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Avon: Empowering Generations of Women


Mar 8, 2024
Celebrating International Women’s Day
March 8, 1911, marked the first celebration of International Women’s Day to advocate for women’s equality. Over a century later, we continue to celebrate every March 8th, along with a month-long observance of U.S. Women’s History Month in March, to honor the milestones and contributions of women everywhere. At Avon, our celebration goes beyond recognizing women’s stories and accomplishments, but it brings us closer to our roots.  

Avon + Women: A Storied History
Throughout Avon’s 138-year history, we have been committed to empowering women to reach their potential. It started in 1886, when Avon founder David H. McConnell presented an opportunity for women to earn their own money on their own terms by recruiting Mrs. P.F.E. Albee, a 50-year-old wife and mother of two, to become the first “Avon Lady” (now known as “Avon Representative”). Inspired by women’s passion for beauty and their inherent social connections, Avon pioneered the social-selling business model, turning millions of women–the majority of whom were housewives–into entrepreneurs.

It’s important to note that during this time, only 20% of women were working outside of the home, and it would still be 34 years before women would receive the right to vote. Avon helped support American families during and after WW2 through the help of our Representatives. Avon awarded nurses for their service, assisted the Red Cross in making first aid kits for soldiers overseas and contributed to the nation’s economic recovery.

Going Beyond the History
To this day, Avon upholds its core mission of helping women achieve financial independence. Female empowerment is ingrained in the company’s roots, culture, business model, causes and partnerships that prioritize the well-being of women. Since 1992, the Avon Foundation has contributed more than $800 million to breast cancer causes, educating millions of women about breast health. In 2018, Avon became the national presenting sponsor for The American Cancer Society®’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative.

Avon has also partnered with Feed the Children, an organization that works to improve nutrition, hygiene and education in vulnerable communities around the world. More recently, we worked with Gyrl Wonder to support their mission of social impact and career development in the lives of young women of color.

Today, Avon is inspired to do better for its community of passionate, hardworking women–the incredible Representatives who are at the heart of Avon. Avon is honored by your invaluable contributions and winning spirit, taking joy in each other’s success. It has been Avon’s privilege to support your business goals and help you achieve your dreams. International Women’s Day is a welcome reminder that if we want to see change, we must work actively to make it happen. Avon is steadfast in its commitment to improve its iconic formulas and invent new ones, to deliver high-quality, sustainable and conscious products that make a beautiful and real impact on women’s lives.