"For the first time in my life I have found a sisterhood, a brotherhood, however you want to describe it, I have found my tribe." Emma Watson (One Young World 2016)
In October 2016, during the One Young World Conference in Ottawa, our team was recognized for our work and awarded the Emma Watson Gender Equality Scholarship. During the conference, we participated in a panel discussion with Emmato discuss what it means to work in promoting gender equality. We joined Emma Watson’s newly formed feminist tribe from around the world. In this blog, we want to explain what it really means for us to promote gender equality. This is also our feminist manifesto for all our customers and supporters.
Our definition of feminism: we define feminism as the creation of equitable opportunities and rewards for all genders regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity or country of origin. We prioritize working with female coffee farmers because for generations, they have not received equitable income or recognition for their work. When we say we work with female farmers, we do not just work with females in the farming communities, but instead, we promote their work while also encouraging greater collaboration across gender lines. We also attempt to bring males in these communities to be allies and partners, because we believe equality cannot be achieved until the males understand the value of equality.
Practicing what we preach:
Firstly, the farms with whom we partner are required to meet two criterias:
Their farms need to be led by female farmers; and
They need to provide a positive environment for female members of their farms to receive equitable income and decision-making ability.
Within our own leadership team, we ensure that every member of the team receives equal opportunity to voice his or her opinions. With regards to participation, 40% of our current team is made up of female members and we are dedicated to raise that number. It is a key dedication of the Bean Voyage manifesto to promote a positive environment for the female team members. This includes providing options for female members to take days off at certain times of the year, and providing paid paternity and maternity leave for extended periods.
Call Me Out Culture:
Living in the current political landscape, we recognize that the prevalence of complacency can be dangerous in moving forward in our society. Therefore, we are fostering a ‘Call Me Out’ culture, where each member of the managing team promises to honor and appreciate being called out by anyone for comments or expression that is deemed harmful to the work environment and the world. Such comments do not only limit to expressions of sexism but also those of any other form of -ism. Regardless of our position in the team, we are willing to call each other out for anything that defies our definition of feminism that we have adopted as a company. We also encourage our customers and supporters to point out any flaws in our language and work so we can improve on our promise to a more equitable world.
This is the beginning of a journey that is full of obstacles for the team. However, we believe that this manifesto will guide us and help us ensure that our values are at the core of our work. We firmly believe that with the support and recognition from individuals and organizations, we will be able to achieve our goals of creating a more equitable and just world for all. Even within this manifesto, if you feel like we are missing out on any aspects, please do comment and we will be sure to address them!
Last week, we were invited to present our story and work at the Positive Leadership workshop hosted by the Center for Executive Education at UPeace. Here are some of our reflections on what it means to positively lead in a tumultuous world.