I hope you all had a great International Women’s Day (IWD)! In case you’re not aware, IWD takes place every March 8, and is an annual day of awareness building and celebration dedicated to accelerating the progress of women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements globally. IWD also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality throughout workplaces globally. According to the IWD website, the theme for 2020 is #EachforEqual, meaning that individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions — all day, every day.
I spent International Women’s Day (this past Sunday) doing what I’ve done on the special day in previous years: spending time thinking about all the women in my life who have inspired me, fortified me, and made me the person I am today. That would include everyone from my grandmother to my mom to my very first boss to my daughter to all the fabulous women I’ve met over the years as co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle (WIRLC)! You’re all so inspiring in so many ways! I also spent some time perusing all of the campaigns, events, and programs created to celebrate IWD. Here’s a sampling of those that stood out to me:
- In a LinkedIn post by Gina Drosos, CEO of Signet Jewelers, I learned that the jewelry company’s women’s business resource group hosted several employee training sessions and conversations to support #EachforEqual this year. Team leaders facilitated workshops including “50 Ways to Fight Gender Bias” and “#IamRemarkable by Google.” Signet also enlisted team members to submit photos of their #EachforEqual pose, which are posted on the company’s social media channels. (A special shout-out here to Gabrielle Grazi, WIRLC member and chair of Signet’s Women’s BRG for heading up the program!)
- Catalyst relaunched its #BiasCorrect campaign, which it debuted last year. The campaign is designed to tackle unconscious bias. Among the tools offered in the campaign is the #BiasCorrect plug-in to tag unconscious bias in real-time conversations on work-based chat platforms such as Slack. The plug-in identifies words that create harmful gender stereotypes and suggests alternative language. For example, if a woman is described as “aggressive,” the app suggests changing the word to “assertive.”
- Global poverty-fighting organization CARE again this year launched its #WomenEqual campaign, which is designed to give the public several ways to join the fight to make all #WomenEqual. In addition to a multichannel engagement platform and a series of “hero-story” videos on CARE’s website, corporations, celebrities and retailers also joined CARE in the effort in several ways, including the following:
- Long-time partner Gap Inc. contributed donations from Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy in support of Gap Inc.’s P.A.C.E (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) program, which helps expand life skills and education to 500,000 women and girls around the world.
- Nordstrom supported CARE’s efforts to ensure 8 million women in Asia have access to safe and equitable workplaces by donating $25,000 to CARE and matching up to $25,000 for every donation made to CARE between March 6 and March 8.
- Cynthia Rowley donated 15 percent of sales from a special selection of products to benefit CARE’s mission and support women’s empowerment efforts.