“Each person, whether they are male or female, brings different assets to the workplace. They each deserve a fair chance at employment regardless of their gender.” - LIFE S.A. General Manager, Ariane Manuel
It is a basic human right to be able to care for yourself and your family in a thriving culture yet gender inequality continues to be a destructive force against a better world. In order to reach sustainable development, women’s contributions and work must be recognized. From equal pay to policy for familial needs, the Fair Trade movement works diligently to empower women to do more than work. Fair Trade empowers women to thrive.
Women In The Supply Chain
The garment industry paints an image of a man’s world. “Manufacturing has long been a male dominated profession and therefore so has much of senior management in the apparel industry. I've ended up in some "interesting" conversations with veterans in the industry especially when they find out we manufacture in Haiti. Even more so when they find out our General Manager is also female,” says GOEX Executive Director, Jessica Ray.
Worldwide, one in six individuals that are employed work in the fashion industry and eighty percent of garment workers identify as female. (Fair Trade Certified) This means that whatever you are wearing as you are reading this, there is more than a fair chance that it was made by a woman. Yet despite this fact, women employed by conventional business models only represent twenty-four percent of senior roles, twelve percent of board members, and nine percent of CEOs. If eighty percent of the garment workforce identifies as female then why are they not being encouraged to be involved in policy design?
Advancement of Women
There is an overwhelming amount of data that proves that the key to a fairer, richer world is through the empowerment of women. Fair Trade cultivates gender equality by encouraging women to take up decision making and leadership positions and by paving a clear, obtainable path to do so. According to a gender study conducted by the World Fair Trade Organization, a woman working for a Fair Trade enterprise is four times as likely to achieve a senior management position, become CEO or join the Board than she would be working for a conventional business.
Fair Trade seeks to make diverse perspectives a part of the development, planning, and evaluation of all elements of business. When asked why diversity is so important, Jessica Ray replied “Perspective! Everyone brings a unique set of experiences and the resulting diversity of thought and insight offers different ways to look at situations and solve problems.”
Women of GOEX
With a passion for fair trade, the women of GOEX continue to lead the way in better business practices. We’re guided by a team of leaders in Kansas City and Haiti who are united under our mission to create and sustain fair wage jobs that empower makers to care for their families. In fact, GOEX is 100 percent woman led and managed and 50 percent BIPOC led and managed. (To learn more about our team click here.) Together, the women of GOEX bring 83 years of experience and dedication. LIfe S.A. General Manager Ariane Manuel finds inspiration in her coworkers every day. “I'm inspired by our factory floor manager, Luisa. She has this incredible work ethic and passion for what it is that she does. No matter what the circumstances she comes to work with a smile on her face and ready to tackle the day at 100%.”
Follow The Story
We stand at an incredible moment as a society. We have everything we need to ensure the dignity, prosperity, and liberty of every human being on this planet. Here at GOEX, we will do everything we can to accomplish this goal - to make HERstory. Get inspired by the women of the fair trade movement through our social media channels and our weekly newsletter.