For over 100 years, International Women’s Day has signposted the way for celebrating women's achievements and enabling positive change around women's rights and equality.
Held on 8th March, this year's theme is choose to challenge. Here at Hire Space, we believe it's important that we as women choose to challenge every single day, whether that's challenging gender bias, inequality in the workplace, pay gaps, or other prejudices that women face on a daily basis. We must each choose to challenge these issues, learn to celebrate women's achievements, and create a more inclusive world for our daughters, sisters, mothers and even grandmothers.
International Women's Day is a fantastic opportunity to do just that, although this year's celebrations will be a little different to usual. We've listed a few ideas on how you and the women in your life can celebrate below.
1. Host a virtual coffee morning
Bring the whole office into the conversation and spend an hour or so away from your emails. Run a virtual coffee morning where you discuss feminist icons in history, your favourite books around gender equality, or even just come together for a chat around gender equality and share your personal experiences. You could even send out some goodies to accompany the celebrations, whether that's cupcakes or cocktails or anything in between.
You could also run a session where you focus on each woman on your team and highlight her personal and professional achievements to the rest of the team. It's really important to acknowledge and celebrate women in the workplace for what they contribute, which will not only empower them but also bring about more awareness to any barriers they may face. It's all about bringing achievements to light and enabling positive change.
2. Show your support on social
Engage in the conversation on social media by posting using the hashtags #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021. Comment, share, like, discuss and learn from women (and men) all over the world joining the celebration. Share your favourite books, podcasts, playlists or blogs around gender equality, get the conversation going and learn from each other.
The International Women's Day organisation have created some great resources you can use on your channels, which you just download and make your own with quotes, pictures, logos or whatever you like. You can access the free resources here. You could also try out their #ChooseToChallenge Selfie Cards, which will help start conversations and promote action. Take part in the official social media campaign by taking a selfie raising your hand in the air and sharing it on your platforms using the above hashtags.
3. Attend an IWD virtual conference
There are lots of virtual events taking place on 8th March, but this one caught our eye. AllBright are running a 24-Hour Global Summit in honour of International Women’s Day, where you can join motivational panel discussions and talks from global thought leaders and experts. Speakers include Fearne Cotton, the incredible Grace Tame and Marie Forleo. Sign up for free here.
4. Fundraise for a female-focused charity or organisation
Set your team a challenge on IWD to begin actively fundraising for female-focused charities across the world. You could choose 1 charity per quarter and run fundraising events and activities to support that charity such as sponsored runs, charity galas, talent shows, coffee mornings, raffles etc. Even though these events will be largely virtual for now, you can still find ways to create fantastic experiences for attendees that are in aid of a great cause. Suggestions of charities include Women for Women International, Imkaan or Care International, but there are some incredible charities you could fundraise for all over the world, so do some research and brainstorm how your team could fundraise.
If you need some guidance on your virtual events, we're always happy to help, so just shout.
5. Tell the women in your life you love them!
Colleagues, friends, sisters, aunties, mums, grandmothers, daughters, cousins... whoever they are, tell them you appreciate them! This day is all about celebrating each other and building each other up, so tell the women in your life how proud you are to know them and let's spread some love.
Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. - Ada Lovelace
6. Run an IWD movie evening
Invite the women in your life for an evening of snacks, drinks and a relevant film or documentary around strong women, gender issues, or even just a film directed by a woman. The idea is to get you thinking and learning about gender inequality whilst enjoying some downtime and having some fun with your colleagues or friends. Some suggestions are 'Hidden Figures', 'Hooligan Sparrow' or 'On The Basis Of Sex'. As you'll likely be doing this virtually, you could use Netflix Party or Amazon Prime Watch Party so you're all watching at the exact same time.
7. Ask your CEO to submit an Influencer Statement
Executive leaders, CEOs and Chairpersons are all key figures in helping to drive positive change and creating more inclusive workplaces. Ask your CEO to submit an IWD 2021 Influencer Statement to demonstrate they stand in support and that they are committed to ensuring your workplace is constantly improving. You can read some examples here.
8. Run an educational workshop
Hire Space has designed a collaborative, interactive virtual experience to educate and inspire your team on the history of the movement and its pioneers with a hosted talk and Q&A with an inspiring speaker, followed by interactive workshops and a chance to discuss in small groups. This is the perfect way to encourage your team to ask questions, raise issues and become more educated on gender equality so that you can bring about positive change to your organisations. You can even add food and drink delivery if you want to make it extra special; this experience is completely customisable to suit your team. Book here.
9. Join a session on gender bias in the workplace
If you're concerned about gender or race bias at your organisation, this engaging 60-minute session is sure to help. You'll be encouraged to look at issues from maternity to hiring practices, and take part in hearing real-life examples of organisations who have led from the front in ensuring an equal workforce at all levels. This session is ideal for company leaders, HR teams or even entire organisations looking to engage in discussion together. You can book this here.
10. Bring men into the conversation
Feminism all too often gets a bad reputation, but the fact of the matter is that feminism is simply about making women equal to men. Nothing more, nothing less. Men are an important part of this goal, and it's important to bring them on board so they can help mould attitudes and enforce positive change along the way. Involve men in your IWD celebrations and share with them the positive impact feminism can have, so that you're all singing from the same hymn sheet and not creating any gender separation in your team.
Happy IWD, ladies! You deserve it. As a parting note in the words of Dolly Parton: "Don't limit yourself just because people won't accept the fact that you can do something else."
If you’re interested in finding out more or want to start planning your virtual International Women’s Day celebration, book a free consultation below to get started.