For Women’s History Month, GUESS has partnered with Gyrl Wonder, an organization aimed toward helping young Black women reach their career goals and create space for women in business to combat race and gender disparities. GUESS offered Gyrl Wonder a long-term partnership including internship and career opportunities to all the “gyrls” interested in entertainment.
Gyrl Wonder Executive Director and Founder Tola Lawal said the partnership came about from GUESS reaching out directly and expressing interest in providing opportunities to women of color. “This was exciting for us because we were already doing the work developing these young ladies and knew we had a top tier, well prepared entry level talent pool. The chance to partner with an iconic brand like GUESS is aligned with the Gyrl Wonder mission,” she said. Lawal said she hopes the “gyrls” will learn the importance of transferable skills and how to stand out at work.
From the GUESS x Gyrl Wonder Press Release:
GUESS, a global lifestyle fashion brand, teams up with nonprofit Gyrl Wonder to illustrate the power of nurturing young women and girls of color as the next generation of leaders. In their new advocacy video, GUESS highlights fellow Reginae Butler as she shares how Gyrl Wonder helped her jump start her career in Public Relations, including a recent internship at GUESS HQ. Gyrl Wonder provides support for young professionals through career guidance and access to resources to make it in the media and entertainment industry.
Lawal said she hopes Reginae’s story inspires other young women to try every opportunity even if it seems intimidating. “You have no idea who is willing to help and in what capacity. Both Reginae and Chloe [Drake] were hesitant to accept the GUESS internship because of location and I encouraged them to accept, and advocate for themselves, and to let the community know of the assistance they needed to take this opportunity!” said Lawal.
Black women already face many challenges upon entering the professional field due to racism and sexism. Most careers were designed for white men to succeed and Black women often find it difficult to locate resources or network their way into their desired field. Access, opportunity and racial bias are what Lawal sees to be the biggest hurdles.
“It was also found that Black women are less likely to be promoted or supported by their managers, which directly ties into one of the biggest objectives of Gyrl Wonder: getting our gyrls access and visibility by the right companies and executives who intentionally champion diversity actively and genuinely,” Lawal said. “-We have always been emulated and considered culture drivers and game changers. Our perspectives are limitless and invaluable.”
Interested mentees are encouraged to join Gyrl Wonder through their website, social media or by reaching out via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.