Woman Power: Celebrating International Women's Day

A cooperative and open environment blossoms when women are in positions of power and leadership. Our ability to wear many hats and offer fresh, new perspectives assists in driving our success. Did you know that Vosges Haut-Chocolat is a woman-founded company? Or that a woman's hands have touched everything from the chocolate you eat to this blog you are reading? At Vosges, feminine energy is vital to our chocolate cause, and we take great pride.

Natalie Markoff, Chief Marketing Officer at Vosges, put it best when she said, "Working with women is like being part of a supergroup where kindness meets fierceness in the most fabulous way. It's this magical blend of graciousness and a "kick butt and take names" vibe that makes every day a unique adventure. We're not just talking about getting things done; we're talking about slaying tasks left and right, with the skill of multitasking so ingrained in us, it's practically our superpower. 

Women bring this incredible ability to own up to mistakes, toss a heartfelt "I'm sorry" into the mix, and genuinely understand the ripple effect of our actions on the team. This empathy and accountability can turn a rough day into a victorious one. Have you ever had one of those Zoom calls where you need to say, "Guys, I'm struggling today"? That's when the magic happens. There's this understanding, a nod of solidarity, and then boom—we're off to the races, getting things done. Working with women is like having a safety net of support that catches you when you fall and propels you forward to accomplish great things together."

This incredible environment we have created speaks volumes about our work and how we treat each other and our guests. However, woman-powered organizations and companies are not limited to the modern world: female-dominated animal groups, matriarchal societies, and matriarchal religions date back thousands of years. From China and Indonesia to Yellowstone National Park, examples of female power have made history and, in many places, continue to stand firm. 

The Female Alpha Wolf

Some have heard the story of O-Six (06), a female alpha wolf who lived in Yellowstone National Park. O-Six was a magnificent gray wolf whose life was documented by naturalist and photographer Rick McIntyre. Over the six years she roamed Yellowstone National Park, O-Six displayed striking agility, intelligence, and strength. For example, it was documented that she could singlehandedly take down moose and other large prey while watching out for the pups and keeping the pack together. She raised three litters of pups in her short life and never lost one. We have learned that wolf packs are unequivocally female-led through O-Six and several decades of study. While alpha males do exist and are incredibly important to the hierarchy, they act as a support system to the dominant female, who ultimately plans the pack's every movement and every hunt and protects every member and pup. 

The Minangkabau People of Indonesia 

In West Sumatra, Indonesia, a society called the Minangkabau resides. The Minangkabau are the world's largest matrilineal society, where "women are the connection between the present and the past." On the outside, looking in, you may wonder how a matrilineal society such as this could exist in a world where men often dominate. Still, the Minangkabau have traced their descent, heritage, and inheritance through the female line for centuries. 

The Orca Whale

Matrilineal societies exist beyond the human realm. Beneath the ocean's surface, Orca whales live in tight-knit family groups (or pods) that include all male and female descendants of the matriarch or adult female orca. The matriarch plays an essential role in Orca culture, keeping the pods together, caring for the young calves, hunting for food, and keeping the family unit safe. In fact, female orcas are so crucial to the health of their pod that when one dies, it can significantly reduce the lifespan of her direct descendants. 

The Mosuo People of Southwestern China

Often considered China's last matrilineal society, the Mosuo people of Sichuan and Yunnan exist in a world where the Ah mi (matriarch) has absolute power. Here, Mosuo women run households and make financial decisions while the men act as more of a support system. This is not to say that Mosuo men do not hold essential societal roles. Still, within the matrilineal culture, the focus falls on the female bloodlines, tracing ownership and responsibility through the women. 

Interestingly, the Mosuo people are most known for their concept of "walking marriages," where the male and female parties do not live together during the day, and the male may only visit the wife in the evening if she grants permission. This concept offers a different perspective on the importance of family and child-rearing and how essential the mother is to the development of the family unit. 

Celebrating Women 

Across cultures and species, female power is recognized in a variety of forms. Women's History Month and International Women's Day allow us to shine a light on women and all they do around the globe. Whether behind the scenes or standing at a podium, women contribute to and propel every part of our day-to-day lives, from the moment you are born until the moment you find yourself in now. 

Here at Vosges, we celebrate the fact that women can do anything. Women are chocolatiers, business owners, chefs, politicians, scientists, veterinarians, mothers, teachers, artists, musicians, and so much more. Women are everything. 

Happy International Women's Day!