10 Businesses That Are Making It Count Beyond Women’s History Month

These companies celebrate Women's History Month with pride.


Women's History Month was made official in 1987 and has been proclaimed a celebration in the month of March by presidents since 1995. During this month, we commemorate the countless contributions and achievements of women in the United States. And in an effort to smash the patriarchy, we celebrate Women's History Month with pride.

This year's theme: Refusing to Be Silent. A theme that is wildly relevant. With women still making 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, we still have work to do.

Before Women's History Month officially ends, we wanted to share some businesses pouring back into women this month and beyond. This is your friendly reminder to always support women in all ways.

1. Phenomenal Woman Brand

What started as a t-shirt line is now a movement heralded by thousands of women. Meena Harris, Vice President Kamala Harris' niece, began partnering with organizations to bring awareness to world issues. By coining powerful statements like Phenomenally Black and Pro-Science/Pro-Dolly, the Harvard grad has managed to use graphic tees to fight the power for underrepresented communities. Phenomenal Woman is giving back in an innovative way by using bite-size messages to push the culture forward and change the world. Every campaign is linked to a cause that empowers women globally.

2. Able

Over at Able, they proclaim, "Your purchase matters because it allows us to empower women. 96 percent of our employees are women." This ethical fashion brand's mission is to empower women so that we can end poverty. Because they are committed to breaking the cycle of poverty and helping women thrive, they invest in, train, and educate women so they can earn a living. Able started making scarves in Ethiopia and is now a lifestyle brand made up of jewelry, shoes, leather handbags and more.

3. Haverhill

During Women's History Month, Haverhill is pouring back into women with yet another capsule. The two-piece collection consists of a 14K gold necklace and bracelet handcrafted in the USA and engraved with the female gender symbol. With the Venus collection, Haverhill has pledged to donate 10 percent of the purchase price to Catalyst, a global nonprofit collaborating with some of the world's most powerful CEOs and leading companies to build workplaces that work for women. Their thought leadership focuses on four areas: Advancing Women, Women and the Future of Work, Lead for Equity and Inclusion and MARC (Men Advocating Real Change).

4. Azura Bay

A portion of the proceeds of every order from Azura Bay goes to one of three organizations selected by the founder, Ashley. You can choose at checkout and one of the choices is "Because I am a Girl". BIAAG is an initiative run by Plan International and their mission is to end gender inequality and promote girls' rights. There are a "wide range of programs to improve the status of girls and give them equal access to healthcare, education, protection, independence and an opportunity to participate in society."

5. inkWELL Press

inkWELL Press, the maker of all things productivity, was founded on generosity. The creator, Tanya Dutton, based her business on this model because she wants to show her children that it's important to bring forth good in this world. She does that with her New Life Initiative, where inkWELL Press donates their secondhand and surplus items to battered women shelters and residential treatment centers throughout their region. "Our goal with the New Life Initiative is to make a difference in how these women view their lives and empower them with the tools and confidence to begin their new lives."

6. Prosperity Candle

We love a smell-good candle but we love it, even more, when it comes with a side of philanthropy. It all started in 2009 when three people created Prosperity Candle. Through candle-making and beautifully crafted vessels, this social enterprise supports refugees and artisans with refillable/repurposed candles. Every candle has an incredible story poured into it. The 10-people team has one goal: end global poverty. Just think of Prosperity Candle as the Statue of Liberty in action with its foundational values of creativity and quality.

7. Bye Gender

Did you know that the life expectancy of trans women of color is just 35 years old? The struggles the trans community face are unthinkable and that's why Bye Gender exists. Previously known as Werk Those Pecs and Trans is Beautiful Apparel, the brand's mission is still to help trans individuals access the funding they need to survive. In 2016, the fund was first opened for application and since 2019, 25 applicants have been funded thanks to the proceeds from the clothing line. "The majority of the recipients are transgender people who have limited access to housing, or work due to disability, are unable to find employment due to their trans statuses, or are unable to afford their HIV meds or hormones. In November 2019, the Werk Those Pecs Fund was renamed to Bye Gender Trans Survival Fund."

8. Eu'Genia

Eu'Genia was birthed by a mother-daughter duo determined to secure fair wages and opportunities for their female workers in Ghana. Naa-Sakle Akuete and her mother have pledged to donate 15 percent of their earnings right back to the very women who make up the social enterprise by way of an education fund. The secret to their thriving business is raw, unrefined Ghanaian shea butter; thanks to Grandma Sunshine, the Ghanian midwife who birthed Naa-Sakle's mother and partner in equity. The Akuete lineage is emboldened by this natural alternative to chemical and petroleum jelly-filled moisturizers with her mom's establishment of Global Shea Alliance and their current relationship with sustainable farmers.

9. Smarty Pits

It is usually in pain that we find our purpose. That statement is painfully true for SmartyPits founder, Stacia Guzzo. After her mom found a lump under her armpit, they discovered it was breast cancer. The unrelenting search for an aluminum-free, odor-controlled, great smelling, smooth applicator led Stacia to create SmartyPits. A small stovetop plus skincare formulation research resulted in an aluminum-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and propylene glycol-free deodorant. Best of all, SmartyPits donates 1 percent of all sales to breast cancer research and free deodorant to oncology centers, survivor support events, and non-profit groups.

10. Thinx

Thinx is the new wave of reproductive health. Meet the underwear that absorbs blood during your period, eliminating the need for pads and tampons. Menstruation is such a taboo topic and we are not educated appropriately on how to take care of ourselves when our monthly visitor arrives. Thinx is actively trying to fix that by advocating for equity, educating future generations, and fighting for access for everyone. "Alongside our partners (and with your support!) we're fighting for better access to puberty education, amplifying grassroots activism, and donating our undies and time. When you purchase Thinx you're helping give life to our programming and initiatives." For us, it's the fact that they donate Thinx to women in need in underrepresented communities and unhoused situations.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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