The Body Shop Australia drives gender equality stance

Women’s empowerment ‘particularly important’ for The Body Shop’s gender equality stance

The Body Shop Australia's gender equality Christmas campaign features (L-R) Em Rusciano, Flex Mami and Ali Brigginshaw.

The Body Shop Australia has become a shining example of a brand that supports and empowers women, as they announce B Corp certification and launch a Christmas campaign with a gender equality message.

The Body Shop recently announced that it achieved B Corp certification, making it largest B Corp organisation founded by a woman.

B Corp certification is awarded to businesses that meet the highest standard of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

It is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance, extending well beyond standard product or service-level certification.

The Body Shop joins a growing number of B Corp companies around the world working towards reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.

Shannon Chrisp, The Body Shop Australia’s marketing and corporate responsibility director, said there was no better time for the organisation to join the B Corp community.

“We believe that a focus on environmental and social change is more important than ever. It’s clear that big change needs to happen now to help mitigate climate crisis and rising inequality. We can’t rely on governments alone to do it and businesses must step up. We are joining a select group of global ethical companies united in their mission to drive change in society through sustainable business,” she said.

Ms Chrisp said women’s empowerment is “particularly important” to The Body Shop because it is a female-dominated company.

“Wherever they are in the world, we firmly believe that women and men should be treated equally. Women and girls should have the same rights and opportunities as men and boys,” she said.

“Our founder was a woman, and most of our staff and customers are women. Whilst equality is the goal, society is not there yet and we need to keep pushing these narratives to show how successful women can truly be.”

Women’s empowerment: The Body Shop Australia drives gender equality stance

The Body Shop’s focus on supporting and empowering women is nothing new – the company’s founder Dame Anita Roddick has instilled feminism in the brand since it was created in 1976.

“At the heart of our DNA is the philosophy that we must use our everyday activities to ensure our business is a force for good, standing up for the issues women and girls face around the world,” Ms Chrisp said.

“We have created vocal, direct and effective campaigns to make long-lasting change on issues such as domestic violence, human trafficking and self-esteem.”

One such example is the brand’s current Christmas campaign featuring ‘the real Mrs Claus’ – not a frumpy housewife or sex symbol she is often portrayed as, but a strong, smart and empowered woman.

The Christmas campaign features three Australia women renowned for being fearless and inspiring: Em Rusciano, Flex Mami and Ali Brigginshaw.

The campaign was developed as a response to research, carried out by The Body Shop, that revealed more than half the nation (55 per cent) and 59 per cent of women thought gender equality would be the best gift for Christmas.

The research also showed that the majority of Australians (87 per cent) agreed that outdated stereotypes resurface during the holidays, with most agreeing that women will be doing the Christmas chores, such as cooking (68 per cent), buying gifts (60 per cent), and cleaning (49 per cent), with men more likely to be found in front of the TV watching sport (44 per cent).

“Australians definitely agree Christmas is a time for bringing people together, but research also shows us that outdated stereotypes rear their head over the holidays,” said Ms Chrisp.

“As a brand that champions fairness and equality, The Body Shop hopes to inspire both men and women to dream big and fight gender norms, both during the festive season and beyond.”

Sharon Green, editor

Sharon Green

Sharon Green is the founding editor of SHE DEFINED.

An experienced journalist and editor, Sharon has worked in mainstream media in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Forever in search of a publication that confronted the real issues faced by modern women, Sharon decided to create her own.