The first International Women’s Day (IWD) took place in 1911, with the aim of celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Run annually on March 8, the day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
Each year IWD has a theme which continues all year to provide a meaningful framework to connect and amplify action. The 2021 campaign is #ChooseToChallenge and aims to inspire us all to call out gender bias and inequality
Below are some suggested areas that could be implemented to support the campaign during 2021 and beyond.
If you are running an event, large or small please write a blog and ‘Tag’ and add the ‘Category’ EDI and it will show in the new EDI webpage. ‘News and Events section’
Remember to use the #ChooseToChallenge to tweet and share your ideas and encourage others.
Some event ideas include:
• A talk by an inspiring female speaker related to your field of work
• A presentation of some gender-related research related to your field
• A female senior leader from your area talking about their career and key events/support that helped them to advance
• A panel of women from your field talking about career challenges, important milestones/support, career tips, intersectional experiences, etc.
• An event to share ideas, good practice and promote change on a topic such as collective action to promote gender equality, male champions, allies, equal pay
• A presentation and discussion of a gender-related film
• A presentation and discussion from a gender-related book
• An event on a specific-gender related issue such as menopause, domestic violence, global women’s empowerment, pornography, body image
• A performance by a female artist
Below are some suggested TED Talks for IWD to start your discussions:
Why we have too few women leaders
Know your worth, and then ask for it
Women entrepreneurs, example not exception
How to make hard choices
Can we all ‘have it all’?
Below are some links to relevant reading lists:
Books about women who changed the world
Like a Woman
Books to read on International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day – A vintage reading list
Books to read this International Women’s Day
Women authors – International Women’s Day
Actions for Individuals
• Pay attention to the dynamics in your workplace and ensure that people are not left on the fringes of conversations or interactions – build bridges so that they can move across
• Give credit where it is due – take steps to ensure female colleagues are visible and share their achievements
• Learn more about the impact of unconscious bias and how it can be minimised
• Question your assumptions and bias about women’s abilities, life choices and competence and challenge them in others by bringing the focus back to the facts
• Act as a visible ally and champion for gender equality engaging with colleagues who don’t value inclusion or are cynical
• Question and challenge all-male speaker panels
Attend an IWD event, see the listings here – International Women’s Day Events
Actions for Managers and Leaders
• Discuss what you can do to address gender inequality in your day to day role, as well as what you can do in your leadership capacity, to increase momentum around the agenda
• Support applications for flexible and agile working so that all colleagues can take on caring responsibilities whatever their gender
• Get to know your staff, their strengths and areas of interest and issues that impact on their lives outside of work
• Provide continuous development support which is caring and thoughtful and enables staff to evolve and grow to their strengths
• Develop robust approaches and metrics for measuring performance to avoid assumptions leaking into decision making and assessment
And don’t forget to sign up to the BAME Staff Network event marking International Women’s Day with keynote speaker the Right Reverend Dr Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover,