Last March 8th, I was sitting in the General Assembly of the United Nations watching Hillary enter the chamber and give a speech that built on the remarkable one she gave in Beijing almost a decade ago. Sitting in my seat, waaay up in the balcony, I made a little wish that a greater proportion of my work would be focused on empowering women. Lo and behold, even amidst the obstacles of last year, I am happy to say that I made some real progress towards that goal and am very excited about some new projects on the horizon for me and what they have the potential to do for women.
The picture that accompanies this post was taken when I was in the hospital this past summer with some very unexpected health issues. I figured it would be the perfect time to read Hillary’s massive new autobiography. On top of it passing the time, it became this amazing conversation piece with the nurses that came in to take care of me. They were reading it in Spanish or Portugese and we had enlivened conversations about women and work and our personal experiences with this as well as, of course, speculating whether Hillary would run in 2016.
I love the transformation I see, slowly, but surely taking place in work policies, but just as Hillary reminds us, there is still a long way to go. As you know, I am particularly interested in the garment industry and wrote a little piece about how some new ILO data on women in the garment industry supports my strong belief that female-friendly work policies increase productivity and beyond just being the right thing to do, make good business sense. The piece is up on the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator’s blog here.
Lastly, I want to extend a thank you a million times over to the women I was lucky enough to collaborate with and to call friends this year. And thank you to the men who want gender equality as much as we do.