Why International Women’s Day is Important for All of Us
It might just be me, but in the past several years there has been a ramp up of conversations around International Women’s Day (IWD) on social media platforms. If you would have asked me 5-6 years ago what it was all about, I’d have answered pretty generically, “a day, celebrating international women.”
In the years since, I’ve educated myself and learned it’s day dedicated to so much more than an international woman, it’s a day where the world comes together to celebrate the successes of women and to call out bias’s women face and demand change. As a businesswoman myself who has faced gender stereotypes and biases working in two male dominated industries, professional sports and now banking, it is a movement I can get behind and as from what I’m seeing in corporate America and across the web, I’m not the only one.
What is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day was first acknowledged as a day in 1910 though it was not formally acknowledged until 1975 when the United Nations set the theme, “Celebrating the past, planning for the future”. Today it is celebrated every year on March 8th. It is a day dedicated to help forge a gender equal world and to celebrate the achievements of women across the world while at the same time reminding everyone there is still so much to do to forge equality.
This year’s theme, according to internationalwomensday.com is “Choose to Challenge” while the United Nations has selected “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world”. Both goals center around all of us choosing to challenge bias and inequality; to celebrate the accomplishments of women and to create an inclusive world for all.
Why Should Business Celebrate International Women’s Day?
According to the BBC and the UN, the coronavirus could wipe out 25 years of increasing gender equality as more women have taken on unpaid responsibilities inside the home similar to the gender stereotypes of women in the 1950s. In 2019, 57.4% of the workforce was women and 51.8% of women held management positions. In 2020, 37 women accounted for 37 CEO roles on Fortune 500 companies.
Being open to the conversation that women are worth supporting in the workplace. is a great opportunity for businesses to celebrate diversity and encourage change. Whether business can make a change today or eventually down the road, celebrating IWD tells your employees we stand with you, we support you and we look forward to the changes we can make to empower you to have better opportunities in the workplace.
How Can You Celebrate IWD?
There are many ways to celebrate IWD. Here are a few things you can do to show your support!
- Wear purple
- Use hashtags #IWD2021, #choosetochallenge while sharing pledges or on your messages celebrating the day
- Participate in an IWD event
- Advocate for change by voting on important legislation and campaigning for change
- Making changes in your life that hinder the equality of women
- Being an ally for change 365 days a year
What’s Next for The Movement?
This year America has celebrated two major milestones for women, the induction of the first woman, first Black and first Asian-American Vice President, Kamala Harris in January. And in February, Bumble’s Founder and CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, was the youngest-ever female founder to take her company public at the age of 31 while virtually ringing the NYSE bell with her baby on her hip!
March 8th needs to be more than a day. There is so much saturation on social media and across the news outlets about different awareness days and campaigns that it is almost impossible to keep up. If women (and men) want to see change they need to start advocating for it at work, at home and to their local government. Women’s rights have come so far, there is still so much left to do.
There’s a sign that hangs in my home office, “nothing bad happens when women have more money.” Think about it and think about how you can celebrate and support the women in your life.
Did you know? Women account for 66% of our internal staff here at Infinia Search. We strongly believe in professionally empowering women through our internal and external hiring practices and that’s why this year we #choosetochallenge and advocate for gender equality in the workplace.