Miko + Mollie has a long-standing history of being more than one of Australia's favourite designer boutiques. We're a community of women standing up with, and for, women. From the charities we run and the organisations we support to the beautiful, kind, supportive women we employ who know their only job is to have a positive impact on another woman's life that day. Especially if they are going through something tough.
We never know what another woman is going through. I teach our team that we interact with 30-40,000 women every day and I guarantee you some of them are going through domestic violence, some of them have been assaulted by men in the worst possible ways, some of them are struggling to get recognised at work, some of them are juggling more than their fair share of duties trying to get ahead as a woman in the workplace or at home, some of them wake up to a man who doesn't love them every day and puts on a brave face for her little ones, puts on her make up and the beautiful outfits she buys from us and goes out to face the world trying to decide how she navigates this soul-crushing situation with as little damage as possible.
These discussions are eye opening in our store. From the emotional turmoil of relationships breaking down right through to horrendous criminal acts, some of our customers and community are going through hell and back. And a kind act can bring brightness to their day that otherwise would not have been there. It reminds them there are good people out there and they they are worthy. A stranger showing you kindness is one of the most powerful things you can do to help someone feel worthy and valued by society.
These conversations and actions are what make us the best, most empathetic women to deal with on a day to day basis. And it makes us aware of just how much we can have an impact on a woman's life by going that extra step. So we do. (It's also not easy work. We carry a heavy responsibility at times and I also need to teach my team how to look after themselves emotionally - there is a blog post on that coming).
In addition to this, we do the following great work. This is what your money pays for! We do this work on your behalf. So feel free to tell your friends what you are contributing to!
The Respect Ball
The Respect Ball commences in 2020 and will be an annual fundraiser in Adelaide raising funds to assist organisations working towards bridging the equality gap between men and women in Australia. What equality gap, we hear you say? Don't worry. We used to say the same thing! Until we learned...
- On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
- 1 in 5 Australian women has experienced sexual violence.
- Women are more than twice as likely as men to have experienced fear or anxiety due to violence from a former partner.
- More than two-thirds (68%) of mothers who had children in their care when they experienced violence from their previous partner said their children had seen or heard the violence.
- Young women (18 – 24 years) experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups.
- There is growing evidence that women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women report experiencing violence in the previous 12 months at 3.1 times the rate of non-Indigenous women.
- In 2014–15, Indigenous women were 32 times as likely to be hospitalised due to family violence as non-Indigenous women.*
What sort of Australia is this creating? An Australia where women are afraid of men? Children are growing up afraid or violent themselves? Our indigenous people are suffering even further due to a lack of mainstream support? And the mainstream support isn't that great itself otherwise this wouldn't be happening.
Miko + Mollie says no, thanks. Nuh uh. We won't stand for it.
So we're doing everything in our power to stop it and won't stop until women are equal. Free. Respected. And safe.
And The Respect Ball is a great opportunity to get this issue out on the table. Talk about it. Grow awareness. And raise vital funds for the organisations with the smarts to tackle this issue at its root cause.
We want to see education programs in schools teaching kids to respect each other and take care of each other. Teaching teens that sex is something that should occur between two consenting adults and women are NOT commodities and bragging rights. They are people. With feelings. And the way they are treated will be carried with them for a lifetime having impacts those silly boys could never imagine. So let's teach them!
We want education programs in local footy clubs akin to those the AFL clubs engage in. But not for legal reasons! Eye roll. But because we want men and women to respect each other and keep each other safe.
We want barriers to women in the workplace gone. We want equal treatment and equal pay. We want changes in subconscious biases, over time. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. We just can't take our foot off the pedal. It's too important not to. We're fighting for a better life for our daughters and granddaughters.
Further details of The Respect Ball will follow in due course but for now you can follow us on instagram and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have Board experience and would like to be on our Board, or event coordination experience and would like to be on our event committee. Please get in touch if you're a function venue, event coordinator, winery, lighting, audio or other organisation who would like to donate services for the event! Many hands make light work and change lives. Get on board.
Organisations we support
We periodically donate funds to Yarrow Place in Adelaide which is a first response service for rape and sexual assault victims. They provide essential medical care and guide victims through the legal and emotional processes they are about to endure. They support victims every step of the way but their resources are limited and at a point they need to move victims on to external counselling and support services. Sometimes victims can't afford the ongoing care. So we want to financially support this beautiful organisation to ensure they can offer as much care and support to victims as they need.
No one gets left behind. We won't allow it.
We are also donating left over stock to Yarrow Place to provide a gift to victims in their time of need. They will soon receive a piece of clothing from us, in our signature wrapping with a hand-written card that reads:
You are not alone. We stand with you. And you are stronger than you think you are. You will get through this. You will be bigger and better than you have ever been. And we're proud of the woman you are about to become.
So they know they are not alone and that they are supported by thousands of women who love and respect them. And who are sorry they suffered at the hands of men who have been raised by this country to do these things. That's why we're changing the dialogue. We're changing what men learn! It's not OK to laugh at sexist jokes. It's not OK to talk about women like they're sexual conquests. It's not OK to roadblock a woman's career because she may "get pregnant". It has never been OK and it will never be OK. We're just making it obvious. And making them accountable. The courts will make them accountable and we will support any woman who is brave enough to stand up in court and say it's wrong.
We also support women who can't. It's not an easy path and it's a personal decision.
Our culture and organisational policies
At Miko + Mollie we cultivate a culture of strength and kindness. We stand up for ourselves and for other women. And we show kindness and compassion to every woman we interact with.
In addition to this we implement fundamental policies that will be game-changers for the future like our Babies at Work Policy.
We are removing barriers to entry to the workforce for primary caregivers by encouraging them to bring their babies to work with them! This carries responsibilities but allows employees to re-enter the workforce as quickly as they would like, with or without the support of friends, family or childcare. Some women don't have those support networks and their careers should not be disadvantaged as a result. Nor should an inability to support themselves have them stuck in situations they don't deserve. No woman deserves that. So we ensure women have access to employment, career progression and freedom as a result. Changing the world one workplace at a time!
And we have already had other organisations contact us asking us for details on our policy so they can implement the same thing in their workplace! We love this and will continue to share as far and wide as we can'.
Babiesatwork.org is an excellent resource if you'd like to know more.