Girls Run the World: From Kolkata to Amsterdam

Today, on the 8th of March, we are celebrating International Women’s Day! And is there a better way to celebrate by recognising the strong and courageous women who tirelessly run O My Bag? Read more to learn about amazing Women behind your O My Bag!
by Maz Carter on Mar 04, 21

We Owe it to Women

The theme for this year’s International Women’s day is Women in Leadership. Well, isn’t that a subject dear to our heart? Today we are recognising all the women before us, who created a path to push the world even further until it’s a better place for all of us. 

O My Bag is a women driven company. At our office, partner tanneries and partner factories, we’re surrounded by strong women who are integral to O My Bag’s success. From the very beginning till very now, O My Bag has been living (and thriving) because of women. So we are celebrating International Women’s Day in solidarity and unity!

Meet Our Wonder Women

O My Boss


It all starts with Paulien, our founder, who wanted to set up a social enterprise that would not only become profitable, but also give back by approaching business in a fair, sustainable manner. We’d say she’s done a pretty good job.

Paulien Wesselink

What does International Women’s day mean to you?

“I am inspired by so many amazing women on a daily basis! It ranges from other businesswomen in the Netherlands that have built beautiful businesses. International Women’s Day is a celebration of what women have achieved, a conversation around what is happening right now, and a chance to contemplate how things can change in the future. We should not delude ourselves that it’s an equal world, there is still a great deal to be done.”

 

Superwoman Ipshita

 

Ipshita Wadhwa Khettry takes care of our account at STC, one of O My Bag’s producers. Besides her job as a relations manager. Working with her is easy and fun, and over the years we’ve shared dinners, drinks and even family weddings together!


At the STC factory it’s mainly men in the board, so we asked Ipshita: 

How do you succeed in a male dominated environment?

"To be honest, I have never actually felt that I work in a male dominated environment. This is probably because of my father’s stand on this issue- both personally and professionally. Throughout my upbringing he has never let me feel once that there is anything that women can’t do which men can. Also professionally as well, he has always promoted the female workforce in our factory, in almost every department that it can be done. In fact there are few departments in the factory which actually have a higher percentage of women in it than men. Further, having confidence in your ability is another sure shot way to success."
We couldn't agree more, Ipshita!

 

The Voice of the Future Generation Pinky

 

Pinky is a Production Floor Manager at Sheong Shi Tannery and the stepdaughter of our leather tanner Patrick Lee in Kolkata. She’s a real powerlady in our eyes, being so young and holding her own at the male dominated leather tannery. Next to working at the tannery, she also keeps a Chinese dumpling business running. Jess and Pau had dinner there February 2020 and loved it. They were also properly impressed with the work ethic of this lady! Pinky is definitely the voice of the future generation of India, and we are so excited to see which new heights she will reach in her life!

What does gender equality mean to you?

"It's very important for each woman to be independent, as there should be an equal opportunity to develop personal ambitious for both men and women. Women are no less than men in any field. Personally, I am very independent. My parents have always taught me that even if I am alone standing in the midst of man - my identity should be always shining. I am working here with mostly male workers but everybody here treat me very nicely, they appreciate my work. That's what keeps me very motivated to do more things for my tannery!"

 

The Dustbag Ladies


Proof that when you support women, amazing things happen! A former EMA partner factory worker saw women in his village needing work, so set up a sewing workshop where the O My Bag dustbags are now made! The ladies can financially support their families, and your O My Bags can be protected. It’s a win-win!

 


“I raise up my voice — not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.”

- Malala Yousafzai -

 

Here at O My Bag, we are striving to bring a positive change to the world. We are trying our very best to make sure that one day, every little girl's voice will be heard. So why not start changing the world one bag at a time?

Much Love,

O My Bag Team x