March 8, International Women’s Day, is an annual recognition of the achievements of women, as well as a date where we should be taking an honest look at the cultural, economic, social and political factors that impact our efforts in achieving gender equality. One way we can support women, quite tangibly, is by paying attention to where we decide to put our money. How can we better support women in business?
Especially in light of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women’s careers.
Which businesses deserve your cash right now? Could you invest more heavily in women in business? Especially those companies run by women of colour?
If you’d like some suggestions, we’ve pulled together a list of businesses worth your attention right now. This is not an exhaustive list by any means. There are hundreds more where this came from.
Check out our starter’s list below:
Women in business: organisations worth supporting all year round
Table of Contents
Fashion and accessory brands
This eco-conscious brand makes swimwear from regenerated plastics. Liandra Swim’s Creative Director/Founder and designer, Liandra Gaykamangu, is a Yolngu woman from North-East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory Australia.
The pieces are designed in Australia and ethically made in Bali, Indonesia.
Maria Papazoglou and Anastasia Barba co-owners of this Aussie jewellery brand spoke with us over email in 2021 about the importance of women-run businesses.
“For us, it is all about empowering the women of today to become any type of leader they want tomorrow,” they shared.
“Diversity in the workforce can lead to innovation and world-firsts, and while we’re designing jewellery and not saving lives, we pride ourselves in the fact that we do what we do well.”
Led by proud Gomaroi/Gamilaraay woman Regina Jones (Ginny), Ginny’s Girl Gang produces clothing pieces that are beautiful expressions of culture and art. The brand is most well known for its range of denim and leather jackets.
Charity services and other support initiatives
Global Sisters is a charity dedicated to helping women who are unemployed or underemployed to start their own businesses.
CEO/Founder Mandy Richards said of Global Sisters:
“I started Global Sisters because I want every woman to be free to live her life without stress around how she is going to pay her mortgage or feed her kids, or just be able to enjoy life.
“Women face so many barriers to decent mainstream employment and economic equality, particularly once they have children. If a woman wants and needs to generate an income then I want her to have choices past jobs that are potentially non-existent or inaccessible due to her circumstances or the forced alternative of welfare.”
Refugee-focused business directory
Founder Marjorie Tenchavez has created a one-stop shop for people seeking to support businesses run by refugees in Australia ranging from food to fashion.
Health and self-care businesses
Activewear and fitness
Rosie Dumbrell, the founder of Lenny Rose Active and RoseFit, told Lifehacker:
“I think apparel was traditionally made for men, by men, but we have evolved over the recent years. It has been so critical in our product development working with women, especially those that have been through the pregnancy, breastfeeding and postpartum journey themselves, so they truly understand what a woman needs, what works, and what doesn’t.”
LAMAV is a certified organic, cruelty-free, vegan skincare brand that was founded by Dr Tarj Mavi whose leading quote on the website reads, “Because no woman should have to sacrifice her health for beauty”.
Founded by Joanne Zhong, Aceology has built quite a reputation for itself. This brand is best known for its range of masks that use active ingredients. Cruelty-free and developed in Australia, this is a solid option for anyone in need of an at-home facial.
Tech, health and education businesses led by women
Sexual health and tech company
Founded by Lucy Wark and run along with the help of sex coach Georgia Grace, NORMAL brings together inclusive sex toys and credible, shame-free sexual education resources. It’s Disneyland for sex-ed.
Say what you will about dating apps, but there is certainly a notable difference in the approach taken by Bumble, which was started by a woman – Whitney Wolfe Herd. Not only does it put women in control of starting conversations, but it also offers swiping options for finding friendships and business connections.
Fitness aggregator and booking system
Founded by Payal Kadakia and Mary Biggins, ClassPass is a wellness business aggregator that allows you to casually book fitness or health appointments across different locations without physically signing up for memberships at all of them individually.
The description of the service reads as follows: “ClassPass gives you worldwide access to thousands of top-rated gyms, fitness studios, salons and spas”.
Women and non-binary focused creator platform
Co-founded by Lucy Mort and Michelle Battersby, Sunroom is a newly launched app designed to help women and non-binary creators make money for their work.
As the website reads: “Sunroom is for celebrating bold, brilliant, and badass creators, and that means freedom to really express yourself. Go on and do the weirder, sexier, wilder thing — no judgement.”
Women-run home decor and styling businesses
Waste-free floral subscription service – Sydney + Melbourne
Founder, Philomena Kwok has created a subscription service that delivers Aussie farm fresh flowers direct to consumers’ doors.
Art and home decor
Founded by Tola Akinbiy, Bon Femmes was one of Pinterest’s featured women-led businesses for the platform’s International Women’s Day initiative in 2021. The store is stocked with beautiful pieces of art and fun tidbits like face rollers and body oil.
Bookstore selling books by and about people of colour
Run by Marina and Xuan, this store is people who are “sick of how difficult it is to find authors and characters that look like you…”
The store works to amplify diverse voices and offers a space for BIPOC readers and others seeking authentic stories about all kinds of diversities.
If you’d like to keep the love for women going, check out this list of shows that celebrate women next. Happy International Women’s Day!
This International Women’s Day article has been updated since its original publish date.