International Women’s Day is an annual celebration of women around the world. If you’re here, then you’re looking for some ideas for International Women’s Day to help you celebrate at work – which is great!
The campaign brings women’s issues into focus to try to create a gender-equal world. It also aims to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about discrimination and to drive gender parity.
So let’s take a look at what International Women’s Day is, and then we’ll get into 5 great ideas to help you celebrate in your workplace.
When is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is an annual event celebrated globally. It takes place on the same day each year, the 8th of March. In 2023, International Women’s Day falls on a Wednesday.
What is this year’s theme for International Women’s Day?
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. The idea behind this is to continue working towards a gender-equal world. Additionally, the aim is to end gender-related bias, stereotypes and discrimination.
How can your workplace get involved in International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate women in the workplace. You can recognise women’s achievements, tackle discrimination, and improve women’s wellbeing with some easy campaigns.
So, if you’re looking for ideas for International Women’s Day in the workplace, keep reading.
Recognise Women’s Achievements in the Workplace
Despite lower working-age employment rates, women play an equally important role in the workplace as men.
Take the time to recognise the work that women do in your workplace by hosting a team coffee morning. You can speak about specific women in your business and what they have achieved. You can also invite colleagues to talk about important women in their lives and what they’ve achieved.
Raise Money for a Women’s Charity
It’s an unfortunate fact that women are significantly more likely to be a victim of domestic abuse than men. This is especially true of physical abuse.
As such, you should consider raising money for a charity such as Women’s Aid or Refuge. You could run with simple ideas such as a bake sale or dress-down day. You could even encourage staff to get involved in a physical challenge such as a sponsored walk or bike ride. This has the added bonus of promoting physical activity, too!
Offer Free Period Products in Workplace Bathrooms
Most women will have periods during their lifetime. Some of your staff may have reached menopause, so may no longer have periods. It’s a simple fact of life for the majority of women.
And period products can cost a lot of money. In fact, the charity Bloody Good Period estimates this cost to be £4,800 over the course of a woman’s menstruating years. Which seems like a significant amount of money for something natural that most women go through in the course of life.
Additionally, despite the ‘tampon tax’ rate of 5% VAT on period products being scrapped in 2021, most retailers haven’t passed the savings on to consumers.
Unfair, right? Show women in your workplace that you value them by offering free period products. It’s a minimal cost in the grand scheme of things and shows that your workplace recognises reproductive health.
Support Women with Wellbeing Workshops
Speaking of reproductive health, menopause should also be on your radar when it comes to ideas for International Women’s Day.
Menopause-age women are the fastest-growing demographic in UK workplaces. This indicates that a good chunk of your staff could be experiencing menopause symptoms. But do you know what these symptoms are? Do your colleagues and your people managers?
Workplace support for menopause is absolutely crucial, given some of the data around current levels of support. In a CIPD survey, of menopause-age women who reported symptoms negatively affecting their work:
- 65% said they were less able to concentrate.
- 58% said they experienced more stress.
- 30% had taken sick leave due to symptoms (but only a quarter of these felt able to tell their manager.)
- And only 32% reported having a supportive manager when it comes to menopause symptoms.
Menopause awareness workshops are a great way to promote support and understanding in the workplace. It can help staff and managers understand what menopause is, what symptoms people are likely to experience, and how to be a supportive presence for someone.
Here at New Leaf Health, we offer a workshop that is suitable for everyone to attend, including those who won’t experience menopause. The workshop helps get everyone on the same page, using the same language, and generally helps to create a more supportive environment when it comes to menopause.
Tackle Bias and Stereotypes in the Workplace
Despite plenty of progress in recent decades, gender bias is still present in the workplace. A recent poll from Samsung UK of employees from around the UK uncovered some seriously shocking behaviour:
- Respondents cited being called “love” by clients and “girl” by their boss.
- Some reported being called “a woman of [your] age” and a “typical blonde woman.”
Additionally, less overt gender bias was also uncovered:
- Women were three times as likely to be asked to make tea/coffee than men.
- Women were twice as likely to be asked about the wellbeing of their children than men.
- Women were twice as likely to be assigned menial or admin-based tasks than men.
- Women were three times as likely to be the target of sexist jokes than men.
Most respondents felt that this held them back from reaching their potential. Interestingly, men who experienced gender bias reported the exact same feeling. In other words, everyone in the workplace experiences the same negative effects of this behaviour, yet it is disproportionately targeted towards women.
The poll also looked at some ways to tackle gender bias at work, with some suggestions for positive change:
- Offer training on how to be sensitive to and inclusive of all genders.
- Implement training to address what gendered language is and how to change language use.
- Review language in job descriptions.
- Review external messaging language e.g. company website, careers page etc.
- Use positive messaging/signage in the office.
Small changes like these could make a massive difference to someone’s working experience. Additionally, implementing some of these initiatives could help women in your workplace reach their full potential. Which is an easy win for everyone.
So that’s it for this list, but if you’re looking for more ways to support women in the workplace, why not check out some of our Wellbeing Workshops? Simply click the link below to browse them all, including a Women’s Health Workshop!