A New Jersey woman is being recognized by Mars Inc.’s M&Ms for her efforts to shake things up for the better.
In celebration of International Women’s Day March 8, the New Jersey-based candymaker revealed the 20 winners of its “Flipping The Status Quo” contest, which sought nominations from across the country for trailblazing women who are making a positive impact.
The honorees – who will receive $10,000 grants as well as an opportunity to be featured on the candymaker’s platforms – include Kimberly Iozzi, the executive director of Dress For Success Northern New Jersey.
Since its founding in 1998, the Madison-headquartered nonprofit has served more than 22,000 people, providing training, support and professional attire—all at no cost.
Iozzi, who took the helm of the organization about five years ago, has been instrumental in efforts to empower women to achieve economic independence, which has included creating a pilot leadership academy for at-risk high school students to prepare them for college, trade schools and the workplace.
She told NJBIZ, “I am honored to be part of this campaign and am so truly grateful for everyone that nominated me. Being part of this campaign is especially meaningful to our organization, as it sheds light on the extensive work we’re doing to elevate thousands of women to claim their space in the workforce with competence and confidence in order to become financially independent.”
More information on the winners can be found here.
In a statement, Gabrielle Wesley, chief marketing officer, Mars Wrigley North America, said, “The M&M’S brand is committed to using the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong. The winners of the M&M’S Flipping the Status Quo program are breaking barriers and positively impacting their communities across the U.S., creating a space for more incredible women to follow in their footsteps.”
“Their immense efforts to flip the status quo in areas such as well-being, equality, education, and inclusion are an inspiring example of how harnessing the power of fun through meaningful passions and initiatives, can help to create a world where everyone feels they belong,” she said.
As part of the Flipping the Status Quo campaign, M&Ms unveiled limited edition packaging in January featuring its trio of female “spokescandies,” Purple, Brown and Green, as a way to recognize fun, fearless females. The brand also committed to donate $1 from every special pack sold, for a total of $500,000, to support women via strategic partnerships with nonprofits We Are Moving the Needle and She Is The Music.
Additional donations totaling $300,000 outside of the limited-edition packaging will be made to organizations including Female Founder Collective and Geena Davis Institute On Gender In Media, according to Mars.