International Women’s Day (IWD) commemorates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women worldwide. It was established to raise awareness about gender inequality and advocate for women’s rights. While IWD serves as an annual reminder to celebrate and empower women, it’s essential for organisations to go beyond this day and make consistent efforts to address gender disparities in the workplace. This blog delves into the origins of IWD, its significance, and why ongoing support for women is crucial in organisational settings. Additionally, it is worth noting the importance of applying the concept of consistent celebration and inclusion to events like Black History Month and Pride Month also.

As we commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD) each year, it’s crucial to reflect on the reasons behind its inception and understand that the fight for gender equality extends far beyond a single day of acknowledgment. While IWD serves as an important reminder of the strides made towards gender equality, it also underscores the ongoing challenges and disparities that women continue to face, particularly in the workplace.

International Women’s Day traces its roots back to the early 20th century when women began demanding better working conditions, voting rights, and an end to discrimination. The first official celebration of IWD took place in 1911, with rallies and demonstrations across Europe, marking a pivotal moment in the women’s rights movement.

Today, IWD serves as a global platform to honour the achievements of women in various fields, from politics and business to science and the arts. It’s a day to recognise the progress made towards gender equality, while also acknowledging the work that still needs to be done.

In the workplace, gender disparities persist despite efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. Women continue to face barriers to advancement, unequal pay, and a lack of representation in leadership roles. According to recent studies, women are still underrepresented in boardrooms and executive positions, highlighting the need for organisations to prioritise gender equality initiatives beyond IWD.

So why should organisations celebrate and support women every day, not just on International Women’s Day?

Firstly, fostering an inclusive work environment benefits everyone. When women are empowered and given equal opportunities, it leads to higher levels of innovation, productivity, and overall success for the organisation. Diversity of thought and perspective drives creativity and problem-solving, resulting in better decision-making processes.

Secondly, promoting gender equality is not only the right thing to do morally but also makes good business sense. Companies that prioritise diversity and inclusion tend to outperform their competitors, attract top talent, and retain employees more effectively. By investing in programmes that support women’s advancement, organisations can create a more positive and supportive culture that benefits employees at all levels.

Furthermore, celebrating women beyond IWD sends a powerful message of commitment to equality and fairness. It shows that organisations are dedicated to creating opportunities for women to thrive, regardless of the day of the year. Whether it’s through mentorship programmes, leadership development initiatives, or policies that promote work-life balance, there are numerous ways for companies to demonstrate their support for women in the workplace.

While International Women’s Day serves as an important reminder to celebrate and empower women, it’s essential for organisations to go beyond this day and make gender equality a priority all year-round. By addressing gender disparities in the workplace and creating an inclusive environment where all employees can thrive, organisations can drive positive change and contribute to a more equitable society.

Moreover, just as the concept of consistent celebration and inclusion is vital for women, it should also be applied to events like Black History Month and Pride Month. Inclusion conversations need to be ongoing throughout the year, fostering a culture of acceptance and support for all individuals, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation.

Let’s not just celebrate women on International Women’s Day but strive to uplift and support them every day.

 

If you’re looking to kickstart your celebrations, Tell Jane are offering workshops, which can be tailored to your organisation and your people. To discover more and get started, email hello@telljane.co.uk for a brochure.

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