“When I founded Mantis World in 2000, I never imagined that 21 years later we would still be the only promo-wear brand that is owned by women. I have had the privilege and pleasure of working alongside so many wise, talented, and dedicated women and this IWD we acknowledge the often unsung effort they make. We are always available to “pay it forward” – helping women succeed and gain the confidence to fulfill their true potential.” says Prama Bhardwaj, founder and CEO.
This International Women’s Day, Mantis World have been reflecting on their history as a company, and the strong emphasis on gender equality from day one. Prama Bhardwaj built the company 21 years ago with the belief that a better industry and a better world is possible, and fighting inequality wherever it is found is a vital part of that mission.
The Mantis World team, including senior management, is mostly female, and as a company believe that it’s only right that everyone is able to work in an environment in which they feel safe and comfortable. It might seem like little things, but a focus on female-friendly policies in the office makes life easier for everyone. The understanding of unique needs, such as flexibility for those with children, has helped to create a culture of openness and support that allows everyone to voice their feelings.
Women are at the heart of textile production
The push for equality doesn’t stop at home. Women are at the heart of textile production and too often pay the greatest price in a historically unfair industry. It’s important to look at every step of the supply chain and to understand how women and girls throughout can be helped to reach their full potential.
Sourcing organic cotton from farm groups provides local farmers with more support and gives them the ability to offer added stability and opportunity to their families. All this goes a long way in making a difference for girls and women in cotton-growing communities. In 2019, Mantis World switched all the cotton in their production to organic, further solidifying their long-term commitment to helping in this way.
Women also make up the majority of the workers on the production line. Providing support for them in meaningful ways makes a significant difference to their day to day lives. Maternity pay, sick pay and assistance with childcare are solid policies that help not just women, but also their families. Every country has its own unique challenges, but the commitment to finding solutions that encourage gender equality wherever men and women work alongside one another runs deep.
The fight for gender equality in our industry is just as important as any of the other beliefs that make Mantis World who they are. In fact, they believe it is all connected. Treating each other, and the planet, with kindness and respect, only serves to benefits the industry and all those within it.
Mantis World was proud to partner with Clothes 2 Order to celebrate International Women’s Day this year. They donated 200 T-shirts to Smart Works, a charity dedicated to helping women build their confidence and get back into the workforce. The pandemic has been particularly hard for women, with figures from the ONS suggesting that working mothers in England have been 47% more likely to lose their jobs due in comparison to working fathers. Smart Works provides women with interview training, as well as with the right wardrobe to look the part. Mantis World hopes that by providing these base layers, they can in some small way help empower women to achieve their professional goals.