Here's the deal...
(in a nutshell)
To empower people, you need three things:
#1 Empowered Individuals
#2 Empowered Communities
#3 Empowered Behaviors
As a society, we focus most on #3 Empowered Behaviors (promoting women, paying women equally, putting women on Boards of Directors, etc.)
Those behaviors won't stick, however, unless #2 Empowered Communities and #1 Empowered Individuals are there to support the empowered behaviors.
We've used the reserach and designed our jewelry to bridge the gap.
Our jewelry empowers an individual (#1) when she selects and wears values and mantras that are important to her. Our jewelry creates empowered communities (#2) when people wear their charms, discuss their values, and trade or give charms to others. Boom.
(the 10-minute read)
We've been studying empowerment theory for years (yes, we're empowerment nerds). The research says we not only need three components to achieve transformational empowerment, but we should tackle them in order.
These are the three components:
#1 - Intrapersonal Empowerment (to create Empowered Individuals)
#2 - Interactional Empowerment (to create Empowered Communities)
#3 - Behavioral Empowerment (to facilitate Empowered Behaviors)
On the balance, we all pay the most attention to #3, Behavioral Empowerment. Just read the headlines. Promotions. Board seats. Equal pay. Mentoring. These things are the result of changes in behavior. Behavioral Empowerment is a great thing, but Behavioral Empowerment alone is fragile. For behavior change to stick, it must be driven by empowered individuals who are supported by empowered communities.
How do we empower individuals? That's #1, Intrapersonal Empowerment. It happens when individuals identify values, ideas, and mantras that are most important to him or her. The world (particularly the business world) pays lots of attention to things like company values, or team mantras, but rarely considers individual values. Our charms represent values and mantras that individuals proudly wear as their own. Our jewelry sparks Intrapersonal Empowerment.
Empowered communities are born from #2, Interactional Empowerment. This comes when we engage with others about values and build communities that drive and support behavior change. Our charms are designed to be swapped and shared with others to cultivate Interactional Empowerment.
We hope our jewelry will interpersonally and interactionally empower women everyday. And then, with steadfast support from empowered communities comprised of empowered women, inequitable behaviors will change for good.
(the 60+ minute reads)
Wanna read one? Email email@example.com and we'll send a paper your way.
Argyris, Chris. 1998. “Empowerment: The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Harvard Business Review 76(3): 98–105.
Christens, Brian D. 2012. “Toward Relational Empowerment.” American Journal of Community Psychology 50(1–2):114–28
Duflo, Esther. 2012. “Women Empowerment and Economic Development.” Journal of Economic Literature 50(4):1051–79.
Kanter, R.M. 1993. Men and women of the corporation (2nd ed.). New York: Basic Books.
Lee, Mushin, and Joon Koh. 2001. “Is Empowerment Really a New Concept?” International Journal of Human Resource Management 12(4): 684–95.
Manville, Brook, and Josiah Ober. 2003. “Beyond Empowerment: Building a Company of Citizens.” Harvard Business Review 81(1):48–53.
Maton, Kenneth I. 2008. “Empowering Community Settings: Agents of Individual Development, Community Betterment, and Positive Social Change.” American Journal of Community Psychology 41(1–2):4–21
Parsons, Talcott. 1957. “The Distribution of Power in American Society.” World Politics 10(1):123–43.
Perkins, D.D., & Zimmerman, M.A. 1995. Empowerment theory, research, and application. American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 23, 569-579.
Rothstein, Lawrence R. 1995. “The Empowerment Effort That Came Undone.” Harvard Business Review 73(1):20–31.
Rowlands, Jo. 1995. “Empowerment Examined.” Development in Practice 5(2):101–107.
Spreitzer, Gretchen. 2008. “Taking Stock: A Review of More Than Twenty Years of Research on Empowerment at Work.” Pp. 54–72 in The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Behavior, edited by C. Cooper and J. Barling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Zimmerman, Marc A. 1990. “Taking Aim on Empowerment Research: On the Distinction between Individual and Psychological Conceptions.” American Journal of Community Psychology 18(1):169–77.
Zimmerman, M. (1995). Psychological Empowerment: Issues and Illustrations. American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 23, No. 5.