This past week, for International Women’s Day people from all over the world, celebrated the accomplishments of women, the progress that has been made towards gender parity. But, creating a gender-balanced world, will take far more than one day of recognition and celebration. Despite the progress that has been made in the last 40-50 years, we still have quite a ways to go.
Harness the momentum of International Women’s Day and take action in the following ten ways:
Support women-owned businesses, especially those led by women of color.
According to last year’s State of Women Report, “If revenues generated by minority women-owned firms matched those currently generated by all women-owned businesses, they would add four million new jobs and $1.2 trillion in revenues to the U.S. economy.?
Challenge gender bias.
Speaking up about personal experiences and all-out discrimination or stereotyping in advertising or the media when you see it. Utilize Lean In’s free resource to host a 5o Ways to Combat Bias workshop at your work.
Talk to leaders.
Start conversations of leaders within the organizations you are a part of about their plans for creating and maintaining a diverse workforce and hold them accountable if they have set a plan into motion.
Make a pledge for gender parity.
Together with your friends and colleagues, make a pledge and outline the steps you will take. In 2017, the United Nations took a pledge for parity by establishing a Gender Parity Task Force to create a plan with timelines and all. Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres says,
The meaningful inclusion of women in decision-making increases effectiveness and productivity, brings new perspectives and solutions to the table, unlocks greater resources and strengthens efforts across all the three pillars of our work.
Get involved and support organizations that empower women.
Here are a few to consider:
- Girls Who Code
- UN Women
- Women’s Global Empowerment Fund
- Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund
- Dress for Success
- Ellevate Women’s Network
Educate young leaders giving them access to books with feminist icons and ideas.
Create a campaign or initiative.
Gather information from ideas started for International Women’s Day and create your own to inspire, motivate, or educate audiences about gender bias and the importance of gender equality.
Close the wage gap.
- Encourage your employer to create a transparent and structured compensation plan to ensure equal pay.
- Learn to negotiate your own salary.
- Call your senators and ask them to push legislation like the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Push for better childcare options.
Start a conversation with employers about offering flexible hours or HR about incorporate a flexible spending account for employees to use to offset the cost of childcare. Advocate for paternal leave for both men and women.
- Enroll in an implicit bias course.
- Listen to stories of women and girls and believe them.
- Encourage women in non-traditional vocations
- Stop violence and harassment.
- Lead by example.
There are countless ways to create gender balance. We all have a responsibility to do our part.
“Change is not inevitable – it happens only when each of us does what we can.” – Tina Tchen, Assistant to President Barack Obama; Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama; and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls