· By Oonagh Simms
March is women’s month. As well as International Women’s Day on Wednesday and Mothers day next week it has given us a nudge to reflect on the things we do and the things we could do to make things fairer for women.
As I have recently become a mum as well as running my own business the challenges of both have not been lost on me. The lack of security of paid parental leave, the extortionate costs of childcare and, lets face it, it the absolute exhaustion of having done almost a full days work before you’ve even left the house. And I consider myself to be lucky. I have a supportive partner and family and a job that I love. But there’s no denying that when it comes to work and being a mother- There’s still no such thing as equity. So, what are we doing?
We spent a long time deciding which chocolate to use for our delicious teacakes and wanted to find the one that not only has incredible sustainability and environmental credentials but is actively working to transform the industry- ta-dah..Veliche chocolate are our dream. They have a tailored entrepreneurial programme specifically for women in farming and their chocolate is incredible- rich, dark and with slight fruity notes across the range. Allowing women to establish themselves in the cocoa industry goes beyond ‘fair trade’ or paying a decent wage- it’s empowering women to manage their farms as a business. Allowing them to set the rules.
4 day week
We’re doing it. And it works. Much has been made of the ways a four-day work week could increase productivity and job satisfaction. But, let’s face it, the shift is also a huge win for gender equality. It’s still early days for us in the bakery but we’re big advocates for how it allows more women back into work full time after having children. It’s made us feel happier, healthier and buzzing with energy for the time that we’re here.
Why Women Grow
On Friday we went down to Chelsea Physic garden for the launch of a book called ‘why women grow’- a book from self taught gardener Alice Vincent of ‘Soil, Sisterhood and Survival’ It's a lovely small garden in London with a great guide and perspective to gardens. Alice's book shares the stories of women’s connections with gardeners and growing. An exploration of women's lives through different forms of nurturing. Whilst there it made me think a lot about our relationship with crafts, how we make things here in the bakery and the produce we use. These choices and connections are often very conscious for women.
£1 from every sale
We'll be giving £1 from every sale for the month of March to our local Women's Aid. They provide vital services for vulnerable women and girls across the city. Thanks Women's Aid- you're amazing.
So, as the days are getting longer and we are seeing the first green shoots of spring it’s clearer to me why March really is women’s month.