International Women’s Day 2022: Interview with Global Sisters Charity

As Pillow Talk is an Australian, family-owned business, giving back to the community is at the core of what we do. Whether that be working directly with affected communities like Nowra after the bushfires, Townsville after the floods, or with local charities whose vital work supports the people who need it most.

Shop with Purpose with i=Change

For the last two years, we have worked alongside i=Change committing to donate $1 from every online and Click & Collect sale to local charities. Proudly, we have pledged over $575,000 to various causes supporting Australians in need.

Triple the donation, for triple the impact

Every year on March 8th we celebrate International Women’s Day, this year we increased out donation from $1 to $3 for every online and Click & Collect sale, for three days to focus on changing the lives of Australian women.

Global Sisters – Back her brilliance

Introducing our newest charity partner, Global Sisters.

Global Sisters exists to make business possible for Australian women, enabling them to be financially resilient and stand tall. They provide a genuine alternative for women who are unable to participate in mainstream employment or access decent, sustainable work.  Hear from Mandy Richards, the CEO and Founder, and Heather Thomson, the Chief Operating Officer discuss the work they’re doing for Australian women.

International Women's Day - Pillow Talk charity

Mandy, could you tell us about what inspired you to start Global Sisters and how it came to be what it is today? Growing up in both regional Australia and Indonesia exposed me to the challenges women face in being financially independent. My mum became a single mum when my siblings and I were still young, and I experienced poverty and welfare first-hand. Casual, unstable employment did not lead to economic security for my mum and our family, nor does it for the majority of women across Australia. Through my career, I saw that self-employment in a micro business is a brilliant solution for creating flexible jobs and income for women.

I met Hez (Heather) when we were working on a community change program in Sydney. She has a background in Microfinance which is commonly used as a poverty alleviation tool in developing economies, largely supporting women to start and grow micro business so they can support themselves. We knew investing into women was the way to go as the ripple effect to family and community is so powerful. After a few years of piloting and learning about the needs of women who are unemployed and in precarious employment, we formally launched Global Sisters and started operating in 2016.

We have now supported over 5500 women nationwide and want to make sure that every woman who wants to generate her own income can do so.

International Women's Day - Pillow Talk charity

Could you tell us a little about your respective positions within Global Sisters?

Mandy: We have big goals to reach 40,000 women across Australia over the next 5 years and 17,000 new businesses generating income. We want to make a big difference to macro issues of family poverty, women’s health & wellbeing, domestic violence, and older women at risk of homelessness. My focus is on strategy, organisational sustainability and partnerships and our Marketplace. The best part of my role is working directly with Sisters.

Heather: Mandy and I work closely together on organisational sustainability and we have a truly incredible board and leadership team at Global Sisters, supported by the most fabulous 100% female team, all of whom work from our “virtual office”. It was important to us that our team culture lives out what working mums need in terms of a genuinely flexible workplace.

How are the donations through i=Change helping you do the work that you do?

i=Change is the most brilliant platform, enabling Australian brands to create social good in our community. The power of each $ is significant when large numbers of consumers choose to crowdfund the social impact organisations Pillow Talk is supporting. It costs just $1000 for Global Sisters to support a woman to start generating her own income via micro business. Pillow Talk is a wonderful brand with a long history that resonates with the women we support. Like the majority of Sister businesses, Pillow Talk started as a micro business with under 4 employees in the 1970s.

Are there any other details you’d like us to mention in the article?

We have the great privilege of working with a huge diversity of women. Our Sisters come from countries all over the world and now call Australia home. They include First Nations women, women from regional and remote areas, women with disabilities, older women, and single mums. The pandemic showed us how precarious casualised work for women is, and how we are all only a few circumstances away from welfare dependence and even homelessness.

Is there anything you’d like our customers to know about the work that you do?

Follow Global Sisters on socials and be inspired!

Together, we can make society a more inclusive and equitable place for us all.

If you would like to read more about the charities we donate to, or have donated to, click to learn more on our giving back page.

International Women's Day - Pillow Talk charity