For a woman in leadership, International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 is a day that belongs to you. It is a day to celebrate all that you’ve accomplished.
It is also a day that serves as a springboard to look around at the other women in your workplace and ask yourself who might benefit from your wisdom and hard-won lessons.
The theme of this year’s celebration is #PressforProgress, fueled by the momentum of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. It is a strong call to action to motivate and unite colleagues and corporations to close the pay gap and open up more opportunities for women in high-paying, high-level jobs.
There are various ways women are choosing to mark the day:
- Attending a rally or forum. There will be lots of public celebrations, like the International Women’s Day Forum in Washington, DC featuring dozens of women executives. New York’s Diane von Furstenberg will open its headquarters for a series of events and panel discussions focused on women “being in charge.”
- Taking a pledge. In an effort to collaborate to accelerate gender parity (“Individually, we’re one drop but together we’re one ocean,” says IWD), women can “press for progress” by taking an online pledge to commit to concentrate on specific actions, such as “I will #PressforProgress and influence others’ beliefs/actions” and lead by example with inclusive actions, call out inappropriate behavior or actively contribute to changing the status quo.
- Sharing best practices. Some companies are taking a pause to celebrate their women employees. For example, Greylock Federal Credit Union in Pittsfield, MA is hosting a week-long lineup of events, including women employees volunteering around the community and sharing testimonials about influential Greylock women. Companies can share their actions and events in the International Women’s Day: Best Practice Competition, which hopes to build a “hugely valuable pool of expertise, innovation and wisdom.” Deadline for entries: April 30.
It takes a global village to promote the efforts International Women’s Day aims to shine a light on. But closer to home, we can all make small differences in our own workplaces that one day will add up to a world of difference when equality exists for all women.
How are you – or your company – observing the day? We’d love to get your feedback! Please email to share your own thoughts and actions.