It’s safety first for women in industry
Dr. Martens, iconic British footwear brand, is bucking the trend for women in industry, with the launch of its unique women’s industrial collection, offering female workers a choice of boots, without needing to compromise on safety.
In recent years, more women have decided to embark on careers within typically male dominated industries such as construction, engineering and manufacturing. However, despite being exposed to the same risks, they are rarely supported by the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) available. We believe this is unacceptable and must change.
Women’s right to properly designed PPE
The choice for women working within hazardous environments has famously been limited, resulting in women wearing safety footwear that has not been specifically designed with them in mind.
To help encourage and support women in industry, Dr. Martens’ new Women’s Collection ensures women are actually given a choice of protection, style and colour for their footwear, and no longer have to compromise.
Wanted: Three Dr. Martens Industrial Champions
To mark the launch, we’re asking you, our readers, to tweet us at @WomanthologyUK and @drmartens telling us what industry you work in and what inspired you to enter into that sector; make sure you use the hashtag #WorkDifferent!
We’d also love to see photos of you whilst at work! Following the closing date, a panel of judges will pick their three favourites who will then be invited to feature on the Dr. Martens blog and here on Womanthology. What’s more they will also win a pair of boots each from the new Women’s Collection!
The innovative collection includes:
- Maple – A classic 8-eyelet lace up steel-toe work boot, the Maple is designed with soft leather and heat-sealed uppers. The padded tongue ensures comfort, as well as the SoftWair™ sock liner delivering extra cushioning at the heel.
- Arbor – This classic Chelsea work boot has a steel toe cap with soft leather uppers that are heat-sealed with a PVC outsole that is durable. The SoftWair™ sock liner also delivers extra cushioning at the heel and forefoot, while the raised grid pattern promotes underfoot airflow to keep feet dry and comfortable.
The Women’s Collection is a game-changer for industry. Available in UK sizes 3-9, the collection is available to buy online: http://www.drmartens.com/uk/c/industrial-womens
A survey commissioned by Trades Union Congress reveals that only 29% of women wear PPE specifically designed for them, whilst a further 57% said their current PPE actually hampered their work. Wearing uncomfortable PPE, such as safety footwear that doesn’t fit, can be hazardous, and prevent women from safely conducting their jobs.
We spoke to Jon Marchant, Global Category Director at Dr. Martens, where he is responsible for product development and merchandising.
Jon, please can you tell us a bit about your role at Dr. Martens?
Essentially, I apply the global strategic direction for the Industrial, Service and Utility footwear at Dr. Martens as well as driving the safety product ranges at a local region level.
From the UK to Canada, and from Korea to Australia the safety regulations, styling demands and end-user needs vary greatly so we’re constantly looking at innovations that enhance the protection and end-user experience of our workers everywhere.
Why did an iconic brand like Dr. Martens feel the time was right to launch a women’s range?
We have a great heritage in the work-boot sector, and already have a strong ‘unisex’ offer but part of our range strategy has been to upgrade the fit, comfort and styling on women’s specific products without any compromise to overall protection .
I have been shocked by the typical ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach taken by many brands. We’re proud to empower and protect. Anything less just wouldn’t be Dr. Martens.
Without giving away too many secrets, what did the research tell you about the need for innovation in the women’s part of the market?
Women demand, and should expect the same level of protection as any man in the workplace. If they’re serious about their job, then you can be sure they are also serious about their choice of footwear.
The strength of our women’s fashion business informed and guided our design and internal comfort requirements for this range. We use premium components and materials to ensure our boots perform and are comfortable from day one.
Please can you talk us through a few of the features of the new women’s range?
First, we started with the right shape. A women’s specific last was developed (a foot model that provides relevant length, width, in-step height and overall foot volume) and then we re-engineered the shape of our Soft-Wair sock-liner that promotes underfoot airflow and provides great cushioning thanks to memory-foam pods at the forefoot and heel.
The Opal hiker-styled boot is a great example of a boot packed with real, functional features:
- Supple, yet durable Nubuck leather uppers;
- An EVA midsole – widely used in athletic footwear to provide exceptional levels of under-foot cushioning and shock-absorbency;
- We created a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) stability shank to control the lateral twist, while allowing the natural flex motion of the foot;
- Moisture-wicking linings ensure the foot stays happy and healthy;
- High abrasion-resistant rubber compound sole with our Grip-Trax tread, delivering exceptional slip-resistance and heat resistant to 300c;
- We added a branded heel-moulding because everyone kicks off their boots!
How do you make sure that style is not sacrificed for comfort and safety?
At Dr, Martens, we continually blend functionality and kick-ass styling. Our rebellious streak is found in every design, but our 60 years of shoe-building expertise and attention to every detail ensure that protection and performance remain our clear focus.
You’re running a campaign to find real-life female industry workers who are challenging gender stereotypes. Please can you tell us more about this?
The Dr. Martens brand has been an essential part of many sub-cultures since its arrival in 1960. Music, work and fashion movements that have bridged race, age or gender. There is no place for sexism in a hazardous work environment. The modern workplace is a constant challenge – individual and team performances rely on the right tools for the job and environment, and people need to start thinking of footwear as one of those tools. Manual work isn’t a ‘man’ thing. It’s an ‘us’ thing. Own what you do and Work Different.
How would you like Womanthology readers to get involved?
We want to champion women in industry – tell us what industry you work in, what you do and how you ended up working there, and most importantly tell us what sets you aside from the rest. How do you work different?
What’s coming up next for you and Dr. Martens?
If you work in a hazardous environment, then you have to wear safety footwear and much of the time, there’s no emotional connection with the boots you purchase. We’re a brand that thrives on the emotional connection with real people so I’m off to talk to workers across all industries about what they need next!
We’re constantly evolving our product range to offer the best protection so whether you work on a construction site, at an airport, brewery, or paper-mill. Whether in New York, Seoul, Brisbane, Paris or Toronto, we’ll be there for you.
Dr. Martens Women’s Collection Ts&Cs
The competition is open to UK residents only aged 18 years or over. Employees of Dr. Martens and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with this competition are not eligible to enter. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his / her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions. By entering this competition the winner also agrees to the use of his / her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions. Only one entry will be accepted per person, multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. The prize includes a pair of Dr. Martens boots from the new Women’s Collection and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability.
The competition will be judged by a panel of judges appointed by Dr. Martens and the closing date is Wednesday 21st February 2018. Dr. Martens’ decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter.
Dr. Martens Terms and Conditions:
The Promoter is: Airwair International Ltd (registered company no. 2678750) whose registered office is at Cobbs Lane, Wollaston, Northants NN29 7SW. (“The Promoter”).
No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason. The Promoter (Dr. Martens) accepts no responsibility for entries that are incomplete, corrupt, delayed or not received for whatever reason. Proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt. The Promoter also reserves the right to disqualify from the promotion any entrant suspected of fraud or cheating including, without limitation, through the manipulation of codes, multiple computer generated entries, or otherwise fraudulently falsifying data or acting fraudulently or dishonestly in the opinion of the Promoter.
The Promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the Promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the Promoter.
The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
The prize is as follows:
- 1 free pair of Dr. Martens Industrial Boots;
- 1 post on Dr. Martens UK blog page. The prize does not include any other activities;
- The winner will be notified by email within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.