It is no secret that there is still many gender-specific challenges women face in the workplace. From pay discrimination, gender bias, stereotyping, sexual harassment, a lack of representation, and a lack of available and protected rights to family leave to subtler issues around unpaid labor in the office, there are many obstacles’ women continue to face when they enter the workforce. It is not a lack of ambition, but rather the challenges women confront at work that cause them to give up on or lose interest in advancement. To all women leaders, Kimberley Davidson, the CEO and Director of The Wee Souk, proclaims, “Toxic Masculinity is the issue—not you.”
In order to bring about change, Kimberley believes outdated and unhelpful stereotypes and attitudes towards women and men and their respective roles need to change, whilst simultaneously developing policy and legislation. She has motivated many leaders with her work and simultaneously accomplished various milestones in her career. She has an experienced background in non-profit fundraising and communications, and her work has taken her all over the world, including Tunisia, Palestine, Chile, Sweden, and, of course, her beloved country.
Kimberley has always felt a sense of obligation to use her art to challenge accepted industrial norms. However, after working more than a decade in the non-profit sector, she felt a disconnect with her true motive, further than ever from catalyzing any real change, and often worried that in many ways she was just ‘propping up’ the status quo. Henceforth, she began her venture, The Wee Souk. With the business, she can set the agenda required to make an impact in ways that are significant to her. “It might be helping to support women’s economic empowerment on a smaller scale than a large organization, but I believe working as directly as possible with the women is the route to change,” says Kimberley. Often, she wonders, “If I’m on the right path spiritually in terms of my career and the business, I think of Khadija. The wife of the prophet, who was mature and independent, found a wonderful husband who worked for her and championed her.” Kimberley’s faith has been her actual source of strength, enabling her to let go of any worry that she will fail in her role as a leader.