Today is International Women’s Day, a day to commemorate the movement for women’s rights, and press for gender equality around the world – but how can we celebrate it?
All too often I hear stories of cupcakes being distributed around offices.
I can’t help but think – this isn’t enough, it’s a waste of money and it’s not actually making a difference!
Also, International Women’s Day is usually all about women. Men often don’t feel like they are part of the celebration.
That’s why this year, we are doing something really different, we are not only involving your brave and courageous men, but we are allowing these men to take up a unique challenge – a challenge that will have impact!
I’ll come on to what the challenge is in a moment, but first let me explain why we need men involved and engaged to achieve gender parity.
In 2017, the World Economic Forum revealed that gender parity is nearly 200 years away.
Women make up half the workforce across the world, but this is not reflected in the boardroom or on the list of CEO’s running the top companies across the world.
Movements like #metoo and #timesup have fuelled the global activism for gender equality – but we need to continue to press for progress.
Which by the way is the International Women’s Day theme and hashtag for this year – #pressforprogress.
One of the reasons we need men involved is because collective action and shared ownership for driving gender parity is what makes International Women’s Day a success.
Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained: “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”
Another reason we need men involved is because it will benefit men too.
The advantages of diversity in the workplace has been proven to allow for greater creativity and productivity by increasing the talent pool. This in turn increases profit, marketability and employee satisfaction.
It is also important to note that by engaging men with gender diversity and encouraging change, we are also addressing the inequality others may experience in the workplace, such as men who don’t fit the “masculine” stereotype, or people from other cultures, sexual orientations or backgrounds.
By working towards a diverse and equal opportunity workforce we are delivering equality for the masses.
The need to engage men with gender diversity is a critical first step to improving inequality in the workplace and creating real change in a business and around the world.
Now back to the challenge.
If you want to make a REAL difference to your organisation, and you have passionate men asking how they can be involved, because they want to create change for their daughters, colleagues, business, and the world: sign them up to the Male Champions of Change: International Women’s Day challenge.
The challenge, starting in July, provides men with an understanding of how to be a gender inclusive leader.
Over the course of 10 weeks, brave male leaders will progress through the Courage: Inclusive Leadership in Action online program, webinars and action based experimentation.
Speak to us today to find out how to celebrate International Women’s Day by doing something that will make a real difference.
Engage your men with the how, why and what of gender equity, and how to become action oriented gender champions.