Ways to celebrate International Women’s Day at Work
It has been over 100 years now that Women’s day is celebrated across the globe on 8th March each year. It is marked as a day to celebrate the gender equality and women’s right around the world.
In the year 2020 Kamala Harris broke the routine and became the first female Black-Jamaican-Indian Vice President of the United States of America. Across the globe countries like Germany, New Zealand and Bangladesh with women leader received a well deserved global praise of handling the Covid-19 Pandemic effectively. Scotland became the first country in the world to allow universal and free access to menstrual products.
The above examples show some of the major steps we have taken in forming a society with gender equality and represent some incredible progress made, we still have a very long way to go.
If we continue at this rate according to Global Gender Gap Report 2020 we shall reach the gender parity for another 99.5 years.
Our world leaders are definitely doing their part to build a clear path towards bringing a change in our society and wiping out gender discrimination.
But the question then arises are we doing our bit?
It is also up to every one of us to contribute toward building a better gender equal future and there is absolutely no action that is small or big to get started.
In this blog post I shall share 10 excellent ways to celebrate women’s day in 2021 and do our part to promote gender equality for a better tomorrow.
This is the official theme for International Women’s Day 2021 and this comes straight from the IWD website. #ChooseToChallenge is calling in action by challenging the existing state of affairs by raising awareness about gender bias, celebrating the achievements of the women, questioning the stereotype that we see around and taking serious actions and challenging inequality to forge a better world for tomorrow.
One simple way to celebrate women’s day this year is by showing your commitment towards inequality by taking part in #ChooseToChallenge social media campaign.
Take a photo of yourself with your hand high up in the air and share it on your preferred social media platform (I suggest upload it on multiple platforms) with the #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021
You can also accumulate your whole office team and take a group pic, if you are still working at home you can also take a screenshot virtually.
While you uploading your picture on the social media handle, please do upload it on the official IWD website as well as a pledge against gender discrimination.
Advocate for Gender equality at work
Due to Covid-19 women are facing new challenges at their respective workplace. According to the McKinsey report – Women in the Workplace 2020, Women in the United State of America are more prone to be laid off or driven to consider leaving their career behind because of the increased responsibility of childcare and home management. This happens especially with women of color.
We need to ensure that women in this nation also need to progress and be independent. We as a society need to progress towards gender equality.
Please create an inclusive work environment, examine the companies Hr policies and make sure the women get their benefits and rights in your organization. If need be challenge your business leaders to make sure all the women receive fair support at work.
Without equal contribution of women in health, education, business and politics we will not be able to achieve a vibrant future.
Plan a lunch catch up (It could be virtual as well)
Lunch and dinners have always been a good way to catch up with your colleagues. Conversing with food is always a great set up. If you are still working from home, this can be achieved virtually as well.
A great conversation starter for this lunch date is discussing and sharing stories about inspirational women in their life or maybe a public figure they look up to?
You could also take some time to thank the women in the organization and talk a little about their hard work and contribution to the firm. Not only will this help them feel special but it will also help in taking those baby steps toward gender equality.
Support budding women entrepreneurs
We all know how difficult it is to start a business and it is even more difficult to sustain it. But today there are many woman who are breaking the stereotype and thinking outside the box to start a new and innovative business. The no. of women entrepreneurs are way more than what we had seen in the last decade.
Please do show your support for these women owned start–ups and not just by posting a story or a picture on your social media, but by actually purchasing from them, recommending them to a friend or at an event. You could also give them corporate orders to boost their moral.
Well options are many and a simple gesture from your end can go a long way.
Start a book club
We need to understand the problem to solve it. Understanding the challenges faced by women across the globe is a very important step in supporting gender equality.
This year on international women’s day start a book club with your colleagues which will focus on educating in women’s issues, their achievements and women empowerment.
Here are a few fantastic choices for the book club.
- No Logo – By Naomi Klein
- Untamed – By Glennon Doyle
- We should all be Feminist – By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Educated – By Tara Whatsoever
Set up a coffee date with a women in your network.
The best way to learn something new of to get inspired is by having a simple conversation. It can so happen that you may learn from her mistakes or celebrate and be happy in her success.
This international women’s day ask a fellow women from your network out on a date. Believe me this will hardly take 30 minutes of your time but will definitely end up making you both feel good.
Talk about their careers, future goals and way to achieve them, you can also talk about their experience at work place with gender bias people and how did they overcome those obstacles. Talk about personal care and pampering spas.
Here are some of the questions to kick start a conversation.
- How do balance your career and personal life?
- What did you learn from the last year and what advice would you give your own self?
- Which unique challenges did you face in your career because being a women? How did you overcome them?
- Do you have any challenges in life currently?
- Would you like to talk about challenges in your personal life, if there are any?
Host a Screening
Hosting a movie night and selecting a movie with a strong female lead is surely going to be impactful and it will surely be a fun way for the audience to learn about gender norms and our perception toward what the future world should be like.
Even though we have been achieving record levels in films with female representation, there is still a big gap to be filled when it comes to gender equality in Hollywood. According to the Celluloid Ceiling report of 2019 women on accounted for 20% of the top 100 grossing films working as directors, Producers, Executive Producers, writers, editors and cinematographers.
Host a movie screening this year with your team and colleagues and see the world from a women’s point of view.
Here is a list I have put together of the films that are women centric.
- Hidden Figures
- Becoming Jane
- Hooligan Sparrow
- Little Women
- Coco before Chanel
- Iron Lady
Let your friends compete with each other and fight to get more points. What better way to learn about historic women than in a form a quiz.
So let the competition begin!!
Do it in small groups or with your entire office team. You can also do it virtually via video conferencing. Trivia night always brings some fun around for everyone.
Theme of the trivia night you ask? Women who have made history like Malala Yousafzai, Maya Angelou and of course my personal favorite Kamala Harris. After all we just want an opportunity to shine light on these great women.
Donate for women’s charity
It need not necessarily be local. There are many charities around the world that can do a lot of good things for women and use some money for the same.
So you can gather your team and involve them in a fund raising activity this will be a nice way to bond with your colleagues and would raise some funds as well.
If you planning to host the trivia night or the movie screening night, it will be a good opportunity to raise some funds and then later donate it to a nice charity everyone agrees upon.
Here is a list of a few women’s charity across the globe. Take you pick.
Dress for success – This is a global non-profit organization. It helps women to attain economic independence by providing professional attire, development tools and a network of support for them to thrive in their work and life.
Women for women International – This organization helps and invest in women who have survived the war and conflicts. They connect them to each other and make them realize they are survivors and what their own power is.
AnitaB.org – This organization works to educate and advance women in technological field in United States and all around the globe. This organization envisions to build a future for women who are imagining and building new technologies for the society mirrors the society and people for whom it is being build.
Write a than you note
We often forget how impactful a simple Thank You can be. This women’s day show your appreciation and thank the women around you and in your team for their outstanding contribution to the organization.
Make this note hand written to add the personal touch to it. This will definitely earn some brownie points for you and will motivate the women to work harder as well.
Acknowledge the amazing women in your life
Simple words of appreciation, acknowledgement and love can sometimes go a long way in lifting someone spirit up or bringing a mile on their face or inspiring them to not give up and keep going ahead.
Weather it you mother, sister, Grand mother, girlfriend, friend or daughter video call or call them and let them know how important they are in your life and what a amazing job they have done in their careers and personal life.
A few words of appreciation and encouragement can definitely make their women’s day special.