International Women’s Day best practice award

We are thrilled and honoured to announce that our collaborative blanket celebrating 30 diverse creative women has received a “best practice award” from International Women’s Day.

We are especially proud, because such awards are usually conferred on much larger companies, groups and organisations. We’ve always felt that, however small we are as a business, it’s very important that we are able to reflect on our core values, and always have such values in mind, whatever we are doing. Eighteen months ago, as we thought about taking on two more employees, we decided to sign the Scottish Business Pledge, whose core commitments include gender equality, investing in a skilled and diverse workforce, paying all employees and contractors at rates above the real living wage, supporting the local community, and not using zero hours contracts. While some businesses might sniff at such commitments as unnecessary (and costly) forms of regulation, we rather regard things like fair pay and equality as simple ideals which should really be at the heart of all business activities, however large or small. KDD is about much more than economics, and for us a key question has always been: what kind of business are we and to what kind of commercial landscape do we really want to belong? How might we make our commitment to such a landscape very clear in everything we do? So for us, the Scottish Business Pledge was a very straightforward way of clarifying our core values of fairness and equality (its great being part of the community of pledge signatories, and we’d urge all Scottish businesses, however large or small, to consider signing up).

After signing the pledge, we found ourselves thinking about larger issues of gender equality, and our own feminist inspirations, and then came up with the idea of designing and knitting our blanket to celebrate International Women’s Day. You can read about the blanket in this post, and find out more about the different women celebrated in it at its dedicated website, but I wanted to stress again that this project is entirely non-commercial; that its key aims are commemorative, celebratory, and educational; and that we’ve shared the blanket chart on Ravelry, with the hope that others might be inspired to take the project further.

(A square for Elsie Inglis)

Felix, Mel, myself, and everyone else here at KDD feel incredibly happy that our work on the blanket has received such recognition from International Women’s Day. As IWD have put it “KDD is a small business, but its size does not detract from its commitment to gender equality and larger issues of diversity.” We feel inexpressibly honoured that we and our blanket are now included in the International Women’s Day hall of fame among so many brilliant companies, groups and organisations who “have demonstrated leading practice actively supporting the International Women’s Day campaign theme and ethos.” KDD has won a few awards in its time — including UK microbusiness of the year — but I think we all might be most proud of this one.

Thankyou, International Women’s Day!

If you’d like to take our blanket project further, you’ll find the Square Share pattern on Ravelry.