Global News | Mar 4, 2019

Avon launches stand4her – a global plan to improve the lives of 100 million women a year

Avon launches stand4her a global plan to improve the lives of 100 million women a year

  • Stand4her is Avon’s global response to the barriers still holding women back and aims to improve the lives of 100 million women each year by advancing their earning potential through the power of beauty, and their ability to live a safe and healthy life
  • The Avon Academy – one of world’s largest training academies – launches to train 500,000 Representatives each month to become beauty entrepreneurs 
  • Stand4her responds to recent research that finds:
  • Only half of women feel they live in a culture that encourages female entrepreneurs
  • Advancing women’s economic potential could increase global GDP by $12-$28 trillion annually
  • Nearly 80% of women believe beauty brands put too much pressure on them to be perfect
  • A fifth of women feel unsafe in their communities, and a third will experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetime

Today, Avon launches stand4her – a global plan to tackle some of the greatest barriers that are holding women back from achieving their full potential. 

As part of the business strategy to ‘Open Up Avon’, stand4her aims to improve the lives of 100 million women a year by standing for: the freedom to work in your own terms and in your own way; the power of beauty; safe and healthy lives.  

One of the first major initiatives in the 10+ year plan is the launch of the Avon Academy which will train 500,000 entrepreneurs every month, enabling more women around the world to earn money, in their own way and on their own terms. The Academy will be one of the largest training programmes in the world, and will provide women with lifelong learning and flexible development opportunities, delivered through a combination of online videos, interactive learning modules and peer support. 

The Academy will be available through Avon’s new state of the art mobile-enabled platform and through established face-to-face learning and support programmes. The Avon Academy will help ensure that Representatives are better equipped with the training, tools and techniques to provide beauty advice in a more agile and engaging way to their customers. Avon will continue to test new concepts, learn new insights and share best practices – scaling what works to more market across the world.

Stand4her is being launched in response to new research, commissioned by Avon with input from Oxford Economics, which shows that despite the global increase in flexible working patterns, women still feel they are held back from running their own businesses. This underpins projections that women’s economic potential is being limited by as much as 50%, creating a potential loss to annual global GDP of $12-28 trillion per year. The benefits of work are far greater than economic with Avon’s new research finding that:

  • 77% of women say that working increases their confidence
  • 65% of women say that working has improved the way in which they are treated by others
  • 74% of women say that working has increased their ability to be a role model for their children 

Avon’s plan also aims to address the belief that 80% of women have that brands are putting too much pressure on them to be perfect through a new brand strategy launching later in Spring 2019.

Avon remains committed to its goal to help eliminate gender-based violence against women and girls and has exposed how far the epidemic contributes to women being held back from advancing their lives – with the cost to the economy of gender-based violence estimated at $4.4 trillion a year, corresponding to 5.2% of annual global GDP.

Initiatives under stand4her include:

  • Avon Fair for Her Programme, to help to improve working conditions for c.250,000 women across Avon’s supply chain. The programme aims to enhance the social procurement programmes already in place to ensure that women working in the third-party factories and fields that supply Avon’s products have the best opportunities to advance their careers.
  • Avon Foundation for Women Scholarship Programme awards Representatives and their families with financial contributions that cover educational costs, such as tuition and associated costs, helping scholars pursue their lifelong educational goals. Additionally, the Avon Foundation will donate $100k to fund education programmes for girls and women.
  • The Avon Brand will encourage self-expression by breaking down stereotypes through a new brand strategy which democratises beauty representing women of all demographics, ethnicities, sexualities and ages, providing accessible, quality products at affordable prices, straight from the catwalk to the sidewalk.
  • The Avon Breast Cancer Promise, supported by the Avon Foundation which aims to reach 100 million women annually to ensure every woman knows the risks and signs of breast cancer, and how and when to take action. 
  • The Avon Promise to Help End Violence Against Women and Girls aims to educate 100 million women a year about violence against women and girls by providing information on where to seek help, encouraging conversation around the issue, and improving support through partnerships with charities, awareness events and changing global policies. 
  • Avon’s Global Women’s Employee Strategy addresses the needs and aspirations of female employees, as well as providing them with the opportunity and working conditions to thrive.

Avon and the Avon Foundation are exploring new collaborations with a range of organisations throughout its value chain to help advise, enhance and launch programmes under each strategic initiative, including Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Vital Voices, Refuge and Cancer Research UK. 

Jan Zijderveld, Avon Chief Executive Officer, said: “Stand4her is what we do, every day – it’s what we’ve been doing for over 130 years.  We’re reigniting Avon’s strong sense of purpose and doubling down on our efforts to support women and provide more meaningful and rewarding opportunities for our beauty entrepreneurs.

Our core purpose has never been more relevant.  Today female economic participation in the workforce remains below that of men, but we can be an agent of change, challenges ingrained barriers and open up opportunities. With 100 million women who work with us and buy from us around the world, and millions more in the communities in which we operate, Avon has a critical role – alongside other partners – to make a real and lasting impact.”

Cherie Blair, Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, said: “When you look at the opportunities that women have forged in the last 20 years there is so much to be proud of. But when you consider the enormity of the entrepreneurial gender gap, it’s a wakeup call to how many more hurdles we have to work together to take down. The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women are excited to collaborate with Avon on stand4her. Their plans are ambitious. But they need to be. Women’s entrepreneurship has the power to change the world.  As well as boosting global GDP, closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship and fuelling the growth of women-owned enterprises will unleash new ideas, services and products into our markets that will redefine the future.”

Find out more about stand4her here.