When we compare the world we live in to that of our mothers and grandmothers, it seems like we’ve come a long way. And in truth, we have – but there is still so much further to go. In the United States and Canada and around the world, women still lack basic human rights and lag behind men in terms of representation, income, and more.
International Women’s Day is a yearly observation meant to highlight the inequities specifically faced by women, bringing awareness to the issue and encouraging people to enact change. And as an open and inclusive business, you need to know how to celebrate Women’s Equality Day in your workplace.
We chatted with Madison Eker, DE&I expert and Founder of Sum Of Us, the Leading Producers of Socially Conscious Seminars in North America, to get some ideas on how to celebrate Women’s Equality day at work.
How to celebrate International Women’s Day at work?
Now the question is: What International Women’s Day activities are suitable for your company? The good news is there are plenty of potential activities to choose from – and we have six of the best for you to consider.
1. Host a Women’s Equality Allyship Seminar
Good intentions matter, but good execution makes an impact. The truth is that not everyone knows how to be a good ally to those who are struggling to achieve equal rights. According to Madison, “Educational workplace seminars highlight the importance of why we celebrate International Women’s Day and how to be better allies to the women in our lives.“
With the right seminar, you can help your workforce better understand how to practice allyship with women – and the lessons learned can then easily be applied to others. Keep in mind that allyship isn’t just for those who don’t identify as women; women need to learn how to support each other better as well. No need to task your HR department with creating this seminar; you can outsource your Women’s Equality Allyship Seminar to be held online or in person.
2. Collect Items for a Local Women’s Shelter
We are all struggling in this economy due to inflation, and the places that have always seen the greatest need are hurting the most. A great way to show your support of women is to make sure those fleeing dangerous situations have what they need to get by. Organize a drive at your workplace in honor of Women’s History Month and donate the items to a local women’s shelter. Be sure to ask the shelter about the items they need first to make the biggest impact.
3. Learn 50 Ways to Fight Gender Bias
Unconscious bias is something we are all victims of. And revealing those biases is like peeling back the layers of an onion – not entirely pleasant and might make you tear up a bit. Still, it’s hard but necessary work. The big problem is we don’t always know where to start, considering we usually aren’t aware of our biases. A little primer can be a great way to get started.
Help your workforce better confront this with a workshop on 50 ways to fight gender bias.
4. Support or Partner with Women-owned Businesses
Sometimes, you vote with your money. It might not feel like activism in the traditional sense, but by shopping with, eating from, or partnering with women-owned businesses, you are helping women in a direct and concrete way. Take a look at the vendors you work with to see if there are any contracts coming up for renewal that could go to a women-owned business, commit to purchasing some office upgrades from one, or even have a women-owned restaurant cater lunch this month.
On Thriver, you can search for and identify women-owned businesses very easily using the filters feature.
5. Include Men in the Conversation
They say nothing changes unless you do. When it comes to gender equality, changes are slow unless cis men get on board. Madison suggests booking a seminar focused on helping men understand their role in furthering women’s rights. Focusing on allyship in general is great but it’s a good idea to have a seminar for men specifically. This can help them better understand how to use their position in society to benefit people of other genders and women in particular. The Men Practicing Allyship workshop is a great way to help male employees increase their awareness of what is faced by women in their workplace.
6. Support Charities for Women’s Education
While “women” are in the name of the holiday, we don’t forget about the girls and young women coming up behind us. They’re our future and they need to be prepared to advocate for change. According to Madison, businesses should “contribute to education programs for girls and women through mentorship, volunteering, or donation.“
Celebrate and educate with your employees
So there you have it: five ways to celebrate International Women’s Day in the workplace! While it is just one day, you don’t want to pass up the opportunity to focus on equity and inclusion. With the right approach, you can help lead your workforce in allyship and build a happier and more productive workplace.