Every year, South Africans celebrate the day that commemorates thousands of protesting women who marched onto the Union Buildings in 1956 in defiance of the regime’s enforcement of pass laws. To pay homage to the fearless women who changed our political landscape, the nation celebrates Women’s Month in August 2018 – the observance of this homage is especially heralded at Carrol Boyes Functional Art, where women make up over half of the business’s workforce.
Renowned and celebrated artist-designer Carrol Boyes trail-blazed against gender inequality in the workplace when she birthed her iconic brand, Carrol Boyes Functional Art. Carrol trained and worked as a teacher and immersed herself in her creative career in earnest when she was 35 years old, and so the legacy of luxury flatware, giftware, tableware and home accessories came to be; her distinctive works are now sold in over 30 countries with women spearheading the Carrol Boyes Functional Art agenda.
The female South African workforce weighs in at 44% whilst Carrol Boyes Functional Art has exceeded this total, boasting an impressive 67% women-led staff compliment! “I believe Carrol makes a conscious effort to employ women,” says Michelé Stuurman, Head of Marketing and PR at Carrol Boyes Functional Art. “Under her guidance, women have grown in confidence and moved into more senior roles within the company through nurturing and encouragement.”
Whilst women are integral to the business, when bringing in employees, Carrol is neither biased nor influenced. “The idea of having someone’s life in my hands was nerve-racking, employing people has always been stressful. It was a responsibility I took very seriously and still do to this day.”
Carrol further rails against the national average that states less than half of skilled labour (management included) is female; Carrol Boyes Functional Art tips the scales at 80%. Carrol remains unwavering in her belief that women are a vital energy source in the workforce and serves as an inspiration to women in her establishment and to those who know her.
“As a woman-owned business, the company has naturally attracted women employees,” says Stuurman. “With that said, Carrol Boyes Functional Art has always understood the needs of women and encouraged study leave, career progression, relocation within the business and equality in remuneration.”
Carrol Boyes Functional Art by virtue of its value system is a beacon of virtuosity when it comes to addressing gender inequality and puts its money where its mouth is by supporting the equal pay agenda (men continue to earn 67% more than women on average).
As a woman, and an entrepreneur, Carrol is the embodiment of female empowerment. Women’s Month is a big deal in the Carrol Boyes Functional Art stable and celebrating women in the workforce is not limited to Women’s Month – women in her workforce are celebrated daily.