Time to #EmbraceEquity on International Women’s Day

Emma Nicholson is diversity and inclusion ambassador for IoD Yorkshire and North East.

International Women’s Day takes place on 8 March 2023, and this year’s theme is embracing equity.

Collectively as directors and leaders we can all set a good example in the workplace on critical issues such as discrimination, gender stereotyping and bias, while working towards more inclusive workplaces.

Men and women in senior positions are incredibly important for the social, economic, cultural and political advancement of women. Are you an inspirational role model? Is someone you know an inspiration to you or inspiring others?

Being a woman in male-dominated sectors or workplaces or boardrooms can feel isolating for some women. Just being supportive and creating an inclusive environment can make a positive difference.

Women may experience imposter syndrome as they rise up the career ladder or even when starting out in a senior leadership role or new job. Empowering women to be successful will increase the number of women in senior positions within companies and at board level.

Background to International Women’s Day (IWD)

The first official IWD was in 1975, when it was recognised by the United Nations (UN).

Back then it was known as National Woman’s Day, and it was first proposed by Theresa Malkiel, commemorating a protest by women garment workers in New York City on 8 March 1857.

Inspired by Malkiel and other American activists, German socialist Luise Zietz suggested there be an annual Women’s Day, and 100 delegates from 17 countries agreed with the suggestion as a means to continue promoting the rights of women, including suffrage.

In 1908, a women’s rights march in New York City saw 15,000 garment workers again advocating for better pay and voting rights.

IWD was commemorated in the United States on 28 February 1909. The following year, IWD was officially marked for the first time. More than one million people celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Women demanded the right to vote, to fight against discrimination in the workplace and to hold public office.

The day has since been marked annually on 8 March in remembrance of that initial protest in the 19th century. This year the #IWD23 hashtag will also be used to unite conversations online.

You can show support by dressing in campaign colours purple, green and white to represent justice, dignity, hope and purity. This important day marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

Equality involves everyone receiving the same treatment, whereas equity requires fair treatment according to each person’s needs and situation.

Together we can all #EmbraceEquity and celebrate the great power in networks and networking.

Find out more about events in your area: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Events

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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