All Articles Tagged "Economic and Social Research Council"
I have a family full of Avon junkies and I’m always amazed that this form of salesmanship is still flourishing in the age of the Internet every time my mom comes home with a new book. But I’m even more amazed at the difference being an Avon representative is making in the lives of women in South Africa.
Results of a new study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council shows that black South African women who are working as Avon reps in the country are gaining a whole new lease on life, namely one that is above the poverty line and on par with the earnings of black men. From two large surveys, one with 300 black Avon Representatives working in South Africa and one with 77 of their consumers, as well as interviews and focus groups with Avon management, Sales Representatives and consumer, the researchers found that:
- On average, the Avon Representatives earned enough to cover their typical household expenditures for food and non-alcoholic beverages, clothing and shoes, as well as healthcare.
- Women who relied on Avon for their primary income (and had worked as Avon Representative for 16 months or more) had earnings which placed them in the top 10 percent of self-employed black women in South Africa.
- Nearly three-quarters of the Avon Representatives surveyed stated that Avon had given them financial autonomy.
- 92 percent of these reps had their own bank account, compared with only 38 percent of black South African women in general.
- 89 percent of respondents said they had received job training that could be used to get other employment.
- 88 percent of those surveyed said that their experience with Avon had made them more self-confident.
“Although the amount earned is very small, particularly from a UK point of view, this income, by itself, would put Avon Representatives in the top half of black females in their community and bring them in line with what a black man earns,” researcher Professor Linda Scott of Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, said.
“Working as an Avon Sales Representative provides some impoverished South African women with an opportunity to make money when they had previously thought this impossible. More than that, we were struck by how enthusiastic these women were about their work and how empowered they felt by it.”
Beyond the benefits for this representative sample of women in the country, co-researcher Dr Catherine Dolan, also from Saїd Business School, said these results prove that South Africa is a land where women need to be given more opportunities for entrepreneurship.
“In the past, many have viewed the global marketplace as hostile to women’s interests, but the example of Avon in South Africa shows this need not be the case. We must allow the possibility that the marketplace contains mechanisms, such as entrepreneurship, that can be harnessed for feminist purposes. The important question we should now ask is: how can we make better use of the marketplace in ways which benefit women?”
Who knew makeup could do all that?
More on Madame Noire!
- DY-NO-MITE!!! 8 Celebrities and the Roles That Typecast Them and Stunted Their Careers
- Why Won’t People Let Barack Obama Be Black?
- Do That Ish And Watch What Happens: 8 Things You Shouldn’t Do Without Consulting Your Husband
- Frank and His Odd Future: Why His Coming Out Is Cool, But Also Very Complicated
- Noire Naturals, Episode 3: Creating a Sophisticated Elegance
- Open Door Policy: The Truth About “Breaks” and Open Relationships
- Forget The Divorce Rate, I’m Still #TeamMarriage Because Other’s Failures Don’t Determine My Success