Every March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated globally by women regardless of differences as they come together to celebrate their achievements and take action towards gender equality. International Women’s Day serves as a reminder for us to keep fighting towards challenging gender stereotypes, calling out discrimination and seeking out inclusion.
This year's IWD campaign theme - #EmbraceEquity - aims to encourage conversations that go beyond advocating for equality but instead equity.
Equity acknowledges that the different circumstances of each individual require different resources to achieve an equal outcome. Even amongst women, equity is important to understand and acknowledge as some of us may need more assistance - while others may need less. However, don't let these differences stop us from making a meaningful change! Let's keep working together towards true inclusivity as we embrace the value of equity.
This IWD, we interviewed 7 amazing women from different walks of life who share one common goal: to drive positive change in the world. Listen to them share their take on what it means to #EmbraceEquity and bring about meaningful change in the world this 2023. Learn more about their individual achievements and aspirations as you scroll on!
#1 Ong Bee Yan - Model and Designer (@greyevolution on IG)
Ong Bee Yan (also known as Yan Ong) started modelling after she was scouted at age 63, and has since worked towards empowering seniors to step out of their comfort zones to achieve greater heights. Despite her few years in the industry, the silver-haired model's versatility had her modelling for brands like Louis Vuitton and campaigns for The Modern Singapore Collective. It doesn't end there - in 2022, she collaborated with local brand Yacht 21 to release a capsule clothing collection meant to be worn by everyone regardless of age.
Yan Ong emphasises the importance of recognising individual uniqueness, differences and abilities. #EmbraceEquity to her means that no one is prejudiced by their sex, race, status, physical disabilities, appearances or religious beliefs. As a senior in the modelling and fashion industry, she hopes that seniors are given more opportunities to show their capabilities in workplaces. She hopes that we start to embrace the years of experience seniors have and recognise that it is still relevant and useful in this modern world!
Photo on cover image from @grey_revolution
#2 Maria and Nicole - Beige Social Team (@wearebeige on IG)
In 2020, Maria founded beige.social, a social media agency assisting conscious brands in building a community in hopes of bringing more authenticity in social media. Together with Nicole - Social Media and Community Manager - as well as the rest of the beige.social team, they work towards creating content and managing social media accounts of these conscious brands to help YOU support their causes! Through their work, they continue to prove that it is not impossible for brands to use social media consciously.
To them, #EmbraceEquity is all about love, acceptance and respect for everyone no matter our differences - and to actively work towards making women and people of all gender feel safe in our society. They believe that we should strive to create safe spaces where others can fulfil their fullest potential without the fear of being judged. This IWD, Maria and Nicole hopes that we embrace more of our unique differences not as a reason for conflict - but as a catalyst of change!
Photo on cover image from @wearebeige
#3 Kathlyn Tan - Ambassador for Coastal Natives (@kath.sea.fish / @coastalnatives.sg on IG)
As an certified scuba divemaster and freediving athlete, Katlyn (also known as Kat) is deeply passionate about sustainable business practices and ocean protection. Amongst her endless efforts in the non-profit sector, Kat is also the Co-Founder of Coastal Natives - a community of ocean advocates that aims to increase ocean awareness and inspire new ocean lovers. Through the various events and programmes by the Coastal Natives, more individuals are empowered to advocate for the ocean.
Kat believes that we can truly learn from one another once we see past our differences. The most important aspect of #EmbraceEquity to Kat is to not be passive - to step up when we see injustice and to continue fighting for what we believe is right. She hopes that we embrace more mindfulness this year whether it be through more conscious purchases, building healthy relationships or even developing mindful personal beliefs.
Photo on cover image from @kath.sea.fish
#4 Peenut & Alison - Tattoo Artists from Vagabond Ink (@vagabond_ink on IG)
Peenut and Allison are both experienced tattoo artists from Vagabond Ink, a cruelty-free tattoo studio, located just a few units away from The Social Space’s Kreta Ayer outlet! Both artists have spent years developing a name for themselves as female tattoo artists in a male-dominated industry. Peenut specialises in sketch work style tattoos while Alison specialises in black & grey/realism style tattoos - but both are more than willing to broaden their horizons in various tattoo styles!
Recognising our differences means acknowledging that we each start at different points in life. To these wonderful artists, to #EmbraceEquity is to give everyone a voice to speak up despite these differences. When everyone's voices are heard, we can then help each other to achieve our own definition of success.
With the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions, Peenut and Allison encourages us to embrace more of the little things that we may have forgotten - the community, spaces, and routines that we are a part of every day.
Photos on cover image from @peenutkewlee and @junealison
#5 Amanda Hastings - A dedicated supporter of TSS (@mandashow88 on IG)
Amanda has been an avid supporter of The Social Space since we opened our doors - actively making conscious choices through her purchases with us to make an impact no matter the size. Despite being a new mom, she is a dedicated Supermom who juggles her full-time career, parental responsibilities and still makes time to support various social causes as a human rights advocate and active member of the maritime community!
#EmbraceEquity to Amanda is to actively take steps towards levelling the playing field of all individuals by recognising our privilege and using it to achieve real equality. She firmly believes that we should advocate for blind hiring practices at workplaces, for quality and affordable childcare, as well as to assist more households to be food secure. This year, Amanda hopes that we each actively work towards positively impacting the lives of others around - no matter how big or small!
Photo on cover image from @mandashow88
Though International Women’s Day is only celebrated once a year, let’s make it a habit to continue to empower the women in our daily lives. Even the smallest things can make the biggest impact - let's not underestimate the power of a simple "Well done!", "You can do this!" and "I'm proud of you."
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