International Women’s Day was first celebrated over 100 years ago in 1911. Today it is acknowledged around the world annually on 8th March. In 1911 the day took place on 19th March and saw millions of people march and rally to campaign for women’s rights.
It’s a day to draw attention to the issues facing women, from political and economic issues to social and cultural. International Women’s Day has become an important fixture in the global calendar and each year organisations, public bodies and individuals all over the world use the day to reflect upon and push forward for gender equality.
This year’s campaign theme is #EachforEqual, inspired by the concept of collective action the idea behind it is that we’re all equally as responsible for our thoughts and actions. It’s in our hands to decide how we choose to contribute towards the creation of a more equal world.
The world of technology still has a long way to go before its equal. At the moment the industry is made up of over 75% men, with women taking up a token of positions. The theme is an opportunity to reflect on why gender equality in tech is so difficult to achieve? And how the current inequality is being sustained?
It’s also an opportunity to look to the future and consider what an equal technology industry could look like. We are constantly reading increasing evidence that there is a direct relationship between increased profit, employee retention and positive brand association in more diverse and inclusive workplaces. A report by McKinsey Global Institute found that if women’s equality is advanced it could add approximately $12 trillion to GDP by 2025. Embracing #EachforEqual in tech is not only important socially and morally, but it’s crucial for global economic growth.
Women’s rights impact us all. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, at a time where the gender pay gap is still persistent and when across the globe the women’s education is still not being treated with the same importance as men’s, the fight for women’s rights is as important as ever.
Wherever you are in the world there are plenty of effective ways to celebrate International Women’s Day and promote the uniting of women around the world to campaign for real change. Here are some of our top ideas:
Visible female role models can have so much impact on having the confidence to keep working for and pushing for the job we want or the goal we want to accomplish. Reading about women who have set up companies from scratch and are now running profitable businesses is one example of a simple way to empower yourself and others to apply the same drive to your personal goals. What better day to dedicate time to reading up on female role models around the world, or in the industry you work in than International Women’s Day? For women in tech, reading about some of the most famous women who changed the world through technology is a way to invigorate your ambition in your tech career.
If International Women’s Day makes you feel compelled to do something to actively help other women in their careers, it could be the day to commit to signing yourself up to a mentorship programme. Mentorships are a powerful way to pass on your knowledge and empower other women, perhaps at an early stage in their career to push for promotions, learn as many skills as possible and feel inspired by your own experience that their ambition has no limits or bounds. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor or mentee in technology, find out about the Women in Tech Mentorship Programme here
Is there a particular skill you’ve been meaning to learn or read up on for ages? Have you bookmarked a ton of articles or YouTube videos on topics that will help you in your job? Or maybe you want to research industry relevant events to attend this year? International Women’s Day is the ideal day to reflect on your personal or career goals and gift yourself the productivity to take a positive step towards reaching your goals.
The whole premise of International Women’s Day centres on uniting with other women to create a force for change. In the digital age connecting with other like-minded women couldn’t be easier. There are plenty of online communities through platforms such as LinkedIn and other social media channels to network with other women. Imagine how many powerful conversations could be happening around the world if we all decided to reach out to at least one woman on International Women’s Day and share ideas on how to advance women’s rights.
Read more on achieving equality in the tech industry here