Celebrating International Women's Day at The Office

International Women's Day has been held on the 8th of March for over a century. On this day, we celebrate women across the globe and advocate for their rights. This year's theme, #breakthebias, challenges biases and discrimination affecting women in society. From wearing purple and hosting mentors to openly talking about ongoing workplace issues, we're listing the small and big ways to create a discrimination-free workplace for female employees in honour of International Women’s Day.

On Wearing Purple and Why It's Significant

Show your support this International Women's Day by wearing purple.

Purple is the most significant colour to wear on International Women's Day because it's been historically associated with efforts to achieve gender equality.

Having employees don purple clothing sets the right tone for inclusivity and balance in the workplace.

Having employees don purple clothing sets the right tone for inclusivity and balance in the workplace.

Run A Coffee Morning Chat

Host a virtual coffee conversation about gender equality with your employees. Encourage everyone to actively participate in the discussion.

This chat should provide people with a platform to speak freely about personal experiences, ongoing work issues, female icons who've influenced their lives or whatever springs to mind in the moment. Use this time to educate others about the significance of International Women's Day.

Sensitive conversational topics might come up and spark debates. However, these can open communication lines and might even lead to transformed ways of thinking in some participants. That said, there should be a facilitator around to ensure that the conversation stays on track and doesn't become hostile, malicious, or offensive.

Speak Up!

We remain silent about archaic ways of thinking, antiquated terminology, jokes or blatant workplace discrimination too often.

Correct your employees if they say things or act in a way that undermines women. Explain why it's offensive, harmful, demeaning or outright sexist.

Include Men In The Discussion

Feminism gets a bad rap because it's often misunderstood, misconstrued or misrepresented.

Getting men actively involved in the conversation will help them see why it's crucial to dismantle gender inequality in the workplace.

They should be more than passive observers, too - ask them for innovative suggestions to boost women in the workplace and stamp out sexism internally. Make teachable moments out of this exercise by questioning backwards or previously unchallenged views and unprogressive ways of thinking! To do better, people need to know better.

Bring in a Motivational Speaker

Arrange for a renowned female speaker who publicly advocates for change and actively challenges gender norms to speak to your staff.

Their voices, insights and inspirational life stories can only motivate people to enact change within their workplace while exposing the unique set of obstacles women face every day.

Arrange for a renowned female speaker who publicly advocates for change and actively challenges gender norms to speak to your staff.

Support And Appreciate Each Other

Remember to send personalised emails to your female work colleagues and friends, showing your appreciation for their work contributions.

We all need our work cheerleaders who support and build us up on International Women's Day and every other day.

Organise A Movie Evening

An evening with drinks, popcorn, and a film featuring a strong female lead or director or a storyline focusing on gender inequality is one well spent. It will get you thinking and learning about gender-related issues while spending time with your colleagues.

Support A Female-Focused Charity

There are so many charities and not-for-profit organizations worth supporting to fight for greater equality.

You can confidently donate to the following internationally recognised charity programmes knowing they aim to assist, protect and empower women and girls in need.

The World Association Of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)

Equality Now

Dress For Success

Nomi Network

Share Spotify Playlists and Podcasts

If your office allows music to play in the background, why not ask employees for recommendations sung by female artists? This exercise is about so much more than singing along to good tunes but broadcasts talents in a male-dominated industry while expanding people's taste in music.

You could also share your favourite female podcasters and bloggers with your colleagues in a bid to boost their visibility and listenership. On a platform where podcasts hosted by men outnumber those hosted by women, it's vital to have more female voices heard.

Publicly Praise The Work Your Female Employees Do

Validation goes a long way. Run a session on International Women's Day that publicly applauds the women in your company.

Acknowledging and celebrating their roles isn't just empowering but also gives others a better idea of what they do and how much they do, which may hopefully lead to them being less undervalued and overworked by their peers and managers.

Run a session on International Women's Day that publicly applauds the women in your company.

Test People's Knowledge Of Iconic Females Who Made History

Who famously refused to give up her seat for a white passenger? Can you name America's first female vice-president? Which female actor, dancer and journalist is recognised as one the most prominent figures for modern American literature?

Pay tribute to iconic females of the past and test your knowledge by competing in a trivia quiz with colleagues in small groups at the office or online.

This fun and interactive brain exercise reiterates women's contributions, sacrifices, achievements, and the work that still needs to be done.

Support Female-Run Business

Rather than making corporate giants even richer, invest in female-owned businesses in the name of economic empowerment.

Female entrepreneurs are making waves in the realm of business, and by supporting them, you're contributing to their growth.

For women's month and beyond, look at contributing financially to women-owned brands across the food, fitness, fashion and other industries.

Support Your Local Female Comedian

Treat your staff to a comedy show themed around women that shed light on poignant issues through humour.

Take To Social Media

Because we live in a digitized world, raising awareness and fighting for gender equality in the virtual world makes sense.

Posting your support on social media using the hashtag #breakthebias is a fantastic way to encourage conversation and connect with women on an international scale.

Your company can show their solidarity online in the following ways.

Publicly list the achievements of your female employees to the world.

Pay tribute and raise awareness about pioneering women in your respective industry by highlighting how their accomplishments and innovation have shaped modern times.

Take the time to listen and engage with your social media followers by taking an interest in what they have to say and their stories.

Whether you're uploading creative content, giving shoutouts to hard-working employees, posting inspirational quotes, or praising female pioneers, it's important to keep your social media accounts active.

Posting your support on social media using the hashtag #breakthebias is a fantastic way to encourage conversation and connect with women on an international scale.

We Need To Do More Than Showing Our Support, Respect and Admiration

Celebrating women shouldn't be a once-a-year thing. Instead, we should be pushing for an inclusive, diverse and equal workplace all the time.

The activities we mentioned above are great ways of uplifting women. Still, we need to be taking action by putting more women in leadership roles, enforcing better pay structures, and making the workplace women-friendly generally for this generation and the next.

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