While 2020 has certainly tested the entire planet, it has also been a year of firsts that have propelled us forward towards a more equitable future. Perhaps the biggest firsts of all this year, were firsts for women. As 2021 approaches, we reflect on those major milestones, like the first statue of real women installed in New York City’s Central Park, the first woman to be named CEO of a major U.S. banking institution, and of course, the first female Vice President-elect in our country’s 244-year history. In honor of Human Rights Day, Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker has introduced its ‘First Women’ campaign.
The Jane Walker By Johnnie Walker ‘First Women’ campaign celebrates the boundary breaking moments achieved by women in 2020, and looks to inspire enable others on the road to a monumental first. The campaign launched with an Open Letter in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post penned and signed by a network of remarkable women who have blazed trails in culture.
The letter acknowledges ambitions for women in 2021 and beyond, and reflects Johnnie Walker’s support of constitutional equality in collaboration with the ERA Coalition and its Fund for Women’s Equality. It aims to empower women to draw strength from the unflinchingly fearless leaders who came before them and to relentlessly persevere towards progress, noting, “they didn’t just open the door, they ripped the door off its hinges so it couldn’t be closed again.” The Jane Walker network of ‘First Women’ includes:
- Billie Jean King
- Elaine Welteroth
- Elizabeth Banks
- Halle Berry
- Katie Couric
- Katie Sowers
- Lilly Singh
- Lucy Liu
- Rita Moreno
As part of the First Women campaign, Jane Walker has partnered with women-owned business funding marketplace IFundWomen to help create more opportunities for women to achieve their goals. The partnership will provide grant funding to businesses identified in collaboration with the network of powerful women icons, supporting those on their journey towards a monumental first. You can apply through the grant’s official webpage.
“Marking and championing moments of progress for women is such an important part of pushing forward towards gender equality,” commented Sophie Kelly, Senior Vice President of Whiskies at Diageo North America. “This year, we celebrated the anniversary of women’s right to vote and honored those who fought for us to have a voice, so it’s critical that we continue to stand with and support women. We hope our First Women program can be a spark that helps inspire more firsts, seconds, and thirds for women ahead.”
In August, in honor of the women who have paved the way by breaking the bronze ceiling and championing diversity in public spaces across the country, Jane Walker teamed up with social justice brand Phenomenal to support non-profit organization Monumental Women as they unveiled the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument, the first monument depicting real women in NYC’s Central Park’s 167-year history.
The brand will be re-releasing its Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker Whisky – a blend created by Master Blender Emma Walker for everyone of legal drinking age to enjoy responsibly – in the coming year.