Maria Grazia Chiuri is making headlines not only for being the first female creative director at DIOR but also with her collection showing the slogan “We should all be feminists”. The inspiration came from Adichie, who has written and talked extensively in the past about a feminist’s right to appreciate fashion. Her essay and related TED talk, “We Shold All Be Feminists” (famously sampled in Beyonce’s “Flawless”), played a big role in the collection with the title appearing on t-shirts and her speech included in the show soundtrack.
In the past women have seen each other often as competitors but this is changing to a mentality seeing other women as inspiration, and female networks are spreading in all different areas.
The Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, founded by Aude Zieseniss de Thuin, was ranked among the top five influential forums worldwide by the Financial Times. At the annual meeting held in Deauville / France, 1200 participants from 80 countries are gathering to discuss today’s economic and social issues. Several years ago, when Aude expressed interest in joining the World Economic Forum in Davos and receiving no response, she decided to launch the Women’s Forum. Her vision was a forum “in the spirit of promoting women’s ideas and actions, a tribune where women can debate and express their views, where women of all generations and cultures can discuss socio-economic issues to help build the future.” Very inspirational is the latest report from Mayra-Gonzalez, President and Managing Director of Nissan Mexicana (NMEX). She is the first female executive to manage a Nissan operation worldwide, and the youngest person to assume this position in the company’s history.
Other high-profile companies joined Women’s Forum, such as Cartier who created with the support of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award, an international business plan competition, where five female entrepreneurs, one per continent, are rewarded annually.
The first big change of woman’s role in society of industrial countries was created by the general right for education, later by the invention of the contraceptive pill and now by internet. The online world creates an equal basis for both sexes, all races and eliminates hierarchy.
A cool example is the CRAVE Company, founded in the US by Melody Biringer for savvy entreprennesses, with their philosophy “We crave community, connections, adventure. Additionally to the CRAVE online platform with a blog for sharing business tips and learning what women all around the world crave, 28 local communities worldwide connect and support business women.
Also male dominated industries are discovering the importance of female influence and inspirations. Mercedes has founded in 2015 a platform for women She’s Mercedes, an inspiration circle where women can exchange ideas, experiences and learn from each other. Networking-events, a print magazine and a website are offering different ways of getting in touch and connect to explore one’s full potential.
My personal favourite is the WoMentoring project organized by the Austrian organization alphafrauen, this year already for the sixth time in cooperation with the newspaper KURIER. And I am part of it!
SiSTARhood is definitely not a fading trend but will stay for us to shape futures.