On the heels of cries for gender pay equality and an increase in high-ranking leadership roles for women, many brands made promises to level the playing field. The conversation then turned to how many of those changes would include women of color and how important it is to note that white women, though not represented amongst their male counterparts, are often still much more likely to have access to resources that are unavailable to women of color, specifically Black women. Some brands kept their word and have implemented real change in both diversity of hiring as well as pay while others seemed to be all talk and no action. One of the brands that has seemed to truly double down on their promise is Jordan Brand. The legendary sports apparel brand named after Michael Jordan, has been on the forefront of using its access to shine a light on women who are doing their thing. And with their newest venture, The Women’s Collective, Jordan Brand looks poised to continue leading the way.
The group is made up of 33 women from all different industries brought together by Jordan to coordinate and participate in retreats, panels another events over the course of six months. They will also be given grants to use for further advancing in their respective disciplines. In a conversation with Teen Vogue, Vice President and General Manager of Women’s Jordan Andrea Perez said, “It is Jordan Brand’s priority to prepare the now and next generation for their future. In doing so, we’ve selected a group of leaders, from diverse spaces of influence already equipped to change the world and many of whom had connections to the Brand already, whether that was through participating in a photo campaign, being an illustrator for a project, leading community work, and even sneaker collecting.” Among the group of women are visual artists, skaters, photographers, designers, stylists and business owners who are currently making waves in their fields and communities. The group boasts women from all over the world including Shanghai, Los Angeles, New York, London and Chicago.
“So much of what we do is rooted in the community which in turn necessitates that we listen to the community and acknowledge that there are learnings to be had,” Perez shares. “The Women’s Collective is particularly exciting as it will give us an opportunity to learn from the women in our community while they simultaneously learn from one another.” With this project, Jordan aims to address an age old issue in the world of basketball. Perez explains, “While there has been gender equity advancement in the world of professional sports, basketball culture is lagging and remains a male-dominated and elitist space, perpetuated by brands and collectors alike. Women continue to fight to be seen, heard, and too often are pitted against one another for a seat at the table.” This collective is the first of its kind for the brand but after this 6-month program, Jordan will choose their next group of women, the plan is for this to be another part of their legacy.
Perez continues, “While much of the work that Jordan Brand does is proudly rooted in basketball culture, our Jordan Family extends beyond those who ball. Basketball culture as we see it is about community, it’s about legacy, it’s a reflection of culture as a whole, and basketball is one conduit, an important one surely, to accessing that. The Women’s Collective and its members represent these sentiments, expanding the reach of the Jumpman to be a symbol for opportunity, connection, and equity across a diverse range of cultures, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds.”
We love to see new faces who are dominating and changing the world.