International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year to applaud the extraordinary achievements and accomplishments of women in every sphere of life. Although much progress has been made since IWD was first celebrated in 1911, there is still work to do—and HR professionals play a vital role.
According to the International Women’s Day website, this day was founded as a way to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women while serving as a call to action to improve women’s lives everywhere. In the 21st century, barriers against women are still present in the world of work. Issues such as violence and harassment, discrimination and workplace inequity persist. Women are commonly underemployed, underpaid, and underpromoted. But one thing has changed: Women are now at the forefront of the movement for change.
At SHRM, we work proactively with policymakers and employers around the globe to break down barriers and create inclusive workplaces, because we know that equity for women and girls is not just the right thing to do—it is good business.
We are very proud that SHRM Chief of Staff, Corporate Secretary and Head, Government Affairs Emily M. Dickens is part of the Women2Women Conversations Tour, leading the discussion on issues women face in the world of work. We’re going a step further at our Advocacy@Work conference, March 15-17 in Washington, D.C., by bringing these issues to the forefront through advocacy and at our annual INCLUSION 2019 conference in the fall, where we offer business-led solutions to create more inclusive workplaces.
We are equally proud of the new Women Leadership Development Program designed and delivered by SHRM India for one of India’s largest public sector enterprises. Over a six-month period, a group of 20 high performing mid-level women managers were groomed to take on future leadership roles. The program has transitioned to the “She Leads” leadership program, where young women attend structured, in-class training in four phases, with one-on-one coaching and counseling sessions with female facilitators who are themselves leaders in the public and private sectors.
Every year, March 8 reminds us of the opportunities women have ahead, as well as the progress that has been made. As we celebrate IWD this year, we should remember that we are our own advocates, and change comes when we all work together, men and women.
So go ahead, strike your #IWD2020 pose, wear purple and post it to your social media channels to show your support!