Happy International Women’s Day, Aerie fam! Today, we’re celebrating the work and accomplishments of our 2021 #AerieREAL Changemakers

This year’s IWD theme is #BreakTheBias. It asks us all to imagine a world with true gender equality, where everyone is included, differences are celebrated and discrimination is non-existent. As women making change in their communities, our #AerieREAL Changemakers help #BreakTheBias by striving for a better, more just world and by being strong, inspiring women in their own right! 

Today, we’re investing a total of $20K in our #AerieREAL Changemakers to support their projects. We asked a few Changemakers whose work supports women and girls to share their thoughts on how to to support and elevate women, how they celebrate the women in their communities and what empowers them as women in their workspaces.

Keep reading for their answers!

Anya Bhopa,
Co-Founder of The Canadian Courage Project

“I am celebrating the women in my community by raising awareness and driving traffic to their initiatives and passion projects in the works. I believe when you uplift [women] and raise awareness on the change-making that they are doing, we contribute to an overall inclusive environment.”

Kylee McGrane,
Founder of A Moment of Magic

“I am celebrating women in my community by saying thank you and acknowledging their hard work more. Women carry a lot of responsibilities on our backs and far too often, we still feel guilty about not doing enough. I want to make a conscientious effort to thank women for what they are doing more, to thank them for the sacrifices they make, how hard they work, and to celebrate how amazing they really are. Taking a moment to acknowledge those things verbally goes a long way, so I want to make an effort to say thank you more!”

“When we invest in women, we enable multi-generational impact, which will help create a gender-equal and opportunity-inclusive world.”

#AerieREAL Changemaker Shreya Mantha

Shreya Mantha,
co-founder of Foundation For Girls

“We should continually lift each other up and surround ourselves with strong women. I believe that women’s economic empowerment is the way to their personal resilience and financial independence. When we invest in women, we enable multi-generational impact, which will help create a gender-equal and opportunity-inclusive world.”

“Create opportunities for us to thrive. Mention our names, help us connect with opportunities that can elevate our lives and our voices.”

#AerieREAL Changemaker Candy Calderón

Candy Calderón,
Founder of Glow Wellness Tour

“We are multi-passionate, multi-talented, strong, soft, a work in progress, introverted, extroverted, somewhere in the middle (that’s me!). Create opportunities for us to thrive. Mention our names, help us connect with opportunities that can elevate our lives and our voices. And also, something that is less popular but equally needed: please extend grace as we unlearn so many limiting beliefs that were passed down generation through generation, so we can continue to break all these glass ceilings.”

Rachel Rutter,
Founder of Project Libertad

“The majority of immigration lawyers (57.1 percent!) are women like me, in spite of the fact that only 37.4% of all lawyers are women. I am thankful to be practicing law in an egalitarian field (unlike more traditional areas of the legal field) where women are welcomed as leaders, founders, and Changemakers. I am honored to be a part of a national community of women immigration lawyers fighting to protect vulnerable kids from deportation.”

Aerie fam, tell us what you’re doing to #BreakTheBias and support women in your communities in the comments below!

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