Something beautiful happens when women from all backgrounds and walks of life band together and empower each other: Glass ceilings begin to crack, gender-specific barriers start to crumble, and socio-economic obstacles feel a little less impossible to overcome.
As G.D Anderson put it, feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.
Whatever your ethnicity, religion, size, or health status, part of our mission at Juice Plus+ is providing women with opportunities to own their yes, live their truth, and become the best versions of themselves. Whether you’re a customer, a Partner, or an employee, we aspire for women everywhere to break the bias, change the narrative, and together, make HERstory.
We understand that there is a lot of work to do, and in the spirit of this year’s International Women’s Day theme of “Break the Bias”, we sat down with some inspirational women at Juice Plus+ to hear their personal stories, and how they are championing gender equality in the spaces around them.
1) This year’s IWD theme is ‘Break the Bias’ - What does that mean to you?
When I hear the term “break the bias”, my first response is excitement. I think anything that reveals blind spots, starts discussions and creates progress is a powerful thing. My second response is to ask the question, “who has that bias?” Often, I find I have my own biases, which I’ve accepted because it’s a cultural norm. My power then lies in breaking my own bias and taking action against this cultural norm. I must first believe I can break the barriers and redefine the lines. Juice Plus+ Partner, Kathrine Lee, United States.
2) Have you experienced any biases in your everyday life; how did this make you feel?
Yes, I’ve experienced outward bias from a former principal who had said I was “just a girl.” I remember feeling deflated; the wind was taken out of my sails. I had no response. Just anger.
More implicitly, I grew up in a culture where men were revered. They were the breadwinners, more intelligent, more successful, and the decision-makers. Over time, these beliefs began weakening my sense of self.
To feel accepted, I would wear a masculine mask. I thought the more I behaved like a male the more I would be accepted. Ultimately, it was years of inner turmoil, confusion, and denying myself the true me. Juice Plus+ Partner, Kerrie-Ann Leblanc, Canada.
3) What, in your opinion, is the most effective way to champion gender equality in the spaces around you?
Equality across all areas of life, I believe, comes down to each of us taking ownership and responsibility for ourselves. When a woman energetically steps into her feminine power, she not only lights up herself – she illuminates the path for others. I believe the greatest way to champion gender equality is to own more parts of that feminine energy, which often, for many of us takes courage and vulnerability. To be unapologetic about our desires and make a daily re-commitment to our own vision, mission, and story while harnessing the soft, playful, vibrant, and loving parts of ourselves. When we learn how to self-ignite our energy and mindset daily, I believe a divine ripple effect takes place, and our energy creates the greatest influence of all. Juice Plus+ Partner, Kimberley Welman, Australia.
4) Female leaders are more active as champions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as reported in The Women in the Workplace report by McKinsey & Company – why do you think this is?
Unfortunately, even in 2022, I think finding women leaders in large companies and the corporate world, in general, is still quite rare. I come from an accountancy and banking background, and the leadership and management roles were, and still are, very male-dominated. I believe this makes female leaders more active champions of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion as they feel a responsibility to not only advocate for others but to give them the recognition and opportunities to reach these senior leadership positions, too. When women reach these positions, I would imagine they want to help, encourage, inspire and open more doors for others who are often underrepresented, so they can do the same. Juice Plus+ Partner, Sara Mouhoun, United Kingdom.
5) What is one piece of advice you would give to other women as they are trying to make their mark on the world?
My advice would be to continue to fight, to assert yourself, to communicate your expectations and your goals, and to not let yourself be affected by the judgment of others. Use all the bias, negative comments, and derogatory remarks to give you even more strength to succeed. Listen to your heart, as it knows the way. You will get there. Juice Plus+ Partner, Geraldine Salvi, Switzerland.
In order to get, you have to give. If you support, guide, and lead others, if you make contributions to their lives, you will reap the best rewards. Juice Plus+ Partner, Peggy Breine, Belgium.
My advice is my daily mantra: Help and you will be helped. Do without expecting anything in return and above all, do it from the heart. Juice Plus+ Partner, Jessica Toril Sánchez, Spain.
The difficulties you face today turn into the strength you need for tomorrow. Never give up! Juice Plus+ Partner, Ewelina Czekala, Poland.
6) How has Juice Plus+ empowered you as a woman?
The Juice Plus+ Company is a community that has taught me that I have the power to choose who I want to be. When I first started, I was in my early twenties. I really had no sense of who I was or what I had to offer. But this company gave me a platform, and the community gave me the support I needed to not only discover who I was, but to live it out. There is nothing more dynamic than a group of women that are for each other. I firmly believe, if we stop comparing and competing, and start completing the work in front of us together, we can change the injustices and relieve the pain in this world. The united voices of women are a powerful force! Juice Plus+ Partner, Kathrine Lee, United States.
Juice Plus+ allowed me to prove that being a mother, taking care of your child and developing a successful career were all totally compatible. I am proud of the woman I have become. Through the Juice Plus+ Company, I share my ideas, my convictions, my choices without fear of being judged. I am proud to be part of a company where everyone is treated equally. Juice Plus+ Partner, Jessica Toril Sánchez, Spain.
After two years of cooperation, I can confidently say that I am a successful woman who has gained self-confidence and independence. Juice Plus+ is a company with a heart. We create a community where I have many devoted friends who believe in me. It gives you wings. Juice Plus+ Partner, Ewelina Czekala, Poland.
7) Tell us about a woman in your life who has inspired you. What qualities did she have that you admired the most?
Celine Egan, CEO of Juice Plus+ Australia, is a driving force of my personal inspiration. Stepping into the Juice Plus+ family after almost two decades in a male-dominated industry, I was instantly in awe of Celine’s posture, grace, energy, and profound wisdom. I remember walking into my first event and being introduced to Celine – at this point in my life, I was feeling so skeptical and stuck, and I was expecting a ‘handshake’ and quick hello, but Celine embraced me with a warm hug, looked me in the eye, and said, “have faith and trust”. I instantly felt ‘at home’. I have since been inspired by Celine daily. She leads with her whole heart, serves on a massive scale, and steers the Juice Plus+ ship with world-class strategy and execution. Whether it’s hosting a high-level meeting or dropping her favorite books and mindset listens in a chat, she’s the epitome of a wholehearted leader who strikes a beautiful balance of emotional intelligence and world-class business nous. Juice Plus+ Partner, Kimberley Welman, Australia.