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How to Celebrate International Women's Day at Work

International Women's Day is an annual global holiday raising awareness of gender parity, reproductive rights, and violence against women. Read on for tips on how to fight for gender equality and uplift women at work this International Women's Day.

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What is the history behind International Women's Day? ๐Ÿ’ญ

International Women's Day is a global holiday centering on women's issues brought to light by the Women's Rights Movement, celebrated annually on March 8th. The earliest reported observance of Women's Day, called "National Women's Day", was held in New York City's Lower East Side in 1908 to protest child labor and sweatshop working conditions, and to overall demand women's suffrage.

By 1910, as a result of labor movements in North America and Europe gaining momentum, International Women's Day was officially recognized globally. Now, it's commemorated in a variety of ways all around the world, as a public holiday in many countries, with social and local celebrations to celebrate the achievements of women. The United Nations recognizes the holiday each year in connection with a specific campaign, or theme, to tackle women's rights issues.

Celebrate women: The International Women's Day theme for 2024 is #InspireInclusion!

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Why do we still celebrate International Women's Day? ๐ŸŽŠ

There's still plenty of work to be done when it comes to women's rights and building a gender-equal world for all.

Studies by McKinsey show that, although there have been major strides for gender representation in workplace, many women report feeling overlooked and undervalued:

  • For every 100 men promoted to a management position, only 87 women are promoted to management roles, and only 82 women of color receive promotions.
  • Women in leadership roles feel overworked and under-recognized. 40% of women report that their DEI work isn't acknowledged in performance reviews.
  • 43% of women leaders report feeling burnout, compared to only 31% of male counterparts at the same level.

Gender disparity doesn't stop in the office. Globally, attacks on women's rights are back on the rise, including the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe vs. Wade, gender-based violence in Ethiopia, restrictions on young women and girls' rights in Afghanistan, and more.

Consider these statistics about women's global status provided by Womankind Worldwide:

  • 1 in 3 women around the world experience violence.
  • Less than 15% of landholders worldwide are women.
  • Currently, only 25% of politicians and parliamentarians around the world are women. Women lead less than 25 of the world's 196 countries.

There are many ways for companies to observe International Women's Day with their teams. Here are some ideas that draw attention to issues affecting women, recognize women's achievements, and take action toward equality.

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4 ideas for celebrating International Women's Day:

1. Support a global charity focused on gender equality ๐ŸŒŽ

This year, embrace equity by fundraising as a workplace for an organization fighting to close the gender gap.

Need some ideas on where to donate? Here are some charities advocating for women's rights and gender equality all over the world:

  • Equality Now: A global feminist organization campaigning for legal and systemic change to address violence and discrimination against girls and young women. Since 1992, their international network of activists, lawyers, and supporters has held governments responsible for ending legal inequality, sexual harassment and violence, and other harmful practices.
  • Womankind Worldwide: A UK-based, global women's rights organization that works in tandem with women's movements around the world to provide resources needed to challenge the gender gap and advance women's economic rights, influence, and decision-making power.
  • Catalyst: A global nonprofit supported by leading companies and CEOs to build workplaces that not only work for women, but accelerate women's progress in the workplace and leadership positions through diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

The Center for Reproductive Rights: The only global legal human rights organization dedicated to protecting and advancing reproductive rights for women, and people of all genders: including access to life-saving care, safe abortion protection, contraception, as well as preventing forced sterilization, child marriage, and more.

Why is this a great way to celebrate International Women's Day? It's always a great time to fundraise as an office, especially on socially conscious holidays such as IWD. Workplace fundraising increases awareness of your corporation's values and commitments and encourages kindness, generosity, and employee engagement within teams.

How to get started ๐Ÿ‘‰ Encourage employees to donate to organizations empowering women! Read our blog by Good Today on How to Boost Employee Engagement for Charitable Giving Programs for more information.

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2. Support women-owned businesses ๐Ÿ’ต

This International Women's Day, and Women's History Month as a whole, consider ways you can support women-owned businesses through your company culture, team building activities, and celebrations. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Say 'Thank You' to the hard-working women in your office with gifts made by women. (Check out our guide to corporate gift-giving for more tips!)
  • Host a Lunch and Learn catered by a local woman-owned restaurant and invite a female speaker to lead your event!
  • Plan interesting events and team building activities hosted by other women, such as a group exercise class, crafting experience, or one of Confetti's favorite events: a Charcuterie Board Making Class hosted by a mother and daughter duo!

Why is this a great way to celebrate International Women's Day? By supporting women-owned small businesses, you're directly impacting the success and business growth of these companies, and improving women's economic position overall!

How to get started ๐Ÿ‘‰ Make IWD sweet! Try some chocolate and learn about the amazing women making Cacao farming more equitable and sustainable in Women in Cacao Chocolate Tasting!
Virtual Women in Cacao Chocolate Tasting by Confetti

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3. Play Women's History Mini Games ๐ŸŽฒ

Celebrate Women's Day by playing a round of Women's History Mini Games! In this fast-paced game, your teams will work together to solve brain teasers and puzzles all about Women's History activists, quotable women, music, media, and more!

Not only is this a great way to learn more about women who have made an impact on the world, but it provides an interactive opportunity for the whole team to get together for a team building activity and a little friendly competition. We guarantee your colleagues will make some memories and have a laugh, all while learning something new about women's history!

Why is this a great way to celebrate International Women's Day? In addition to the knowledge your team will gain about women's history, all of Confetti's Mini Games feature a charitable component, so you're also giving back when you play! The points you win during Women's History Mini Games will go towards a global charity fighting for gender equality.

How to get started ๐Ÿ‘‰ Guess the inspiring women in Women's History Mini Games!

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4. Form a Women's Employee Resource Group ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

If you don't have an established resource group for the women in your office, now is a great opportunity to get one started. Employee Resource Groups are valuable tools for creating diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Why is this a great way to celebrate International Women's Day? Women's ERGs champion the mission that's central to International Women's Day. They help women to foster connections that provide mental health support, and allow them to discover leadership capabilities, unlock career advancement opportunities, and uphold diversity and inclusion efforts.

How to get started ๐Ÿ‘‰ Find leadership to help form your ERG, establish your mission and goals, and start recruiting members!

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Plan International Women's Day Activities with Confetti ๐ŸŽ‰

This International Women's Day, plan activities that raise awareness for women's rights and promote equality for all. Find globally conscious organizations to fundraise for, host events led by women, and support women-owned businesses, as well as the women in your office.

Ready to plan your event? Check out our Women's History Month collection for more activities that are perfect for celebrating International Women's Day with your team!
Women's History & Culture by Confetti
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