Today is International Women’s Day (IWD). A landmark day in the calendar - that’s now celebrated globally but originally started over 100 years in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, when more than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.
What is International Women’s Day?
Now, on March 8th every year, it is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, as well as call for action to accelerate gender parity and fundraise for female-focused charities.
You might be wondering why we still need an International Women’s Day, after all, we’ve come a long way in creating a more gender equal world. But there is still a lot of work to be done - in some countries more than others. This isn’t a time for complacency. According to the World Economic Forum, we will not see gender parity in our lifetime. And unfortunately, it’s unlikely our children won’t either. It’s so important that we all continue to play our part for generations to come.
Choose to Challenge
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality. As the official International Women’s Day website states “a challenged world is an alert world”. By choosing to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality, we’re helping to create an inclusive world by bringing about effective, positive change.
Forging positive change
International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us all to help forge positive change for women to create an equal world. Throughout the week, we’ll be taking a look at the benefits of diversity in the workplace; the impact the pandemic has had on female workers; and sharing some fantastic case studies from across the business.
But of course, this isn’t just something that we should be thinking about on International Women’s Day alone, nor is it looking at issues that only affect women. Creating a gender equal world matters to all of us; and for all of the ways in which this can positively impact women, it can positively impact men, too. As a business issue, this is something that is on our agenda every single day, as creating gender balance is critical to creating successful economies and communities.
We’ll be sharing a number of stories from across Bruntwood celebrating IWD in our own unique way and hearing from a number of female colleagues on what their working experiences have been like over the years.