This edition of industry voices introduces us to Mary Hawk from the Sheen for She Foundation. Mary is the founder and CEO of the foundation. She is passionate about helping women who need it most. We asked Mary to tell us more about her mission and why beauty matters to women in need.
1. What inspired you to start this organization?
Moved as a bystander of many miserable stories, I decided to help and advocate for women in need. As a result, I founded the Sheen for She Foundation with a mission to address and prevent physical and mental health issues faced by women dealing with socioeconomic crisis due to violence, homelessness, and drug addiction.
2. What has been the biggest challenge?
Society does not believe that grooming is an important part of helping at-risk females. The same society properly grooms dead bodies for their final ceremonies, while forgetting its importance when it comes to the living. Significance is placed on the grooming of pet dogs and cats; however, the same level of concern is non-existent for vulnerable women. When organizations help women prepare for jobs by creating their resumes and cover letters, the role of self-presentation is left out. It is impossible for women who struggle for shelter and meals to invest money in grooming services or products. There are few sources of help for this issue and it is a challenge to change this idea. Grooming services are not secondary, they are a basic requirement for women's success. Until we do not change this idea, we will be depriving women of much progress and opportunity they would have otherwise.
3. What is your goal for the next five years?
We aim to grow our provision of services to a wider range of women while educating society on the pivotal impact of self-care with it's relationship to women's issues. The Love Box Project will also be continued post-pandemic due to the outpouring support and positive feedback received from women's organizations, beneficiaries, and individuals.
4. What changes does society have to make for women to have better lives?
Society must change their outlook about grooming for women. Just as professional men strive to achieve presentable looks and behaviours, professional grooming services for women must be appreciated under the same view.
5. What roles does the cosmetic industry have in the lives of vulnerable women?
The $532 billion dollar beauty industry is an untapped canon of vast mental and physical public health benefits. Expensive grooming services exclude lower to middle-class women from accessing the benefits of self-care, exclusively preventing them from progressing in their professional and personal lives. Sheen for She is making cosmetic products and grooming services accessible with a mission to use these outlets of everyday revival to strengthen the self-awareness of underserved women.