skip to Main Content

International Women’s Day: How inclusivity in the fashion and modeling industry are helping women and their careers thrive

International Women’s Day: How inclusivity in the fashion and modeling industry are helping women and their careers thrive

On March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day, a significant date that showcases the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world while also highlighting what still needs to be done in the ongoing fight for women’s rights and equality.

This year’s theme focuses on a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination; one that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Many industries are becoming progressive and inclusive in their workplace, and the modeling and fashion industry is one that is making a difference. In today’s fashion ecosystem, this deeper change focuses on the nature of representation. Let’s explore how inclusivity in fashion and modeling is helping women and their careers thrive.

Inclusivity and variation

For generations, the modeling world was reserved for women and men with a certain look and a classical Western appeal. Models were of a specific height, young and thin. But the standards of models have been changing and today we can look around and realize how different things are from a decade ago. Change is manifested on more inclusivity and variation by age, size, ethnicity, and disability. However, one of the most overlooked, yet impactful issues is that surrounding age inclusivity. Issues range from the lack of older and more mature women on the runway to the lack of style options to explore. The industry is coming to this realization and noticing that this demographic of women possess a huge influence and purchasing power. Now, more brands are staying away from the “ageless” dynamic and instead embracing age as a real and positive concept. Brands that have highlighted older models in the runways and ad campaigns include Christy Turlington, 50, who closed for Marc Jacobs show, and Stella Tennant, 48, who walked for Burberry. Age is the new diversity and mature models are raising their voices and rights to be heard and seen in this industry.

Where women work makes all the difference

Life can be very different for women who work with an inclusive employer where their careers are supported. Toxic work cultures, lack of flexibility, poor promotional opportunities, limited benefits, and pay inequity are some of the reasons women tend to look for a better employer who supports and values their contributions. When women enjoy their work, it is so because it feels rewarding and meaningful. Along with that, the environment tends to be dynamic and inclusive, and the pay and benefits are highly competitive. LinkedIn Vice President of Marketing, Minjae Ormes, highlights that being professional really means creating inclusive spaces and culture to honor each other as we are, “so that we can bring our unique experiences and perspectives to the table.” That is why today more than ever women in modeling, fashion, and beauty (among other industries) are joining forces to seek better working conditions that push back exploitation and focus on protection, inclusive work cultures, good flexible working practices, and rewarding career opportunities.

International Women’s Day is powered by the collective efforts of everyone. Let’s take this day as a call to action to forge real inclusivity in the workplace. To foster equal opportunities for young and mature women not only in modeling but in any industry. Let’s keep building a world where difference is valued and celebrated. Let’s all make a positive difference for women and help each other’s careers thrive no matter what.