Over the years, women have managed to win over many fundamental rights. However, even today, the fight against gender equality persists. Gender biases are rooted very strongly in our cultures for them to just vanish. A lot of work is still needed in order to eradicate inequality completely.
The Brand Called You is pleased to welcome activist Lotte Davis on the podcast today. Lotte is a South African who has done some incredible work in the business as well as the social sector. She is the Founder of AG Hair, a venture she established in the hair care business in Canada.
After which she turned back to her roots in Africa and founded a non profit called One Girl Can. This venture offers mentorships and scholarships specifically for girls.
Being completely aware of gender inequality and its impact in Africa, Lotte was determined to bring about change in the lives of women. She shares the vision of her non-profit with the viewers. In her opinion, running a charity and running a business are not very different. She explains the scope of work of her organisation. And also shares the positive impact that her work has had on thousands of women.
Since 2008, her organisation has successfully built 130 school facilities. They are currently building a three story dormitory in the Kibera slums.They have over a thousand girls with high school and university scholarships. And they mentor around 12000 girls every year!
Her goal was to help women gain financial independence and self awareness- and she has achieved that goal beautifully!
Lotte Davis is the Co-Founder of AG Hair and Founder of One Girl Can. Lotte and her husband John Davis started AG Hair in 1989 in the basement of their North Vancouver home. Now one of the only independent manufacturers of professional hair care products in North America, AG Hair is known for its integrity and meticulous selection of natural ingredients and has grown exponentially to service thousands of salons around the globe.
In addition to building her company into a well-renowned and respected beauty brand, Davis has worked tirelessly to find a way to impact gender inequality. Having grown up in the dawn of the apartheid movement in South Africa, she became acutely aware of the legacy of mistreatment and lack of basic human rights and later after moving to Canada, the lack of opportunities and discrimination of women. In 2008, she began building schools for girls in some of the poorest regions in Africa. By 2013, this initiative developed into the creation of her own charitable organization called One Girl Can, expanding the scope of the work she does in Africa to include scholarships for girls to secondary school and university, as well as a comprehensive mentoring and coaching program. Success for One Girl Can is realized only when these students begin to earn a living, and Lotte is personally invested in each girl to ensure she achieves this goal. Lotte has been a member of Young President’s Organizations (YPO) since 1994 and is recently joined YPO’s People Action Network (PAN) as the Education and Gender Equality Chair. She dedicates much of her time to inspiring and supporting others in the communities in which she lives and works. Along the way, Lotte has won several awards including 2008 Ernst Young Entrepreneur of the Year, 2016 YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 2019 and 2021 YPO Global Impact Honoree, and 2021 Influential Women in Business Award (Business in Vancouver). it is clear that Lotte’s drive and energy are relentless. As a seasoned entrepreneur, she immerses herself in all aspects of projects, gaining first-hand insight to problems before creating action plans. This intuitive, hands-on style fuels her creativity and provides direction to achieving a solution. Once Lotte arrives at this stage, nothing deters her from executing with urgency and to the highest degree of excellence.