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International Women’s Day 2024: Get to Know our Charity Partners

At Michael Hill, one of our key philanthropic focuses is empowering women and it’s a cause near to our hearts to improve the lives of women in need in our communities.

“In 2024, we are proud to launch The Michael Hill Foundation which, through ongoing initiatives and key charity partnerships, will help us to support and empower a greater number of women and girls – with our ultimate goal being to empower 100,000 women by 2030,” said Head of Sustainability and Group Strategy Manager, Kerrie Hockless.

“This year we have aligned with four charity partners who are making incredible contributions in various communities, to improve quality of life and provide opportunities: Women’s Refuge in New Zealand, Dress for Success in Australia, The Period Purse in Canada, and Collective Good Foundation in Danta, India.”

In honour of International Women’s Day, we spoke to our 2024 charity partners regarding the crucial work they’re doing. If you would like to help support their efforts, $20 from each pair of our cultured freshwater pearl studs and $50 from our diamond Serendipity necklace will be attributed to the Michael Hill Foundation and donated towards these charities.

The Period Purse: Canada

With Danielle Kaftarian, Executive Director, The Period Purse

  • Why does The Period Purse exist? Why is it so important?

The Period Purse exists to strive towards menstrual equity, provide access to free period products to more folks who need it and reduce the stigma of periods through education and advocacy. It’s so important because 25% of Canadians have been unable to afford their period products in their life. Our vision is for menstruation to be understood and treated with dignity, and for period products to be free for all.

  • Why does the empowerment of people who menstruate matter?

Seven in 10 (69%) of those who menstruate have missed an activity because of their period. This statistic is huge, and it’s why The Period Purse exists and works hard to support those who need it. It’s important to empower people who menstruate so everyone can feel dignity, get education, and menstrual health for all is so important.

Women’s Refuge: New Zealand

With Dr Ang Jury ONZM, CEO, Women’s Refuge

• How will funds raised through our partnership, help Women’s Refuge to make an impact?

The funds through this generous partnership will help provide much needed nights of safety for women and children experiencing family violence. It takes many safe nights to achieve a violence-free life and our advocates help across a wide spectrum, ranging from help accessing healthcare and counselling, support with MSD [Ministry of Social Development] and budgeting advice, obtaining a protection order and legal assistance, finding a place to live, helping to fund activities for Tamariki [children], even meeting basic needs like food, clothing, and much more.

• Why does the empowerment of women and girls matter?

When women and girls are empowered, they can make strong, informed choices that steer their lives in healthy directions. A big part of abuse is being made to feel powerless. When a woman makes the courageous decision to leave, we build on this strength to show them that they can begin a violence-free life and achieve a brighter future. Additionally, the earlier we can educate young women to understand that they are entitled to a healthy relationship and empower them to recognise initial red flags, we can prevent many women from becoming entangled in situations that are extremely hard to escape.

Collective Good Foundation: India

With Mrs Madhu Bahl, CEO, Collective Good Foundation

  • Why does Collective Good Foundation exist? Why is it so important?

CGF is a women led, women managed organization that seeks to bring together the collective power of philanthropy, private and public sectors to achieve exponential impact, given the urgency and sheer scale of development challenges that India faces today.

  • Our work across livelihoods, rural development, water, climate action and others are critical to achieve India’s SDG goals.

  • We harness innovative financing instruments that also comply 100% with India’s CSR and philanthropy laws to ensure we unlock significantly more value than the original funds invested in projects.

  • Our aim is to reach at least 5 million women and girls by 2030 to address their health, livelihood and other challenges, which can create a critical minimum scale for replication and adoption by other stakeholders in the social impact ecosystem.

  • Our work is also critical to demonstrate the power of multiple interventions going to one individual as opposed to fragmented and siloed efforts by individual organizations, building the case for deep partnerships.

  • Why does the empowerment of women and girls matter?

The empowerment of women and girls is a global agenda that seeks to address centuries of systemic inequality that has economic, social, and health ramifications. This is a moral obligation and a necessity since no country can truly progress unless its women do. Global evidence further points out that investing in empowering women also has higher chances of driving human capital development since healthier, economically empowered women with social agency, invest not just in themselves but significantly in the education and healthcare of their families.

Dress for Success: Australia

With Julie Hanlon, Fundraising and Marketing Coordinator, Dress for Success

• Why does Dress For Success exist? Why is it so important?

Dress for Success exists to empower women to achieve independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and life.

Our services work to address and eliminate the obstacles that arise for women during their search for employment and help them navigate other significant life events. We focus on building confidence and self-esteem as well as sharing knowledge and finding a beautiful outfit. Our goal is for every woman to feel empowered, welcomed and supported.

One of our clients said, “Dress for Success listened to me, understood my needs and delivered right on point. In fact, I felt overwhelmed by [the stylist’s] generosity as I didn’t feel I deserved this level of kindness. My dignity and frailty were honoured by [the stylist] during my visit.”

The support we provide is practical and of real need in our community. Empowering one woman can impact the future of many. The work we do makes a tangible difference in people’s lives, and by extension, the lives of families, and the community.

• How will funds raised through our partnership, help you to make an impact?

One hour in a Dress for Success fitting room can transform a woman’s outcome and help her gain the confidence she needs to enter or re-enter the workforce. It costs $200 to fund a styling session for a woman in need. Our partnership with Michael Hill enables us to continue to offer clothing, styling and career support free to those women that need it.

As one of our clients said, “Thank you so much, it was great, awesome. I'm so thankful to have this opportunity. What you've done is amazing and will change my life. Thank you for making this amazing. It's overwhelming in such a great way.”

Michael Hill’s generous fundraising for Dress for Success allows us to walk alongside our clients making sure they know that we see them, and we believe in them. It really makes such a difference, as another one of our clients highlights:

“This was a positive experience. Now how I feel inside reflects how I look outside, thanks to the care and warmth of my stylists. The clothes are really good quality and really suit me.”

When someone steps into our space, they also step into a community. A community who sees them, who supports them, and who is committed to helping them thrive in work and in life.

Learn more about the Michael Hill Foundation, our goals, and how you can help us to empower women in need. Discover now.