International Women's Day: How companies in the fashion and lifestyle scene support and empower their (female) employees

On March 8th we celebrate International Women's Day. Under this year's theme "One world, a thousand women", we have presented various brands with the following question: How do you treat women within your company and what steps are you taking to empower your female employees? Discover how companies such as JBC, Hunkemöller, Terre Bleue and Caroline Biss navigate women within their organizations and the concrete steps they are taking to support and empower their female employees. Take a glimpse into the diverse and inspiring approaches companies in the fashion and lifestyle scene are taking to foster an inclusive work environment, commited to equality and empowerment, shaping a world where every woman has the opportunity to thrive.

Ann Claes - Owner, CRG (JBC, CKS & Mayerline)

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"Running a fashion company with a workforce that's 70% women is like having a front-row seat at the runway of equality! We treat all our employees like the style icons they are. It's not just about office chic; it's about empowering each employee to sparkle in their own unique way. In our family company CRG, we've created a culture where we encourage women to shine bright, whether it's in the design studio or the boardroom. No glass ceilings here – just clear skies for everyone. Winning the X2 award regarding gender equality was a confirmation of our doings. We don't just talk the talk. It's all about embracing diversity, supporting each other, and making the workplace a runway where everyone can flaunt their talents. So, if you ask me how we handle the ladies in our company, the answer is simple: with style, respect and a sprinkle of empowerment. Because in our world, every woman is a CEO of her own fashion destiny!"

Interview requests: [email protected]
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Anneke Crauwels - Founder, Anneke Crauwels

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"As a female entrepreneur, I strive to create a sense of security within my company. My goal is to support my team and instill confidence in them, ensuring they feel supported in everything they do. I approach each team member based on their talents, making everyone feel powerful and appreciated. During challenging times, we engage in open dialogues to understand how and why things can be different. It is crucial that our team supports each other not only professionally but also personally. We share not only work-related moments but also personal highs and lows. By laughing and crying together, we build a strong bond and realize that we can achieve a lot together. Equality is at the forefront of my company, and I am determined to foster an environment where women feel empowered."

Interview requests: [email protected] & [email protected]
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Charlotte Davies - Chief Product Officer, Hunkemöller

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"At Hunkemöller, we're all about empowering women in our workplace. We encourage authenticity, confidence, and support, creating a fun environment that sparks creativity and teamwork. Our inclusive approach celebrates the diverse beauty of women, allowing everyone to be themselves.

"In Touch" isn't just a saying for us; it represents our commitment to constant learning and growth. We prioritize open communication, providing a space for ideas to thrive. Our brand goes beyond lingerie – it's a source of inspiration. We lead by example, motivating our team to achieve personal and professional greatness.

To empower our female employees, we take real steps. We invest in targeted programs and leadership training for professional growth. Inclusivity isn't just a concept; it's a reality reflected in policies that ensure equal opportunities, fostering an environment where everyone can thrive.

This International Women's Day, we stand with "One World, a Thousand Women," actively contributing to a workplace that empowers and celebrates diversity. We're proud to embrace values like empowerment, inclusivity, playfulness, and inspiration, turning them into actions for a more equitable world."

Interview requests: [email protected]
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Alice van de Velde - Retail Manager, Duror Fashion Group (Terre Bleue & Gigue)

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"We maintain a gentle and human culture where employees are motivated to grow, both professionally and personally. We pay attention to the person behind the employee and cultivate the connection with the family business."

Interview requests: [email protected] & [email protected]
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Kira Schacht - PR & Partnerships Manager, Sage Appliances

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"I am fortunate to work with many talented female colleagues at Sage/Breville. Our approach is to treat everyone as equal team members, regardless of gender or other distinctions. We focus on fostering a culture of collaboration, where each individual can contribute their skills and ideas. Our goal is to create an environment where all employees have equal opportunities and recognition. We believe in working together for the success of the company, ensuring that nobody feels excluded based on gender or any other factors. Personally, I have never felt disadvantaged or excluded due to my gender within our company. This reflects our commitment to building an inclusive and respectful workplace where everyone can thrive. We actively strive for a diverse and equal working environment, ensuring that all employees, regardless of gender, have the same professional opportunities."

Interview requests: [email protected] & [email protected]
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Matthias Pittoors - Managing Director, Heylen Ceramics

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"I have taken over the family business from my mother, who is one of my greatest inspirations. She has grown the business, and now I am carrying on her legacy. The entire Heylen Ceramics workforce inspires me a lot as well. Therefore, we place great value on respecting our employees and being close to them. I believe it's very important nowadays to take into account how employees feel on the one hand and on flexibility on the other. By focusing on a good work-life balance, we can relieve our employees, making them feel better. It's important to me to bring that to a successful conclusion."

Interview requests: [email protected]
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Margot Saelen - Creative Manager, Caroline Biss

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"Caroline Biss is a fashion company run by women and made for women. For 60 years now, Caroline Biss has been the cradle for women who lost their hearts to fashion. Women who give everything every day to make sure that our product keeps its high standards, without losing sight of work-life balance, which is so important nowadays. Caroline Biss is a company where you do not have to choose between a career and having a family, but where we are one big family together. Within our company we do not work with titles. We are all one big team working towards the same goal. Which means that everyone’s opinion is heard and appreciated. Not only within our company’s walls, but also far outside of them we want women to triumph. That is why we make a collection for women of all standards and sizes. And why we try to create a real magical moment when they come shopping with us, whether it is in our stores or online."

Interview requests: [email protected]
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