International Women’s Day celebration ideas
In this blog post, we share some excellent ways that you, your team and your community can celebrate International Women’s Day this year and do your part to advocate for gender equality.
#ChooseToChallenge and show your support on social
This year’s official International Women’s Day theme (2021) is #ChooseToChallenge. It’s a call-to-action to challenge the status quo by raising awareness against bias, celebrating women’s achievement, and taking action for equality.
One simple, yet impactful way to celebrate International Women’s Day this year is to show your commitment to challenging inequality by taking part in the #ChooseToChallenge social media campaign. Take a photo of yourself raising your hand high and share it on your preferred social media platform(s) using #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021.
Involve men and people who identify beyond the gender binary in the conversation and celebration
Oftentimes, most International Women’s Day celebrations and initiatives are targeted at women. However, it’s essential that people of all gender identities are involved in the conversations and become equal advocates for gender parity.
According to a Harvard Business Review article, when men are deliberately engaged in gender inclusion programs, 96% of organizations see progress — compared to only 30% of organizations where men are not engaged.
When you’re planning your International Women’s Day activities, ensure you invite and encourage your male friends or teammates to participate and champion gender equality together. And make sure your gender diverse and non-binary friends and teammates are included and welcomed into the conversation about how we can promote equality for people of all gender identities.
Advocate for gender equality in your workplace
In 2021, women are facing new challenges at work as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. According to the McKinsey report, Women in the Workplace 2020, women in the United States – especially women of colour – are more likely to have been laid off or furloughed, or driven to consider leaving their careers due to the increased responsibility of managing household and childcare responsibilities.
To ensure that women continue to progress toward gender equality at work, it’s essential that businesses create inclusive working environments. This International Women’s Day, examine your company’s policies and/or challenge your business leaders to ensure that women receive fair and equitable support at work. As a starting point, look at policies related to following areas:
- Diversity and inclusion training for recruitment and hiring employees
- Equitable parental leave
- Flexible work scheduling
- Programs to advance women in leadership positions
- Mentorship or coaching opportunities for women
Without equal inclusion of women in business, education, health and politics, we will not be able to solve the world’s most pressing problems and achieve a prosperous, vibrant future.
Host or attend an online panel
Hearing women share their experiences, knowledge, and advice is one of the best ways to get inspired to make change. This year, as most of the world is gathering online instead of in-person, there are tons of great virtual events planned for International Women’s Day.
As you’re planning your celebrations, research some interesting events in your industry or community and encourage your friends, family, or team to register with you. Here’s a list of a few events to get you started:
- AHRI’s International Women’s Day Virtual Event: Explore how creating a truth-telling workplace culture – where everyone is safe to speak up and speak out – can help eliminate sexual harassment. [Free]
- She-EO’s Virtual 2021 Summit: Hear from cutting-edge thinkers, innovators, and women working on the ‘World’s To-Do List’ on what’s next for the economy, education, food security, housing and more. [Free]
- Women in Tech’s Tech(Know) Day: This online conference will showcase women in tech (cis, trans, non-binary) and their craft, as well as career, personal development, business and strategy insight. [Free]
Start a book club with your colleagues or friends
Understanding some of the challenges faced by women around the world is an important step in advocating for gender equality. To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, consider starting a book club with your team or folks in your community that focuses on educating on women’s issues, empowerment, and achievements.
Here are a few fantastic choices to get you started:
- Educated, by Tara Westover
- I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown
- No Logo, by Naomi Klein
- We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- The Black Unicorn: Poems, by Audre Lorde
- Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
Donate to charity
If you’re looking for a way to make a difference in a worthy cause this March, consider donating to a charitable organization supporting women – either locally or globally.
Here are a few organizations doing incredible work to fight for gender equality and women’s rights:
- Women for Women International invests in women survivors of war and conflict, connecting them with each other, resources, and support to realize their own power.
- AnitaB.Org envisions a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it. AnitaB.Org works to advance women in technology in the United States and across the world.
- Dress for Success is a global not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
Acknowledge the awesome women in your life
Sometimes, simple words of encouragement and love can go a long way in lifting someone up and inspiring them to keep going. Whether it’s your mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, girlfriend, or friend – send a text, call or Facetime an important woman in your life to let them know how awesome they are.