Is it Groundhog Day, because it’s 2023 and women still face inequities when it comes to pay and pleasure, plus, a say in how these spaces are governed. Further, these inequities compound if you also happen to be part of an intersectional community. Today, rather than milling about the morning tea cart, we’re celebrating the incredible women and non-binary people creating more inclusive education, tech and digital spaces for all. So, we say f*ck the cupcakes, feel our power.
This year, the UN Women’s theme for International Women’s day is all about highlighting the potential that the digital, technology and education industries have in helping us achieve gender equity. Let’s begin by saying that the women and non binary folks at the intersections of our community are fundamental to this movement. And that, without their efforts, there would be no ‘#IWD’, corporate cupcakes or brand ambassadors. The platform as we know it would not have the amplification it sees today, without the work, protest and passion of these people. But we’re far from finished.
We’ve got work to do.
According to the WGEA, the gender pay gap has widened since the beginning of the pandemic. And this gap is set to yawn even further if we don’t stand up and do something about it. Today, we’re yanking the spotlight and flooding your feed with women and non-binary people actively creating more inclusive content, conversations and community within sexual health, education and pleasure space.
Certified sexologist and sexuality educator
Toya is a Melbourne-based sexologist and sexuality educator with experience in counselling, psychology and creative and experiential arts therapy. In her counselling practice, Toya uses an inclusive, contemporary approach to help individuals and couples navigate the challenges of modern sex, sexual function, intimacy, connection, dating, relationships and sexual expression over the lifespan.
Toya also uses technology and art to facilitate sexuality workshops and sensory experiences that take participants on a journey of sexual discovery through topics such as dating and relationships, intimacy, pleasure, consent, and sexual ethics.
Founder & CEO of makelovenotporn.tv
Cue the SFX, because Cindy Gallop is the self-professed “Michael Bay of business”. With 30 years in brand-building, marketing and advertising– Cindy started up the US office of ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York in 1998 and in 2003 was named Advertising Woman of the Year.
But, we’ll get to the good stuff. Cindy is also the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn – ‘Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference’ — a social sextech platform designed to promote good sexual behaviour and good sexual values.
“As a founder, I'm female, I'm older (I'm 61), I'm half Chinese. I'm flying the flag for all female founders of colour and of all ages to innovate and disrupt in this space.” - Cindy Gallow, Forbes, 2021.
Leading ‘the Social Sex Revolution’, Cindy is no stranger to shaking up the status quo on the business, tech and pleasure fronts. Cindy also happens to be a badass board advisor on one of our favourite brands, Handi (now known as Bump’n)
CEO & Co-founder of Bump’n (formerly known as Handi)
Bump’n was founded by disability consultant and activist Andrew Gurza and innovation strategist Heather Morrison from a simple and shocking fact: hundreds of millions of people around the world can’t masturbate due to hand limitations (pain, immobility, lack of dexterity, weakness etc).
Together, the team have rallied sexual health and design experts, occupational therapists, and the disabled community to create the first line of sex toys that rely on the use of your hands. You may have read about their research, development and advocacy for more accessible pleasure in The Handi Book of Love Lust & Disability.
While this blog might just be the icing on top of your IWD reading, it’s a reminder that even if these industries insist on shutting us out, dialling us down or stuffing the problem with cupcakes, women and non-binary people are making an incredible impact in the digital, tech and education space – making pleasure, products and porn(!) more inclusive and accessible for all of us.