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Category: Social Impact

Proud to Partake in a Fashion Revolution Event

Filed under: Big Ideas & Innovation, Company News, Professional Women, Social Impact, Women Leaders

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amid a week of shows dominated by fashion icons like Calvin Klein and Tom Ford, the Runway of Dreams Foundation gave a presentation on Wednesday devoted to stylish looks created specially for people with physical challenges.

The Fashion Revolution event, held on the eve of the first official day of New York Fashion Week: The Shows previewing the hottest Spring 2019 looks, featured 30 models with disabilities who hit the runway wearing adaptive clothing by design houses Tommy Hilfiger, Nike and Target.

Designer and RODF founder Mindy Scheier said the idea for the foundation came via her son Oliver, who lives with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy.

“He vocalized to us that he really wanted to wear what everybody else gets to wear,” said Scheier.

“That truly opened my eyes to the need of not only my son Oliver, but the millions of people, almost 60 million” in the United States and a billion globally with a disability, she said.

Model Hannah Gavios, 25, said the show provided a unique opportunity not just for fashion buyers, but for professionals like herself.

“I don’t feel like I should have to hide my leg braces,” said Gavios, who fell off a cliff in 2016 and suffered a spinal injury and was sporting a Nike creation.

“I don’t feel like I should have to wear anything over it, I don’t want people to see anything bumpy underneath my pants – I want to be able to show them off but I want them to look cool and I want it to be part of my style and represent my fashion and who I am, my personality,” she said.

You can read the rest of the article on Reuters.

The Evolution of Adaptive Clothing: A Night with Solomon Page and Runway of Dreams

Filed under: Big Ideas & Innovation, creativity, innovation, Leadership, News, Persistence, Professional Women, Social Impact, Success

On June 25th Solomon Page hosted an event dedicated to the exploration of adaptive clothing. The evening included an intimate cocktail reception and featured guest speaker Mindy Scheier, founder of Runway of Dreams Foundation, an organization dedicated to a future of inclusion, acceptance and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities.

Lloyd Solomon, Managing Director for Solomon Page, interviewed Mindy following a brief video that introduced Runway of Dreams’ history and mission. He opened the discussion speaking to our philanthropic spirit as a company. Solomon Page felt a relationship with this organization was an organic fit—our main core values closely align with those of Runway of Dreams’.

As Mindy explained during the Q&A, the inspiration for the concept was her son, who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy: though he wanted to wear jeans like his classmates, it was a struggle to take them on and off by himself. Thanks to patience and perseverance, Mindy was able to construct a pair he was able to slip in and out of without her help. As an audience member who also has a son with physical disabilities joked: “When my son wanted to wear nice clothes, I just got them tailored; I didn’t try to revolutionize the entire fashion industry.”

Realizing the desperate void to better accommodate people with disabilities, Mindy took it upon herself to address it. She explained that even though people with physical disabilities are a huge and underserved population–one in 20 people in the U.S. has a disability that affects their ability to dress themselves—mainstream brands were not actively selling in this market. But after some determination and research, Mindy partnered with Tommy Hilfiger in 2016 to build an adaptive clothing line, Tommy Adaptive.

As Mindy discussed, there were three main design factors to consider, that her son, and most people with physical disabilities, battled with: adjustability, closures, and alternative ways to put clothes on. The clothing is adaptable in a sense that it’s adjustable by size and length, mimicking an “internal hemming system” – she lamented that, during her research, she discovered people with disabilities can spend hundreds on tailoring. She also found that zippers, buttons, and hooks posed problems, so she added closures that were more user-friendly, such as magnets. Lastly, many people with physical disabilities, especially people in wheelchairs, are usually unable to stand up and pull clothes over their head, so she designed clothes that presented alternative ways to take on and off.

Many of the audience members resonated with Mindy’s vision, and her son’s personal struggles: people cited elderly parents who struggled to dress themselves in anything fashionable, or other family members who had disabilities. Mindy revealed that businesses are beginning to recognize that people with disabilities are a vastly untapped market: creating the ability to serve over one billion people globally, while presenting a potentially lucrative business opportunity for astute companies.

Click here to learn more information about Runway of Dreams.

Some photos from the event:

Mindy Scheier shows a short introductory video about Runway of Dreams before opening the floor to questions.

A menu of the speciality cocktails served during the event.

The charcuterie board served at the event.

The entrance to the event.

Lloyd Solomon, Managing Director, chats with Rachel Tigges, VP of Marketing.

The bar during the event.

The crowd gathers in the main room for cocktails and appetizers.

 

Women.NYC is Launched as Career Resource to Help Women Succeed

Filed under: Job Market, Professional Development, Professional Women, Social Impact, Technology, Women Leaders

In New York City, women earn about 89 cents on the dollar compared to men, and out of the 55 Fortune 500 companies in the five boroughs, only one has a female CEO.

