Career in the Fashion Industry

Personal With Janashvili: What Women Seeking a Career in the Fashion Industry Should Know

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Current fashion market statistics indicate that women are more invested in fashion than men and outspend them by 226 percent. The report goes on to say that while 85 percent of all majors in top fashion schools are women, only 14 percent of top fashion brands are managed and controlled by women. According to Victoria Janashvili, the Georgian blogger behind the eco-friendly fashion account, “Fashvili”, there is no other way to put it; the obvious gender bias in the fashion industry is to blame for the gap between qualified males and females in the industry.

In a recent interview, Janashvili emphatically stated, “It now takes more patience and effort for women to pursue a career in the industry than it does for men. Despite the fact that gender equality is one of the most significant social developments of the twenty-first century, women are still less likely to secure top managerial positions in a variety of industries. Even in the fashion industry, which outperforms most other sectors in terms of supporting women’s leadership, equality is still in its infancy.”  

What are the Challenges that Women Face in the Fashion Industry?

Arguably, women are more disciplined workers than men in certain niches, yet they continue to struggle for top managerial positions across industries. Despite the fact that 79 percent of fashion stylists are women, the industry moves to the beat of men. Most women in fashion are stuck at entry-level positions and find it difficult to advance or change careers within the industry. In terms of gender equality, the fashion industry is ahead of most sectors, but the parity of women leaders and the low rate of their promotion only highlights a broader issue.

According to the International Labor Organization, the gender pay gap in the garment industry of nine Asian countries is approximately 18 percent, with more women on the low end. Women also spend more money on advancing fashion, but men get the best-paying jobs. Men dominate C-suite positions and find it easier to advance in their careers. Additionally, according to a PwC report, women only lead 12.5% of the 1000 most-profitable apparel and retail brands.

Can Women Outperform Men in the Fashion Industry?

According to a ResearchGate report, women’s leadership is more innovative and opinion-driven than men’s. Women are also more emotionally invested in fashion than men are. Several companies have emerged and thrived with successful women empowerment initiatives. According to Care’s Bangladesh study, empowering women by developing leadership skills and promoting solidarity and collectivity enabled them to overcome major occupational challenges such as demanding a minimum wage, dealing with harassment, and asserting their maternal rights. Women also outperform men in apparel marketing because they are more invested in opulent lifestyles and have a stronger social media presence.

How Can Women Boost Their Career Security in Fashion?

When asked how she has managed to create such an impressive track record in the fashion industry, Victoria Janashvili had this to say: “The fashion industry is a creative niche with limitless opportunities. Aside from art, identity is also important in developing a resilient career. Women who want to make a name for themselves in the fashion industry should focus on innovation rather than higher-paying positions. This is a sure way to find autonomy and grow enterprises that reinvent the place of women in the modern fashion industry.”

Women like Victoria Janashvili are empowering women in fashion by sharing information and advocating for equality through their creativity. Women can support initiatives like the EKATA MODEL, which helps over 5000 women in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia identify and address challenges.

What Does the Future of Fashion Hold for Women?

In terms of career advancement, fashion women are still less privileged than men, but the industry is paying more attention to the equality issue. With the rise of female leaders such as Vera Wang, CEO and founder of Vera Wang, Virginie Viard, artistic director of Chanel, and Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of Dior, the situation of inequality is changing and only needs more actors to champion the course. Women should follow in the footsteps of Sarah Burton, the creative director of Alexander McQueen, by creating an inclusive environment in which everyone, even young school girls, can participate.

What Can Women Do to Promote Inclusivity?

While body image remains the most difficult challenge for most women, particularly in modeling, those in the creative sector can promote inclusivity by providing opportunities for women who are marginalized by such beauty standards. Some, for example, are venturing into plus-size clothing, creating opportunities for larger-sized women, and challenging beauty norms. Inclusivity should extend to all aspects of life, including religion, where women can help those in marginalized communities by wearing fashionable hijabs, for example.

A significant portion of modern consumers today are less concerned with the prestige of the fashion brands they choose and more concerned with the story behind the creation of a product. Women’s empowerment should be a priority at every level for today’s fashion brands if they are to remain competitive in a future that is more critical of social issues and gender equality in a professional environment.

Nonetheless, practicing unity and sharing information can equip women to overcome and outmaneuver career obstacles in male-dominated markets.

Also Read: What Fashion Companies Can Do to Survive and Thrive in 2022



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