Inspiring Women  Sharing stories of the women who inspire us

Women are the driving force behind the apparel industry and our brand. Just as the majority of our customers and employees are women, so are most of the people making our clothes. Yet around the world, women have less access to education, earn less money and are more at risk of violence. But it doesn’t have to be this way. When women are educated, healthy and economically empowered, families and communities can thrive. For two weeks in 2017, our colleagues in C&A stores, offices and C&A Foundation throughout Europe and China celebrated women who have had an important influence on their lives. 

Why the Inspiring Women campaign is so important

  • The majority of garment workers – approximately 80% – are female [SOURCE: Clean Clothes Campaign].
  • Of the 21 million people trapped in forced and bonded labour worldwide across all industries (not just apparel), 11.4 million are women and girls [SOURCE: ILO].
  • For every dollar earned by men, women only make 77 cents for work of equal value – making the global gender pay gap 23% [SOURCE: UN Women].
  • Women carry out 2.5 times more unpaid work, as well as household and care work, than men [SOURCE: UN Women].
  • Many women also face violence and harassment in the workplace and at home. Around 60% of female workers in Bangladesh and India have experienced harassment [SOURCE: Fair Wear Foundation].

C&A is committed to improving the situation of women worldwide: in our own company, in our supply network and in communities around the world.

Our 2017 performance

In May 2017, 13,920 employees across C&A Europe and C&A China took part in Inspiring Women, taking selfies and sharing stories of women who inspired them. In China, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and most of Central and Eastern Europe, the participation rate exceeded 80%.

My Nan has taught me strength. In the lowest and darkest of days you can always find strength and grow. She is my inspiration, the most beautiful strong woman I know

Claire Sturmey, C&A Germany (EHO)

Inspiring Women 2017 raised €574,000 for charities supporting women’s safety, leadership and voice. These funds will help approximately 45,000 women in C&A communities.

In China, our employees visited the Beijing SOS Children’s Village on behalf of C&A Foundation to donate funds to the ‘mothers’ working with orphans to provide care, healthcare, education and vocational training.

Across the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Inspiring Women campaigns, C&A employees took 53,355 selfies and raised over €2 million for a total of 70 organisations. We thank them all for their outstanding support.

Where next?

A new approach: Inspiring World

In 2018, we will launch our next campaign, Inspiring World, encouraging employees to share their stories of a better world. The objective of this campaign is to build C&A employees’ capacity to support our 2020 sustainability goals by engaging them over three years on campaigns aligned with the areas of our strategy: Sustainable Lives, Sustainable Products and Sustainable Supply. We aim to increase employees’ awareness of C&A’s commitment to sustainable fashion and make them feel proud to work for the company.