But a new website that aims to support women in their careers hopes to change that. Women.NYC, launched on May 16th by New York’s Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, is a one-stop-shop for women seeking information, resources, and tools on everything from finding a job, starting and running a business, and getting legal help, to accessing health services and money management.

“Women have waited long enough for equal pay, power and respect. In New York City, we aren’t going to wait any longer,” Glen explained in a statement. “That’s why we are launching Women.NYC. We know women can do it alone. But we don’t have to. Women now have concrete tools for concrete success, all in one, easy-to-navigate place. New York City is already the best city in the world for women. Today, we’re making it even better.”

The initiative is accompanied by a thought-provoking marketing campaign, which aims to encourage women to share their experiences, advice, and goals with the hashtag #NYCPowerMove.

“Power means something different for every woman, but we are all better off when every woman can tap into her power,” noted New York’s First Lady Chirlane McCray, co-chair for the Commission on Gender Equity. “New York City cannot continue as a successful city if women cannot succeed too. And now, for the first time in history, the women of New York City have all the tools they need to succeed in one place with Women.NYC.”

You can read the rest of the article here on Harper’s Bazaar.

Business is a Battlefield: Veterans in the Workforce

Filed under: Holiday, Social Impact, Veterans

Each November 11th we observe Veterans Day, a national holiday honoring military service members and veterans who help protect our nation and personal freedoms. It’s no secret that veterans make great employeesand not just in government jobs. Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) shares their experiences and insights about hiring veterans as employees. Here’s what they had to say.

Our military service members are a cut above. They risk their lives and sacrifice family togetherness to protect our freedoms. Military training results in skilled team players who execute tasks efficiently and effectively. They’re polite, respectful, responsible and accountable. Delivering excellence is second-nature, even in the face of uncertainty, exhaustion or fear. And they achieve all of this with a work ethic that’s off the charts. No wonder veterans are highly sought-after employees!

It’s easy to draw parallels between the work world and the battlefield.

“Competition is tough. So is the military. An entrepreneur cannot succeed without a dedicated group behind them. Imagine if:

  • Your company had the ‘failure is not an option’ drive of the Navy Seals.
  • Each team member approached a client or sales call with the strategy and precision of a military operation.
  • Your company culture demanded the ‘service before self’ and ‘no man left behind’ values of the Green Berets.

That’s what ‘Battlefield to Boardroom’ leadership and veterans can bring to your organization.”   ― Victoria R. Bondoc, President, Gemini

“We founded our company specifically to hire veterans and service-disabled veterans. We learned that above all else, veterans returning from the battlefield want a good job where they can once again be a contributing member of a team.” ― Jose M. Perez, President/Founder, Frontline Support Solutions, LLC

Continue reading on Inc.

How Successful People Build Exceptional Professional Relationships

Filed under: Best Advice, Relationships, Social Impact, Your Career

Professional success is important to everyone, but still, success can and does (and definitely should) mean different things to different people.

But one fact is universal. Real success, the kind that exists on multiple levels, is impossible without building great relationships. Real success is impossible unless you treat other people with kindness, regard, and respect.

After all, you can be a rich jerk… but you will also be a lonely jerk.

Here’s how successful people build unusually successful business relationships:

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

To Err Is Human. To Apologize Is Humane.

Filed under: Attitude, Good Habits, Personality, Social Impact

Conflict is a natural and inevitable part of being human. At home or in the workplace, different opinions, perspectives, and values intersect to create interactions that are challenging and taxing to navigate, even at the highest levels of leadership. For example, in a recent survey, CEOs rate conflict management skills as their most important area for professional development.

Handling conflict can become even more challenging when we are the offending party. When we are responsible for hurting someone, we often get angry at the person we harmed, avoid the situation, or try to rationalize our behaviour rather than apologizing for it.

However, a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlights the importance of apology in repairing and strengthening our relationships. This research examined how people respond when those who offended them offered an apology. The longitudinal nature of this investigation also meant that the researchers could examine what effect the apology had after the event occurred and track forgiveness levels in the weeks ahead.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

Do You Have These 4 Soft-People Skills?

Filed under: Personality, Skills, Social Impact, Success

Have you worked with or for a person with a strong leader-type personality? They’re adept in driving for results and measuring performance. They have no issue delivering hard feedback or making tough decisions. At times however, their sharp edge becomes a limitation. They haven’t spent much time developing their soft people skills and it’s making them less effective in their role. Maybe this even describes you.

In a workshop I was conducting on personality types an example was shared about a boss that everyone in the room had worked for. The general dislike of this individual was still evident as everyone had at least one example of how this person was overbearing and difficult to work for. He was eventually asked to leave the company but only after he left a trail of carnage in his wake. His memory lives on.

If you have a strong leader-type personality, you absolutely must get a handle on developing your soft-people skills. There are 4 Skills in particular that may not come naturally but you can learn.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>