Stella & Dot has turned me into a feminist

As Stella & Dot stylists, we're blessed with a huge number of benefits. So many good things come from our membership to this phenomenal community of women - we're uplifted, encouraged, supported, appreciated, recognized, rewarded, challenged, and inspired every day by the leadership and people who make up this company.

I've always seen Stella & Dot as a happy addition to my life but it wasn't until I read this article that I realized that this business has transformed me into a feminist.

I think I have always been scared of using the word feminist to describe myself. It seems to come with a lot of negative connotation. To me, the F word brought up thoughts of bra burning and man hating. Thing is, I love men. I was always one of those girls who got along better with guys than girls my own age; I always had guy friends to hang out with and continued through university and into my career in much this same way. I'm also fairly traditional. I love it when my husband opens doors for me or when he paid for dinner when we were still dating. To me, being a feminist meant standing against all of these things. I couldn't understand why feminists would want to eliminate all of these things - "take men down a peg", so to speak, in order to prop women up. 

Recently, there has been a boom in the number of celebrities and spokespeople who are bringing increasing awareness to the issue of feminism. Among my favourites are Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, and Taylor Swift. Following along with this increased coverage and learning more about what feminism really stands for has made me reconsider my whole position on the matter.

Now I know it. I'm convinced. I'm a feminist. Maybe you're feeling a subtle shift in attitude too?

After reading that DailyMail article [here it is again, in case you missed it], I sat down to really think about gender bias and equality in the workplace. I began to realize that feminism doesn't mean bringing men down or eliminating chivalry, but it means lifting women up to celebrate all that we can bring to the table too. It means presenting more awesome women (like Jessica Herrin) to the rest of the world so everyone can see how much we can achieve. 

Why should Jessica be the only REAL WOMAN to appear on the first page of search results when you Google 'CEO'? There is absolutely no reason why other successful female CEOs shouldn't display right there with her. Their successes are just as important and notable as any of the men on that list - if not more, considering the discrimination women still receive in the workplace. I believe that one big reason Jessica IS there is because she believes so strongly in helping other women. She brings all of us up with her every time Stella & Dot is in the news, every time she the company celebrates a new success. I'm so proud to be part of this company's story.

The culture and attitude that Jessica has fostered in the Stella & Dot community is synonymous with the values of feminism. Becoming a stylist means facing the questions:
  • Why can't I build the life I want?
  • Why can't I run a successful business, on my own terms?
  • Why can't I be the breadwinner?
  • Why can't I find happiness in my work?
  • Why can't I do something I love, and look good while doing it?!
And you know what? There's actually nothing stopping you! There is no reason you can't have any of those things I listed - the barrier is no different for you, as a woman, than it is for any other man, woman, or child. If you have the drive and the will to succeed, you can. 

It's a shame that the rest of the business world hasn't embraced this yet. Women are still only making $0.78-0.82 on every dollar a man of equal skill earns in North America

At Stella & Dot we equal the playing field and recognize stylists for they can bring to the table, as an individual. Not as a woman. That's equity. It wasn't until I'd experienced an equitable workplace like this that I fully realized what I've been missing out on all this time.

Communities like Stella & Dot, that facilitate the propping up of successful women, are exactly what this world needs. Women supporting and encouraging women. The more we can do this, the more we will see inspiring female leaders rise to the top and shatter the glass ceiling. This is the only way we can achieve equity - not by taking men down, but by raising women up.

I want to know what YOU think! Are you a feminist? What do you think feminism is about? Leave me a note in the comments section below.

Stella & Dot has turned me into a feminist

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