Featuring Equator Coffee
Women’s History Month
Each March, Women’s History Month is celebrated in the United States. This recognition pays homage to the courageous women who went against what was accepted and expected of them to create real change and provide a seat at the table for every generation of females to come. In 2022, women are running the most successful businesses in the world, serving political offices, making life-altering strides in the field of science, and most importantly, displaying each day the power of being a woman. While the work is far from done, the movement continues.
At Aramark, we are proud to partner with women-owned businesses like Equator Coffees, founded in 1995 by Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell in a garage in Marin County, California. Their mission? Make people’s lives better through coffee. They would achieve this by focusing on quality, sustainability, and social responsibility, pillars not as deeply rooted in coffee as they are today. In 1999, Equator became an early partner in Fair Trade USA, buying coffee from the Soppexcca Cooperative in Nicaragua before founding their very own coffee farm in Volvan, Panama named Finca Sophia, in 2008. With this new farm they would foster a culture of trade focused on the farmers, allowing for fairer deals and better working conditions.
Not only women owned, but an inclusive LGBTQ+, B-Corp company, Equator’s business drives more than revenue, it acts as a powerful force for good. In 2016, Equator was awarded the National Small Business of the Year by the Small Business Administration; the first LGBTQ-owned business to win. Like so many of the trailblazing women before them, Helen and Brooke are redefining the landscape of their industry.
To all women out there young and old, whether in a garage, boardroom, or dorm room, you are empowered to bring your true, authentic selves to the world. We see you. You write your story each day with hundreds of years of strong role models who have provided an opportunity to be anything you can imagine.
Happy Women’s History Month!
Women’s History Month Facts
- The first “Women’s Day” took place on February 28, 1909, in New York City commemorating the one-year anniversary of garment workers’ strikes when 15,000 women marched through lower Manhattan
- In 1978, Women’s History Day would become Women’s History Week.
- In 1987, activists lobbied Congress to create a Women’s History Month, celebrated in March.
- Every Women’s History Month has a theme. The 2022 theme is, “women providing healing, promoting hope.”
A Few Important Women in History
- In 1869, Susan B. Anthony would organize a women’s suffrage convention in Washington, D.C. Her lifetime of work fighting for women’s rights would pave the way for the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.
- In 1903, Marie Curie, along with her husband Pierre, would become the first woman to obtain a Nobel Prize. She would also become the first scientist to obtain two Nobel Prizes.
- In Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, Rosa Parks would change the course of history refusing to give up her seat on a crowded bus, sparking waves of protests that would push forward desegregation efforts.
- Maya Angelou, one of the most influential women in American history, wrote the first nonfiction best-seller by an African American woman with her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, in 1969.
- In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female Supreme Court Justice.
- On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first woman in space, flying the space shuttle Challenger.
- In 2012, Malala Yousafzai would survive an attempt at her life after publicly speaking out on women’s rights to education. She would go on to become the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at age 14, at 17 years of age.
- In 2021, Kamala Harris would become the first woman, first African American, and first Asian American to hold the position of Vice President of the United States.