24 weeks pregnant and this time around I'm grateful to be working mostly from home. My first pregnancy was totally different - I was working the 9-5 job and dreaded choosing what to wear daily. Everything was either too tight, uncomfortable or just didn't look right. It was easy enough to find maternity singlets, tights and casual (not so stylish) t-shirts, but maternity work pants? A rare occurrence! You could even see that some brands just slapped a piece of extra material onto their garments and called it maternity – a poor excuse for what should be a functional and supportive wardrobe essential for pregnant women.
Last week I had the chance to chat to up coming aviation star and go getter, Ellen Polacsek. Ellen is a part of Women in Aviation – The Australian Chapter (WAI), an amazing organisation that Co Gear has previously collaborated with - creating a scholarship to support aviation students. We absolutely applaud them for the support, encouragement and opportunities that they give women to advance in the aviation and aerospace industries.
First of all, what is a niche? Your niche is the thing (or things) that you’re naturally drawn to, and love doing. Sometimes it’s obvious what that is but other times we need to do a little “soul searching” in order to discover it. The founder of Co Gear, Kym O’Leary, stumbled across her niche through her passion for solving a problem.
Co Gear has a name for creating industrial hi-vis Women’s Workwear, focusing on our innovative next generation maternity range, but here we are changing the game yet again with the release of Sandy. Women’s Workwear includes a broad range of styles and designs and we can proudly say that Sandy is versatile enough to stretch across multiple industries. Not only for the working woman but a staple, timeless, must-have piece for any busy woman's wardrobe.
Collaborations are an integral part of the Co Gear business and a key element to our success. We listen, we think outside the box and we create innovative women's workwear that makes a difference. Working along side BHP has opened so many doors for us and created opportunities to connect with the working women that Co Gear was created to support.
Let’s start with some positive statistics! 2020 can’t all be doom and gloom now can it. Access to parental leave has improved significantly with 50% more employers offering primary care leave (dad’s included!), the best results in 6 years. Companies like Accenture have seen a 330% increase in fathers taking parental leave – now this is some news we can celebrate!
There seems to be a silent rule of keeping pregnancies on the hush until the second trimester however if you're unwell or simply want to share the news - just do it! Confiding in your boss can take the pressure off hiding in the toilet or battling nausea during work.
“Now the reason why my uniform affected my confidence was simple. It was because it was a man's uniform, a uniform made for the person who “should” be doing this job. So, it's pretty safe to say when my Impostor Syndrome was working overtime it was easy for me to say "I shouldn't be doing this job. I'm playing dress-up in men's clothing for a man's role after all."
Companies will argue that there’s “unisex” options available but how inclusive are they really? Is it not just men’s clothing that’s been labelled as an afterthought to “include” women? Well we think it’s a dismal excuse to gloss over the elephant in the room. Unisex industrial workwear is not designed with women in mind.
Join us as Kym answers questions about the emotions surrounding Co Gear's rebrand, the creative process and how we got where we are today. It's been a journey but as Kym describes, it was all worth it to bring working women the industrial clothing options they deserve.