
“It represents freedom, inclusion and a reminder of equality as human beings.” — Alejandra Figueroa, Sr. Manager, LTC (Mexico)
“This month is really the time of the year where every individual (men and women) can pause and take the time to really reflect and act. Reflect about the past, the present and the future of women’s conditions in the world. From my perspective, these reflections and actions should be done every day, but at least with this month we cannot avoid them!” — Mathilde Vaucheret, South Cluster Marketing Director (France)
“Women’s History Month is a reminder that our society evolved a lot, but we still have a big fight ahead us. Equality is not a reality for the majority, and we must use our voice to speak up for those who can’t. Men, women, LGBTQ+ — gender and labels shouldn’t matter. We are humans, we are equal and we should treat ourselves with love and respect.” — Ariela Silveira, Brand Environment Coordinator (Brazil)
“It is a time to come together to celebrate the progress we have made for women and recognize the work that still needs to be done. It is a good reminder for women to continue to support each other because together we all win.” — Joanne Nichols, VP MPIM, AMA (San Francisco, USA)
We should be supportive and celebrate the achievements of women around us. Recognize their efforts, create support networks, educate young women to be what they want to be. Small actions every day can make a huge impact in the future. — Ariela Silveira
How are you changing the status quo?
“Treating women with the same level of respect, kindness and appreciation as men, and providing the same options and opportunities to everyone.” — Leonard Popescu, Account Executive (Canada)
“I am raising a strong daughter and encouraging her to use her voice for change. My daughter is 8 years old, and just last week she was asking about International Women’s Day. She couldn’t fathom that women would be treated any differently than men. When she heard about wage inequality, she asked for a pen and paper so that we could start writing letters to those companies. It was a moment of immense pride.” — Jaye Campbell, DTC Marketing Manager (Canada)
“I believe in action more than words and being the woman I would like to meet. I believe in being supportive among the women around me and proud of all their achievements, recognizing and celebrating them on a daily basis.” — Maria Ciampi, Retail Manager (Brazil)
“Encouraging my employees to be vocal and know their worth at work and beyond. You should be able to easily state your value and voice your opinion. All success starts from a person’s idea.” — Shalonda Welborn, Director, People Center (Westlake, Texas, USA)
What’s one thing, big or small, that everyone can do every day to empower women?
“Acknowledge your female coworker’s ideas in meetings and conversations. Women are less likely to speak up in a meeting and more likely to be interrupted when they do. These small acknowledgements go a very long way in building confidence and a culture of inclusivity.” — Liza Schillo, Sr. Manager Sustainability (San Francisco, USA)
“Lead by example by being a role model that other women can look up to, especially by celebrating your authentic self and living your truth courageously.” — Sue Pok, Chief Counsel, AMA (Singapore)
“Attitude is infectious. Communicate what you appreciate and admire about them: compliment and congratulate them on their achievements and create a positive support structure.” — Gema Alonso Rodriguez, Director Central Cluster Sales (Germany)
“Do not deny that gender inequality exits. And act individually to fight against this, regardless if you are a man or a woman.” — Mathilde Vaucheret
How do you support the women in your life?
“I am their champion and push them to always strive for more within their life and careers. I have been fortunate to have these people in my life and it makes a difference in those hard times. If you see a fellow working mom struggling, offer to help, be a thought partner, assure her it’s okay and normal. Share with her your life hacks; there is solace in knowing you are not alone.” — Joanne Nichols
“By encouraging my lady friends to take up space (and doing my best to lead by example). What I mean by that is to assert yourself, to speak up and speak your truth. The system will not change because we want it to, it will change when we inspire it to; it’s our responsibility as women and allies to set that good example for what works and what’s fair.” — Liza Schillo
What advice would you give your younger self?
“You’re valuable as a human being and a woman. It is fine to express yourself, and any decision you make in life is the appropriate one.” — Alejandra Figueroa
“Learn to listen to and understand each person you interact with, as we are all the same yet individually unique and diverse. Together, we can only be stronger. Divisiveness weakens.” — Leonard Popescu
“Stop comparing yourself with others. The grass is greener where you water it!” — Sue Pok