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During the second day of the Women & Worth Summit: Actions Speak Louder Than Words, there were numerous insightful panels one of them being, ‘Making a Difference Through the Power of Commerce,’ moderated by Worth editorial director Emily Cegielski, featuring Sara Rodell, founder of Loop & Tie, and Beatrice Dixon, founder and CEO of The Honey Pot Co. They discussed how the economic and societal unrest that has occurred over the past year has taught us lessons about the power we exert with every dollar we spend. COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the issues of the retail industry and how it has brought more awareness to our society.
Cegielski started off the discussion by asking the panelists how they navigated the challenges this past year brought to their businesses. Both panelists agreed that the pandemic has challenged small businesses by putting them at more risk compared to larger corporations. Rodell mentioned that “as a consumer, we prioritize efficiency that many large corporations like Amazon Prime offer over all else, but we, as humans, have shifted [our] mindset, that we are more aware of what we consume.” From a business standpoint, these challenges forced companies to choose what was necessary to double down on and to own up to the company’s mission and values. Dixon mentioned how nobody was prepared and how uncomfortable it was in the beginning, but it has brought her company into a new light, in which it is now more organized and has the right expertise needed to grow.
Then, they discussed the reasons why it took a pandemic in order for people to pay more attention to what the purpose of the company is and what a company’s leadership stand for. Rodell mentioned, “COVID has taught us to be more reflective rather than being in the mix of our busy, everyday lives and to stop and rethink our values.” Both panelists agreed that every action you take has a ripple effect in the world. We must vote not only with our dollars but also with our minds. Dixon said that, “when we’re faced with mortality, racial and societal issues and everything the media has portrayed, we as a society have woken up because we all had to sit with that and shift into this new conscious mindset.” She does not think that this will go away because too much money has already been invested in improving the inclusivity and mission of corporations.
To close out the panel, Cegielski asked them how we can scale this progress moving forward. Rodell discussed how it really comes down to the topic of living your values and acknowledging when you are curious versus righteous. “We should identify what you want to change in your values and start this conversation with your family, friends and coworkers in a kind way that will do wonders for change.” Both panelists agreed that our individual actions matter and that we are all interconnected.
Overall, I learned that we are all accountable for our actions and that we can truly make a difference by focusing on being aware. One of the key takeaways that stood out to me was when Dixon said that “how we want to show up in our life matters.” The decisions that we make, big or small, will help our society grow, as we have seen with the improvements that corporations have made, and we, as a society, will expand. Their beliefs truly resonated with me and I will continue to be conscious with how I vote through my wallet.