International Women's Day

Megan Rowe
March 9 2023
Yesterday, all over the world we celebrated women and their achievements. Our office is predominantly made up of women, with our poor MD Matt left a little outnumbered! As a result, we’re lucky to feel that we work in an inclusive work culture, where women's careers thrive, and their achievements are celebrated. However, in many workplaces, countries, and cultures this isn’t the case, which is why this IWD we decided to look at the history of the day, how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go.
The idea first began in 1908, when women came together and marched through New York city, protesting for shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. In 1909, this day was declared International Women’s Day by the Socialist Party of America. However, it was down to one individual, Clara Zetkin, a communist activist and women’s rights advocate, that the day was made international. Now every year on 8th March women wear purple, green and white (signifying justice, dignity, hope and purity) and celebrate the day in many different forms: some countries declare it a national holiday, in China women are given a half day off work, and in Italy it’s celebrated through the giving of mimosa blossoms.
Women’s circumstances have changed drastically since the early 1900s. The past year in particular has noted many milestones for women and female achievement worldwide: women made up 45% of athletes at the Beijing 2022 winter Olympics, the most gender-balanced winter games reported yet; Spain passed laws supporting menstrual health leave and wider access to abortion treatment; and ahead of the Fifa Women’s World Cup this year the US Soccer Federation have agreed to pay its male and female teams equally.
However, such success is counteracted by the brutality in Iran, where more than 500 people have died whilst campaigning for “Women, Life, Freedom”; the overturning of Roe v Wade legislation; and ongoing gender-based violence as a result of the Russia – Ukraine war. International Women’s Day feels more pertinent this year than ever.
The theme this international women’s day is to #embraceequity: “When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion. Equality is the goal, and equity is the means to get there. Through the process of equity, we can reach equality”.
What small changes can we be making to ensure that our companies and workplaces are embracing equity? This IWD we are being encouraged to “share the passion and excitement that comes from valuing and supporting difference”, “reflect on how we can all be part of the solution, not the problem”, “work collectively to impact positive change” and “help forge an equal world”.
This can be baby steps, but at the end of the day equity is the quality of being fair and impartial. Is that so hard to implement at work, at home, in social settings? At Red, we are working together to #embraceequity this International Women’s Day. Who’s joining us? 


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