The legacy of Avon Founder David H. McConnell, and the core priority of the company today, is the empowerment of women. This mission is as relevant in the 21st century as it was in 1886 when the company was founded. Around the world, the Avon earnings opportunity is still a path to financial independence, self-reliance and the realization of dreams for women.
Today, Avon products are sold in more than 100 countries. The company has over 6 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives - the vast majority of whom are women. In short, Avon is one of the world's largest engines of economic opportunity for women.
In many parts of the world, circumstances for women are vastly different than they were in the late 19th century when Avon was born (originally as the California Perfume Company). Back then, women in general had few employment opportunities outside the home, and until well into the 20th century, it was the exception, not the rule, for women to "work." Today, women enjoy unprecedented access to educational and professional opportunities, and the economic empowerment this brings, including the opportunity for visibility and success in fields that were virtually off-limits to women in the past.
Yet, despite these strides, women in much of the world have little access to the mainstream economy or to credit. In fact, women account for two-thirds of the population living below the poverty line worldwide, and 600 million women are living on a $1 or less per day. These are serious numbers and serious issues. For many women, the Avon Sales Representative earnings opportunity is a lifeline, an opportunity to support themselves and their families. It helps put food on the table and provide other necessities and, sometimes, a few luxuries.
The Avon Sales Representative earnings opportunity offers another benefit: a flexible alternative to traditional employment, without set hours and a set workplace. As an independent entrepreneur, an Avon Sales Representative sets her own hours and goals, and enjoys a schedule that is adaptable to other priorities, such as family or education, or even another job. Whether in Moscow or Kansas City or Sao Paolo, women worldwide leverage this flexibility to drive their Avon businesses in the context of other responsibilities - the ultimate "work life balance."
Today, the direct selling opportunity is especially relevant. Between 2008 and 2010, the ranks of Avon Representatives grew by half a million. The global economic turmoil has driven unemployment and underemployment to almost unprecedented levels, with many women and families facing unexpected financial difficulties. Both the World Bank and the International Labor Organization expect the continued economic recession to drive more female unemployment than male. The Avon earnings opportunity provides a source of income, or additional income, that can help re-establish financial viability after a job loss or income reduction. Another benefit is the efficiency of the process: the Sales Representative opportunity requires no special training, lengthy interviews or extensive on-boarding.
When a woman is an Avon Representative, she's the head of her own business; she cannot be fired or downsized - particularly appealing given that unemployment continues to increase in this long-lasting economic crisis. The beauty of the Avon earnings opportunity is that a woman controls her own economic and employment destiny - the very definition of empowerment.
Avon is committed to advancing female Associates (employees) around the world and through the leadership ranks. To learn more about Avon's commitment to women within the company, as well as the broader focus on diversity and inclusion, click here.