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Today we celebrate women founders! Soon, Softly users will be able to add Women-Owned to their user profile when shopping on Amazon with the Softly Browser Extension. We are very excited that we will be able to help you find even more products that you can feel good about buying. In the process of researching products from women, we discovered many items that we couldn't wait to share with you.

Here are a few of our favorites – check them out and support sustainability efforts that are by women, for women and good for the planet!


Softly Swaps From Women-Owned Businesses



Back Beat Co.

A woman of color owned clothing company focused on affordability and sustainability. Learn more about the founder of Back Beat Co., Isadora Alvarez, as she chats with Kestrel Jenkins on the Conscious Chatter Podcast.

Check out the sale on this thermal top – perfect for fall weather!

(Plus it's made with GOTS certified organic cotton)


 

Our Place

Founded by Shiza Shahid, Our Place focuses on products that celebrate the beauty and joy of home cooking, and making it easier to cook.
The best-selling Always Pan replaces 8 traditional pieces of cookware and looks great too.

 


Axiology

Ericka is on a mission to end plastic waste in beauty. She began selling her no plastic, vegan, cruelty free products on Etsy but has made her way onto the shelves of major retailers around the world, including Ulta. Way to go Ericka!
The first product she launched was a 10 ingredient lipstick that she made in her tiny kitchen after watching youtube videos and checking out DIY books at the library.



And for the trivia buffs out there - Mrs. Meyer is a real person. Learn more here...

 

What is on your conscientious shopping list?

  • Equity for Business Owners (e.g., LGBTQ+, BIPOC, Veteran)

  • Fair Wages

  • Healthy Work Environment

  • Sustainable Labor Practices

 

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Your support will help drive improvements in Softly!

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By Tessa Bubalo


Today’s business environment provides an occasion to celebrate the remarkable progress made by women. The number of women who hold seats on corporate boards, run companies, and are entering technology would have been unimaginable even a half century ago. But while glass ceilings are being shattered, the truth is there are still ceilings to be broken, especially when it comes to technology.
While 46.6% of the total workforce is female, less than 25% of the technology field is made up of women. As the tide changes, it is becoming apparent that women bring a unique perspective to the technology workforce, and their insights are in demand. Deloitte Global predicts that global technology firms will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022. Although this gap is not yet closed, this is a 2-point improvement from 2019.

Mollie Hughes is co-founder and CEO of Softly, a tech company that helps consumers make sustainable purchasing decisions. According to Hughes, “Technology is here to stay and women in the field are bringing refreshing new insights to the workplace. With Softly it is in the way of user experience and how people access and use technology. The majority of the users of our browser extension are female, so it makes sense that both our leadership and technical teams reflect that."
 

When women and diverse teams

have access to capital,

they outperform financially.

 
Fortunately, Hughes and other women tech leaders are not alone in their quest for equal representation. There are programs which encourage and mentor women in technology including 1871, an innovation hub in Chicago. 1871 offers programming for women-identifying tech founders and leaders who face unique challenges because they are women, challenges such as funding for example. In 2021, women-led businesses in the United States received only 2.2% of venture capital funding, while the global venture capital industry had a record year, with $643 billion in investments made. And yet, the data shows that when women and diverse teams have access to capital, they outperform financially.

Programs for women founders through 1871 offer, “emotional intelligence workshops, 1:1 mentoring, and a safe environment to share and grow,” says Alysha-Aubrey Bursey, Sr. Director of Affinity Programs at the innovation hub. Adding that “more women are in technical fields or starting tech companies because it’s the future. There is no denying that tech is everywhere and here to stay.”

Encouraging an Interest in Technology
"Teachers and parents are very influential in making sure that girls aren’t held back or swayed to pursue the typical areas that girls are thought to enjoy,” Emily Bennett, Commercial Airline Pilot
According to landmark research by AAUW, a Washington DC based gender equity advocacy group, interest in technology has to do with changing societal beliefs and creating a “growth mindset” environment in which teachers and parents can encourage girls’ achievement and interest in math and science.

Brooke Bennett is a Data Catalyst at John Deere, and while she often times is still the only female in the business meeting, she encourages others to enter the field. “While I sometimes feel alone, I remember that I’m not alone in feeling alone. There is a community of women in STEM and we constantly uplift one another through organizations like SWE, Girls Who Code, Women in STEM, Women in Analytics, and Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. It is all these amazing women in STEM careers that inspire and motivate me to continue blazing my path for the other future women of STEM following our footsteps”.
"It is all these amazing women in STEM careers that inspire and motivate me to continue blazing my path for the other future women of STEM following our footsteps”. Brooke Bennett, Data Catalyst
Both Brooke and her sister, Emily, entered male dominated fields; twenty three year old Emily is a commercial airline pilot. Starting Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs at an early age has propelled this evolving shift. “I think this process really kicks off in middle school where exposure to STEM classes and extracurriculars is so critical. Teachers and parents are very influential in making sure that girls aren’t held back or swayed to pursue the typical areas that girls are thought to enjoy,” says Emily Bennett.

Softly COO, Kathryn Decker is not only a tech business founder, but also has a college aged daughter studying to be an engineer. "We need to integrate technology into the educational curriculum in a way that reduces the perception that it is hard,” says Decker. “Innovative platforms have made data analysis, application development, and coding more accessible, user-friendly, and actually fun to use. It's critical to introduce the language and tools of technology to girls early so that it isn't seen as intimidating when they get older.”

Seat at the Table
"We need to make sure that the female leaders of tomorrow have the technical skills needed to take a place at the table". Kathryn Decker, Softly COO
When it comes to equity, most women say they simply want opportunity, or a place at the table. That table in many cases is a board room or corporate meeting. “It’s all about opportunity,” says Hughes. “When given the chance to showcase our skills and accomplishments, we will thrive.” Decker adds, “Being able to utilize IT tools in advanced and novel ways has been one of the most empowering skills that I've developed during my career. Moving forward, almost all careers will require technical acumen to achieve leadership roles. We need to make sure that the female leaders of tomorrow have the technical skills needed to take a place at the table.”

Companies are realizing the need for women in tech to create products and services that are inclusive and conscious of the needs of all members of society. There is also a big push toward implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy within the workplace. This policy encourages individuals of different ages, races, ethnicities, genders, religions, and sexual orientations be actively recruited and hired to maintain a diverse company culture.

Implementing a DEI strategy and holding existing employees accountable to that strategy are effective first steps towards closing the gender gap in tech.

Technology to Help Support Women Owned Businesses
In order to keep the momentum strong, it is important to support those who are working to change the business landscape. The Softly browser extension helps consumers support women by highlighting products made by women owned businesses. Softly is a browser plug-in that assists online shoppers in finding products made with values that are specifically important to them, such as products made by women owned businesses. Be sure to follow Softly for ways you can help more and more women shatter the proverbial glass ceiling!