Today, SHRM proudly celebrates the achievements of women around the globe by participating in the 108th annual International Women’s Day. Observed each year on March 8, International Women’s Day is a worldwide event designed to celebrate the “social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” As we applaud these contributions to society, it is important to recognize that women and girls continue to face barriers to education and employment in many countries. In fact, in 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.
SHRM’s global team is working with policymakers and employers to break down these barriers and create inclusive workplaces because we know that empowering women and girls creates better workplaces and a better world. Here are just a few examples of our work over the past year:
- Through our work with the B20, the G20 Heads of State made several specific commitments for advancing gender equality including improving labor conditions for all and reducing the gender pay gap. They also committed to ensuring women and girls have access to education, including STEM and digital skills. Currently, over two-thirds of the world's 796 million illiterate people are women.
- We participated in discussions at the International Labour Organisation on Ending Violence and Harassment in the World of Work. More than one-third of Americans still believe their workplace fosters sexual harassment.
- We supported provisions in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) that recognize the special needs of the more than 130 million migrants who are women and girls.
- We enabled female professionals from over 40 countries to gain work-based experience in the U.S. that will help them progress in their careers through SHRM’s Exchange Visitor programs.
- We were proud that the World Federation of People Management Associations elected the first female President, Leyla Nascimento of Brazil, since its founding in 1976.
Supporting equal opportunity for women and girls is not just the right thing to do, it is a business imperative. Studies show that gender inclusive workplaces perform better, have lower turnover and are admired by consumers. So let’s wear purple and celebrate IWD on March 8th but carry this message forward throughout the entire year.
Additional information about International Women’s Day and SHRM resources on relevant workplace topics can be accessed here.