International Women’s History Month is celebrated in March. It is designed to acknowledge and honour the contributions women have made to history and modern society.
However, it’s crucial to celebrate women in and out of the month of March. Therefore, in this blog, we’ve shared 13 strategies that you can implement to celebrate the women in your organization.
Let’s dive in!
How to support and celebrate women in your workplace during Women’s History Month (and beyond)
1. Celebrate the women in your team
International Women’s History Month is the perfect time to appreciate the contributions of the women in your team.
Here’s the thing. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture.
You can do something as simple as calling them out on your team-wide meeting or company slack channel. You can send cheers or kudos virtually or just acknowledge their work before a meeting.
Studies have shown that managers across different organizations agree that recognizing your employees’ contributions is an excellent way to make them feel valued and improve the retention rate.
2. Support women-owned businesses
One of the best ways for organizations to celebrate International Women’s History month is by supporting women-owned businesses and encouraging other people to do the same.
There are around 11.6 million businesses owned by women in the US, and this number keeps rising every year. However, these women-owned companies only make up 31% of the total businesses in the country.
Here are some ways your organization can support women-led businesses:
- Collaborate. The most obvious course of supporting female-owned companies is giving them your business.
- Invest. Women have limited access to capital worldwide. Sometimes, investing in women-led businesses can be the difference between sinking and staying afloat. It can make it easier for them to provide high-quality products and services, employ skilled workers, and market themselves. Your organization should also incorporate gender-lens investing strategies. This primarily involves investing in products and services that help empower women on a social and economic level.
- Donate. If you can’t contribute financially, you should consider donating your products, services, or even your expertise. You can provide your products or services for free to certain entities during Women’s History Month. Furthermore, if you have a well-established business, you can offer mentorship to women entrepreneurs starting their journey. These are valuable tools for small companies led by women who are just starting out.
- Build sustainable partnerships. Instead of sourcing raw materials or products from big companies, you should consider partnering with local businesses owned by women and supporting your own community.
3. Celebrate the history and achievements of women in your company, industry, and community
Every business has a fascinating and meaningful backstory, and women are usually a part of it. By highlighting the history and accomplishments of women in your company, industry, or community, you’re encouraging people from your organization to learn more about these trailblazers.
There are several ways you can celebrate these women by sharing their stories and contributions via email, the company newsletter, the official website, or even your slack channel.
4. Celebrate the history and achievements of women of colour
According to research by Catalyst, people of colour make up nearly 40% of the population in the United States. However, even with this increase in diversity, the presence of women of colour is still relatively low.
While the contributions of white activists are actively recognized, women of colour are usually overlooked.
When you highlight their history and achievements, it makes your workplace more diverse and inclusive and helps normalize their experiences.
5. Encourage people to donate and support women’s organizations
Volunteering and donating time, money, and other resources to NGOs and other women’s organizations is an excellent way to have a direct impact on the lives of women.
The easiest way to do this is to get in touch with a local women’s shelter and find out the different ways your organization can help these communities. Another way is organizing a social campaign in your own organization and encouraging your employees to donate and support these women’s organizations.
6. Provide professional mentorship to support women
The pandemic has had a negative impact on people’s mental health worldwide. Therefore, it’s crucial to invest in coaching and training programs to help employees work through their mental health issues.
However, that isn’t all. In addition to the stress and anxiety due to the pandemic, many women are losing their jobs because of a lack of skills and technologies to work remotely or to train for a new job role.
Studies have reflected that work breaks women experience after an outbreak is more irreconcilable than men. Therefore, it’s vital to prioritize upskilling and resilience training that will help empower women to keep their jobs and climb up the corporate ladder.
7. Create a dedicated space for women in your company to connect and share their experiences
Organizations that prioritize coaching, mentoring, and community building for female professionals create a robust network among their employees and pave the way for future leaders.
The steps you take towards empowering women employees will help them feel valued and motivate them to strive for success.
8. Encourage and host women-centric activities
Team building activities allow employees to enjoy some downtime and build deeper relationships with their coworkers. Encouraging employees to participate in such activities fosters personal and professional development.
It helps businesses broaden their strategies to show how much they value their female employees.
This International Women’s History Month, you can conduct women-centric virtual experiences to open dialogue and help your team understand the struggles female professionals face in the corporate world.
Here are several virtual team-building experiences that you can conduct to bring together your team over women-centric topics.
This interactive quiz primarily focuses on the history and achievements of trailblazing women from all over the world. It’s funny and engaging and is an excellent way to enlighten your employees about the struggles and accomplishments of women.
This is a creative and relaxing canvas painting session where your team will be handed all the tools to paint female artists who have helped paint the world’s visual history.
Musical bingo is an exciting twist over the traditional bingo game. It’s an excellent team-building activity for big teams where participants can jam to the greatest female artists of all time. Along with a bit of competitiveness, your team will lip-sync, dance, and have a ball during this virtual experience.
- Celebrate Women In Comedy With A Virtual Stand Up By A Star Female Comedian (UK)
Comedy has been a boys club. It’s 2022, and female comedians still struggle with setbacks and under-representation in this industry.
However, the comedy landscape has evolved a lot over the years and has become more diverse and inclusive.
This International Women’s History Month, you can host a virtual stand up show by star female comedians like Jo Caulfield, Sara Barron, and Tiff Stevenson!
9. Support female leadership across the organization
Women are under-represented in leadership positions all over the world. This lack of women in decision-making roles reflects the failure of businesses to recognize the need for gender diversity.
The voices and interests of women should be reflected in the company’s decisions and policies.
Gender equality and diversity have a significant impact on businesses and the overall economy of the nation.
However, aside from the financial aspect, including both men and women in the decision-making process has numerous other benefits.
A gender-diverse leadership panel has a broad range of perspectives, boosts creativity and innovation, creates a diverse pool of talent, reduces conflicts, and improves decision-making.
It has been seen that a gender-diverse panel makes more sustainable decisions.
Furthermore, the company’s brand image is strengthened with a gender-balanced leadership committee.
The female leadership style also adds more to the organization in terms of diversity.
Women are widely known to better deal with complicated relationships. They pay more attention to the needs of their team members and are inclined towards preventing and resolving conflicts.
Female leaders willingly share their ideas and opinions with their coworkers and proactively reach out to individuals to provide feedback to help them improve themselves.
10. Help women empower other women in your company
Give female leaders the freedom and ability to build a close-knit network within the company to empower other women in the organization.
According to reports by Harvard Business Review, female employees who have a close circle of female contacts have a higher probability of landing executive positions that hold greater authority and offer higher compensation.
An active female community will help women be more open about their professional and personal goals.
They’ll get the space to celebrate their accomplishments and cheer each other on. This particularly helps fight imposter syndrome and ensures the company retains skilled employees.
They’ll gain access to specialized resources and knowledge that will aid them in improving their skills and becoming successful.
International Women’s Month is all about acknowledging the courage and contributions of women worldwide who have broken down barriers and fought for what they believed in.
The month empowers and celebrates women and their efforts to make this world a better place for the future generation.
This month is an excellent time for business leaders to take action to protect and empower women in their workplace.
There are numerous ways for businesses to celebrate International Women’s History Month.
You can use the strategies listed in this blog to make your organization a more welcoming space for women.