Top 10 ideas to Celebrate Women’s Day at Work
|Celebrate Women’s Day. Photo: edgepicture|
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. In this article, we share 10 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.
1. #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, according to Workflowmax.
2. Decorate the building and the office
Sometimes, the journey is the destination. How about building up the excitement to the big day by getting everyone involved in it? Instead of outsourcing the work of putting up buntings, balloons, and banners, break-up employees into smaller teams and give them different responsibilities. Don’t forget to include display posters that document stories of inspirational women as a part of this!
An example for you to decor is Planning an IWD library display. It doesn't have to be an actual library. If you don't have an office library, simply pick a cozy corner in the pantry and add a shelf. Some ideas for setting up the display include:
- Locate your IWD display in a high-traffic area to support awareness-raising.
- Feature classics by female authors, modern literature by and about women, and an assortment of biographies about great women in history.
- Provide exciting materials about great inventions and discoveries by women.
- Celebrate women's achievements via incorporating materials in the display featuring great female role models throughout history.
Some books you can include in the library are:
- Becoming, by Michelle Obama
- D-Day Girls, by Sarah Rose
- No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg
- In Pursuit of Disobedient Women, by Dionne Searcey
- Career Girls: Cautionary Tales for the Working Woman, by Ms T. McGill
- Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, by Caroline Criado Perez
- Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor, by Adrian Fort
3. Announce a color or dress code for the day
Encourage everyone at the office (not just the women) to turn up wearing a beautiful shade of pink or purple or follow a particular dress code. Colors add a dash of life to everything that we do – and what better way to show solidarity with all the women in office, than if everyone including senior management turns up in the same color, Focusu suggested.
We might be barely getting dressed at all right now, but this IWD encourages the whole team (men included) to switch up their go-to loungewear for Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack body con dress or Emmeline Pankhurst’s sash. Alternatively, organize a team-wide Suffragette White dress code.
4. 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 color – 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 the 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.
5. Enter a Competition
The International Women’s Day website lists an exciting selection of competitions anyone can enter, from photography, to cake decorating and design:
- Bake a cake: You or your company or nonprofit can design a cake that fits this year’s theme: just snap a photo and send it in. The deadline is ongoing.
- Photography: Take a photo that represents this year’s theme. For 2020, entries will be accepted between March 1 and 31.
- Rap: Write a rap centered on this year’s theme and upload your performance to YouTube. Top submissions will be featured on social leading up to the big day. Deadline is ongoing.
- Street art: Show off your themed community murals on instagram! There are 3 categories you can enter with varying deadlines, so you’ll wanna get an early start.
- Typography: Celebrate with type! There are 3 categories to enter in 2020 with varying deadlines, and 3 winners chosen worldwide per category, Givingassistant cited.
6. Host an Event or Party
This is a great idea whether you want to put something together for your workplace, community, or with your friends! The best part: The IWD organization already has the decorations covered, If they’re out of stock, no worries: Just stick to the color purple, the official shade of the day.
Here are some IWD party ideas:
- Host a corporate party to recognize women employees’ achievements.
- Host a community or block party to recognize women’s achievements locally, as well as educate everyone on how they can support gender equality in the neighborhood.
- Get together with friends and volunteer together, watch movies directed by women, or shop for women-owned businesses.
- Have fun, learn, celebrate, and express gratitude for the women that have brought us here. No budget necessary for that one!
7. Put a spotlight on the outstanding women at work
You're probably already giving out monthly and annual awards as part of your rewards and recognition program. So, why not one especially for IWD too?
Put this down to a nomination and let all employees share stories of the inspiring women in their team as well as their achievements in the past year.
Don't limit it to just the work-related KPIs. Also recognize their creativity, kindness, leadership skills, and effort to innovate (regardless of whether the project succeeded or not because it takes courage to try something new).
Share this via email or on the intranet, and even on your organization's social media channels as a way to highlight these champions, and of course, build your employer brand, Humanresourcesonline wrote.
8. Meaningful Gifts
Everyone loves gifts regardless of where they are on the corporate ladder. Gift each of the women in the office a bouquet of flowers, a card, and a bar of chocolate to make them feel special. You could also surprise them with gift vouchers for a dinner with family at an upmarket restaurant or shopping at a boutique.
Present your women employees with a memento in which their photos have been customized and printed, as a special remembrance to mark the day. Alternatively, you could also hand out personalized diaries, listing the names of all the women achievers in the organization and specially autographed by one such achiever.
9. The classic 'thank you' note
There's nothing like a classic 'thank you' note to set the tone for your IWD celebration. As we're now in the digital age, this is not limited to a physical card; it can also be in the form of a shout-out, a thoughtfully-crafted email, or a shareable social media card.
Don't have time to create a template? No problem - we've got you covered. Websites such as Greetings Island and Canva have plenty of beautiful free templates for you to choose from that can be printed out or shared via email or on various social media sites. If you're looking for a more official look, the official IWD website has a #EachforEqual branded social media card that is available for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
10. Team Outing
Similar to volunteering, International Women’s Day can be a perfect time to help reinforce team cohesion with a team-building activity, especially if it relates to gender equality or International Women’s Day itself.
For example, AXA XL's Women of the World (WoW) Bermuda chapter staff completed a large jigsaw puzzle with the 2018 International Women’s Day theme, #PressforProgress, printed on it. Not only did this help team collaboration, but the company said it also symbolized that everyone can play a part in working for gender balance.
The official International Women’s Day organization also runs a “best practices” competition, where organizations can enter themselves to win based on their activities. This can take teambuilding to a new level by rallying employees around your organization’s activities on this day, TINYpulse recommended.
Nothing like arranging a special team outing for all the women in your team. But plan it meticulously to make it special. You could choose activities that challenge the norms about what women can do or cannot do…. Like, say the Velocipede Challenge or Pirate Gaming Challenge Or Wine Tasting Challenge! You could arrange for a stand-up comedy evening by a female comedian, centered around women’s themes. Or you could get an inspirational motivational speaker like Deeya Bajaj to share her experiences! You are limited only by your own imagination.
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a worldwide celebration of women’s achievements, as well as a day of education, empowerment, and action. Its purpose is to promote gender equality across the globe. It has been observed since 1911.
The 2021 theme is Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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