Last night I played hockey with a female engineer (let’s call her Simone). Before the game we were talking about International Women's Day (IWD). I asked if the engineering consulting firm she worked for celebrated or acknowledged IWD in any way. Simone said a couple of years ago all the women at the firm received flowers and last year they received a Starbucks gift card.
Are YOU kidding me?
I would guess that the decisions to recognize IWD in Simone’s engineering firm look similar to the health care discussions at the White House.
While flowers and coffee are lovely birthday gifts (ahem, we can recommend gifts a little more personal than that) her firm is fully and completely missing the mark about IWD.
Let’s take a step back and reflect on what International Women’s Day is about.
Women are looking for gender equality.
We don’t want flowers, we expect parity.
WHY An equal world is an enabled world; it can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious. It’s essential for economies and communities to thrive.
In the words of Meghan Markle:
“Women make up more than half of the world’s population and potential, so it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for our voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision making.
The way that we change that, in my opinion, is to mobilize girls and women to see their value as leaders and support them in these efforts…”
Celebrate women’s achievement
Make space for women who inspire you. Increase their visibility and share their stories and credit their work. Celebrate advancement and champion the women forging innovation and social justice. Honour them and INSPIRE FORWARD!
Raise awareness against bias
Claim your voice. Speak up when you see bias or inequality. You don't need to be cruel to get your message across effectively.
Take action for equality
Applaud good practices of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. Take to social media and share admirable practices. For every action, there is a reaction.
WHO This is not about the actions of feminists or even women specifically, it’s about the COLLECTIVE efforts of everyone. We are all part of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets impact our society at large.
WHEN Every. Single. Day.
YES, March 8th 2020 is recognized as IWD and is absolutely necessary to create awareness about gender equality and celebrate women’s achievements.
AND, it’s predicted to take another 99 years to achieve gender equality. That’s right, our daughters and their daughters will struggle with being ‘less than’ men in some part of their lives. Another 99 International Women’s Day is not the magic bullet; it’s the everyday moments of celebrating women’s success, challenging bias and taking action towards equality that will result in women reaching parity.
This year’s IWD theme is #EachforEqual. So put your arms out front and strike the #EachforEqual pose to pledge to equalize genders.
Here’s Karen Lamont, founder of CITRUS, striking her pose for equality.
In the words of the International Women’s Day organization:
“The race is on for the gender equal boardroom, a gender equal government, gender equal media coverage, gender equal workplaces, gender equal sports coverage, more gender equality in health and wealth ... so let's make it happen. Let's be #EachforEqual.”
We need to strive for a future that works for all.
No action is too small to create a reaction.
Here's your chance to INSPIRE FORWARD in a meaningful way to remind them of the importance of their leadership and mentorship.
During our Buy One, Get One event, choose a silk wrap and a word that conveys her impact (ie. brave, community, inspire). Gift it to her as a memento of her impact and let it inspire her to do more.
Choose a 2nd silk wrap and word to gift another impactful woman (this one is on us). OR, consider sending both to one woman and suggest she wear one and gift one to a woman who has inspired her.
In the spirit of IWD, you can see how a small gesture can celebrate achievement and inspire forward.
ARE YOU READY TO INSPIRE FORWARD?
Ends March 17, 2020. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
Follow @craftedbycitrus onIGandFacebookfor inspiraion on how YOU can have an impact. We’re also putting a spotlight on some of our favourite organizations, both big and small, who inspire us and are moving the dial on gender parity.
Tell us what you're doing to close the gap on gender inequality. Or, let us know how you're celebrating this March 8th. Leave your comments below.