STRATHAM, N.H.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Over the next decade, according to a Deloitte analysis based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Gallup survey, an estimated two million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled due to a widening skills gap in the trades. Timberland PRO, one of the world’s leading industrial footwear and workwear brands, today announced a bold initiative to focus on women as the next generation of trade workers to help address this gap. The effort is highlighted by an innovative new women’s-specific product collection and a powerful campaign -- Made for Women Who Make -- that celebrates women in the trades.
“People are retiring from the trades at a faster rate than they are entering, and we see women as a critical group to fill the skills gap,” said Bert Spiller, VP global product creation, Timberland PRO. “In the trades, footwear is like a tool – it needs to perform. And men and women have distinct needs when it comes to fit, comfort and performance on the job. Our new F17 women’s collection has been designed and developed specifically for women in the trades, across a spectrum of indoor and outdoor work environments.”
The collection includes seven styles across three different families, and is built with three distinctive points of comfort for women, including: a more anatomical last with a true-to-fit instep and heel lock; asymmetrical toe shape; and low profile for a more feminine aesthetic. Timberland PRO’s dynamic anti-fatigue footbed provides all-day comfort.
The development of this new women’s offering was driven by Timberland PRO’s longstanding commitment to innovation coupled with deep consumer insights. “In addition to poring over third-party research, we spoke directly with hundreds of female consumers and analyzed these insights to understand what she is looking for in safety footwear. The result is a women’s-specific fit with a crafted aesthetic, not just a take-down of a men’s boot. And comfort is non-negotiable, so she can work 10-12 hours a day and focus on the job, not her feet,” said Rebecca Trowbridge, merchandise manager, Timberland PRO.
SUPPORTING WOMEN IN THE TRADES
In addition to the new product offering, Timberland PRO has several key initiatives in place to support women in the trades, all grounded in the tagline, Made for Women Who Make.
“As a brand, we want to inspire people to create and do as a way of life,” said Cassie Heppner, director of marketing, Timberland PRO. “Our fall ’17 women’s launch is an exciting opportunity to engage an underrepresented group in the trades and help inspire them to follow their passion for making. In addition to supporting women and the vast qualifications they bring to the trades, this is also an important step in helping to fill the widening skills gap.”
As part of its women’s launch, Timberland PRO has committed $20,000 to support the completion of the documentary film, Hard Hatted Woman, targeted for release in late 2018. This is the first feature-length documentary film about women breaking down barriers in blue-collar construction trades and redefining the unionized labor movement.
“Folks write me on a regular basis from all over the country asking, 'When and how can I see your film? I want to organize a screening,'” said Lorien Barlow, producer and director, Hard Hatted Woman. “The requests come from educators, non-profits, workforce development initiatives, companies...It's truly overwhelming to witness not only the enthusiasm but also the urgent need for this film. We all want to see it out in the world, doing good things. But most people don't realize the resources needed to make a feature film. We've been working on this project for four years and the time has truly come for all hands on deck! Whether it's individuals chipping in $25 or companies and organizations like Timberland PRO coming aboard as major donors, this is the kind of tangible enthusiasm and support we need to get the job done.” To learn more about how to support the film, visit hardhattedwoman.com.
In line with the brand’s longstanding commitment to community service, Timberland PRO also supported its women’s launch this fall with a community service event at a Manchester, NH based non-profit organization called Girls @ Work. During this daylong event, more than 70 employees pulled on their boots to prepare wood kits for the after-school programs, build picnic tables for an outdoor classroom, and add a storage room to expand their functional space. Girls @ Work focuses on providing afterschool support to young girls where they can learn how to use tools and build not only furniture, but also confidence. For more information visit girlswork.org.
To provide much-needed information and educational opportunities for women interested in pursuing a job in the trades, Timberland PRO will also be launching a dedicated area on timberlandPRO.com later this year highlighting organizations that can help them get started, learning resources, and non-profit organizations where women can volunteer to help build the next generation of tradeswomen.
To reach prospective women with this empowerment campaign, Timberland PRO will ignite robust conversation via its social channels, encouraging women to share their stories about how they got into the trades using #timberlandprowoman.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTS
The Timberland PRO® Hightower work boots are available in 6” and 8” heights. These boots are built with an alloy safety toe, anti-fatigue footbed, premium full-grain waterproof leathers, waterproof membrane, and all-weather TPU outsole to withstand cold and wet surfaces. Like all footwear in the collection, they are built on an anatomical last for enhanced fit and comfort. The combination of leathers, hardware and stitching gives this boot a crafted aesthetic that will resonate with women who take pride in their work
The Timberland PRO® Riveter clog is made with full-grain leather, an alloy safety toe, anti-fatigue footbed and static-dissipative protection. The anti-fatigue platform provides underfoot support for superior comfort. The Riveter collection was built with women in mind, who need to move seamlessly from the office to the work site. Their jobs require a safety toe, but they don’t want to compromise on style.
With the new anatomical fit, Timberland PRO also took the opportunity to update its classic rugged Direct Attach work boot. The boot features the women’s fit combined with anti-fatigue technology for women who want the traditional work boot look.
The new women’s collection retails from $130.00 to $162.50 and is available at timberlandPRO.com, as well as work retailers nationwide.
ABOUT TIMBERLAND PRO
Timberland PRO has grown to be one of the largest work safety brands in the footwear and apparel space by building on the tradition of craftsmanship and innovation that started with Timberland’s iconic yellow boot. The Timberland PRO® brand exists to help men and women in the trades conquer their work day. Timberland PRO is committed to innovating and evolving, engineered with technologies to provide the very best in comfort, durability and performance–all day long.
Timberland’s dedication to making quality products is matched by an unwavering commitment to environmental and social responsibility – to make things better for its products, the outdoors, and communities around the globe. To learn more about Timberland, a brand of VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), please visit timberland.com or follow us along the modern trail @timberland.