This March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD), a “global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women — while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender equality.” This year’s IWD theme is #EachforEqual.
How We Can Promote Gender Equality in Business
When you think about how to lead the charge for gender equality in your own business, take a page from these suggestions compiled by UN Women:
Fight for an equal work culture
- Fight for equal representation of women in leadership and boardrooms, equal pay for work of equal value, and education courses on gender equality.
Push for ways to make professional life easier for parents
- Advocate for strong parental leave policies. Fathers should also take parental leave when it’s available to destigmatize the issue.
- Offer reentry programs for stay-at-home parents to make it easier for them to rejoin the workforce.
- Offer flexible work schedules.
- Provide mentors or advocates in their profession.
- Teach negotiation skills and other skills that professionals need to succeed. See Bridget’s recent article in Advisor Perspectives on the importance of negotiating.
Combat sexism and harassment
- Speak up when you see inappropriate behavior and get help from others, especially if it’s an unsafe situation.
Support gender-equitable companies and causes, and shop responsibly
- Check out Equileap’s annual list of the world’s 100 most gender-equitable companies, based on the Women’s Empowerment Principles. Here’s their 2019 report.
- Pick a gender equality topic you care about and find a group or campaign dedicated to it. No step is too small — attend a townhall meeting, share a news article, and if you can’t find a group working on your issue, consider starting one.
Challenge gender stereotypes early
- Encourage girls to speak out and assert themselves. Fight toxic gender stereotypes that discourage boys from expressing their feelings and communicating openly.
Support Women on IWD and Beyond
As the International Women’s Day website states, equality is not a women’s issue — it’s a business issue. Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive.
The fight for gender equality is a year-long mission, not just a one-day event. Let us know how you’re supporting women and fighting for equality — in boardrooms, government, media coverage, workplaces, sports coverage, health, and wealth.