Congrats ladies, it's International Women's Day! On this day all women around the world are central with this year's theme: #BreakTheBias. We want to strive for a world free of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that is diverse, just and inclusive. And this is exactly what WOMXNHOOD is committed to. This platform focuses on sharing inspiring women's stories. WOMXNHOOD goes beyond inspiring women. The goal is to inspire everyone. Especially for International Women's Day we have interviewed these driven women for you.
Female-owners Mahi (28) and Shiwa (28) have been best friends for almost 23 years and go through life as 'sisters'. Together they have long felt the urgency to start something for women. This was mainly due to their own necessity, which they themselves felt as women in a dominant male world. Mahi is, in addition to being a co-owner of WOMXNHOOD, Label Director at record label ROQ 'N Rolla Music and Shiwa is Senior Marketing Project Manager at record label Top Notch. They both work on projects with the biggest national and international artists in the music industry. With this they have built up a wide network. When Mahi and Shiwa came to the conclusion that most talk shows had 80% men and 20% women at the table, WOMXNHOOD Stories was born. A talk show where these percentages are reversed and where women want to create awareness among men. The talk show “Stories” deals with topics such as: mental health, discrimination, the music industry, safe space for women and female entrepreneurs are put in the spotlight. Currently, the talk show has already had three seasons and this is a huge success.
Values & Diversity
Girl bosses Mahi and Shiwa have themselves dealt with situations where women were discriminated against in this dominant male world. They were often seen as "the DJ's girlfriend" or received comments such as "Who are those neat Kardashians?". This while they are writing letters to a large group of photographers and videographers at a festival. Shiwa indicates that it often happens that they are the only women in a room, or the only women of color, and that is actually bizarre.
Mahi and Shiwa are of Iranian descent. Mahi: “As a woman you are already -3 behind all men. And then you are also foreign, so you are already -6 behind. That is sometimes so difficult and it is difficult to keep your 'man' all the time. That made us think: Okay, if we show more women, then we are strong together. And not even about being a woman, but also about the different origins and diversity”. Diversity is something very important and we just don't see that often anymore, says Mahi.
The ladies of WOMXNHOOD think it's important to stand in their own strength and thus break through the bias. Mahi and Shiwa indicate that they found it difficult to open your mouth when such a situation arises, especially at the time itself. “Very often you think: If only I had said this, or if only I had acted like this. Sometimes you really have to cry a lot, and you prefer not to go to those people the next day. But you have to keep going and don't give up. That's really the way”. If the ladies get the question: "Nice face, does it also have brains?", then this just gives motivation to kill the next meeting or presentation and show that you can run things. It empowers. "There are so many situations where we didn't open our mouths, but now you really learn to say what you think and you stand for it." You can only do this through the experience you bring with you and that is how you learn to deal with it. It's important to be visible, yet show up every time and just stand there. That's how you #BreakTheBias.
Mahi wants to give women the advice that if you want something, you really have to go for it and keep believing in yourself. That is the best thing you can do and we have always benefited from it. We have always gone for it, says Mahi. Shiva's advice is also to believe in yourself. In addition, it is very important to have a good network around you. Not only in the field of work, but also in terms of friendships. Mahi and Shiwa left for Amsterdam at a young age and found the right places, drinks and events here to make the right connections.
The future of WOMXNHOOD
Besides the talk show “Stories”, WOMXNHOOD wants to do many more cool things in the future. Mahi and Shiwa want to focus on children in schools and provide workshops here, because this is the next generation. “We notice that this target group is looking at us and the goal is to create more equality in the creative industry.” The ladies think it would be great to offer more attention to society in schools in a live environment with the young people. A second goal is to go international. The idea is that each country can set up its own WOMXNHOOD in which two women take the lead.
Click here to watch the full interview with Mahi and Shiwa from WOMNXHOOD, support the ladies of WOMXNHOOD on their Instagram @womxnhood and watch the talk show 'Stories' on their YouTube account .