International Women’s Day – a focal point for women’s rights
March 8th is International Women’s Day and this year, the International Women’s Day website has an important message:
An equal world is an enabled world. How will you help forge a gender-equal world? Celebrate women’s achievements. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.
That’s a lot of powerful questions and statements in one short paragraph.
What does #EachforEqual mean?
We can fight bias. We are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions. Each of us can choose to accept bias and stereotypes or we can broaden our horizons and challenge those cliches.
We also can broaden perceptions and celebrate women’s achievements – both for what they are and to bring greater awareness to the amazing work women are doing in today’s world.
By challenging long-held stereotypes, we can create a more equal world for us all to live in. By enabling equality we live stronger in our homes, at our jobs, and across the globe, and that’s when we move an equal world to an enabled world.
How can one person make a change?
Women have a voice, a unique perspective, and bring a lot to the table. Happily, the opportunities are numerous. On a personal level, it can be as simple as celebrating the achievements of women. We can bring greater awareness and highlight the importance of their success stories. It can also be about being more inclusive in our personal life, making sure that we are not excluding women from the important events and decisions we make. To leave women out of the mix is like leaving a vital ingredient out of a recipe.
Goodbye to the glass ceiling
Careers are another important place where equality for women comes into play. We can make sure that we are hiring and promoting on a gender-neutral basis. To do so, we need to be sure that our hiring processes do not have any hidden biases and that we are comparing candidates in an unbiased way.
We can make sure that we are also giving projects to women on an equal basis, which could help to position them for promotional opportunities. And most importantly perhaps, we can make sure we are paying women equal pay for equal work.
Something I’ve personally witnessed is what happens in some business meetings, and it needs to change. Unfortunately, like many of us, I’ve often been in meetings when a woman’s comments are cut off by the louder, male voices in the room. Essentially you’re drowned out, not heard, and sometimes outright dismissed. We need to recognise this and make sure we are listening to all voices. We need to remember that a project with combined efforts, inclusive of all perspectives is much more likely to succeed, and succeed at a greater level than one that is formed from the few heard voices. We need to make sure we are listening to all voices.
Collectively, every one of us, male and female, can help create a gender-equal world.
What are your ideas? How can create greater awareness of this important day? I would love to hear your insights.
To find out more about International Women’s Day and how you can get involved, visit: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/