According the World Economic Forum, none of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes. It will not be achieved for almost another century. Baffling, right? Let’s get to work.
Celebrated since 1911, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide. The day, marked annually on 8 March, is also an opportunity to amplify a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The 2021 theme for International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge. The IWD organization explains the thought behind the theme: “A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”
Here are 5 ways your organization can celebrate International Women’s Day this year, and also give your employee engagement activities a little boost:
1. Track and report your achievements on gender parity. Even if you don’t publish a Sustainability or a Corporate Social Responsibility Report every year, tracking and reporting your HR statistics on gender parity raises awareness and inspires improvement within leadership teams.
2. Support a female-owned business. Only 2% of female-owned businesses will generate $1,000,000. Support comes in many forms, whether it’s purchasing from the business directly or spreading word about the business online, there are so many ways to be an active supporter of female-led businesses.
3. Launch an informative campaign. Reach out to your Corporate Marketing team and suggest that they create a snazzy infographic or a short video to educate people on the reality of gender inequality in the corporate world and what can be done to change it.
4. Invite a specialized leadership coach to host a session over Zoom. There are so many women in this space making their voices heard to raise awareness about gender parity. IWD even have an easy search tool on their website to show speakers that are local to you. Click here to find a speaker in your area.
5. If you are in the position to mentor another woman, do it. A Development Dimensions International Survey found that 63% of women have never had a formal mentor. Not because women aren’t willing to mentor but because they are not being asked to do so. So, if you’re a woman in a senior management position, stop waiting for an official invitation to mentor. Offer your mentorship and leadership development skills to another woman who is trying to pave a path in their career.