Celebrating the 9 yard cape! - Women’s day with a difference
It has been over a century that the world has been celebrating the International Women’s Day. The first International Women's Day occurred in 1911, supported by over one million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific event – it has become a festival.
Unfortunately, women are still not represented well enough in workplaces and senior management teams. A study done in 2016 stated that only 4.2% of Fortune 500 companies had a female CEO. This is not a pretty picture for corporate health. The corporate world would agree that gender diversity has its perks!
2019 IWD campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter. We’re in a world that cannot work without balance. The message is clear – let’s build gender-balanced workplaces, gender-balanced homes and therefore a gender – balanced world.
International Women’s Day, therefore, is not a one day affair but a beginning to the initiatives economies, communities and workplaces must take to create this balance.
How do we celebrate this day?
1. Nothing works like surprise – Women love surprises! One of the best ways to celebrate this event at your workplace is to surprise them. Invite them to a meeting room on pretext of a company-wide meeting and surprise them with an office party. Go all out! Decorate the room with balloons, posters, streamers. Bring in the cake. Make an interesting menu of snacks and beverages. Did you say who would be the host? The men, of course!
2. Go ahead, personalize! – Everyone enjoys personalization. One of the most famous writers, Dale Carnegie declared that remembering a person’s name and using it whenever appropriate was a sure way of winning them over. So gift the ladies personalized stationery or chocolate hampers or even ‘Thank you’ notes. This is a sure shot winner ;)
3. The Spa Culture – The “To Do” list for a woman is always brimming. Along with the work schedules, they also have the never ending list of things to do. Their brains are constantly humming and buzzing and juggling and adjusting. Wouldn’t you agree that a Spa may just do the trick?
4. It’s all in the family – At the end of the day, what features in most women’s priority list is the FAMILY. Encourage all your employees (men and women) to bring any one “special woman” from their family to work. She can be their mother, spouse, daughter, aunt, niece or grandmother. Host a fun event for your employees including the guests. Fun and games works the best to build connect. Hmmm...Return gifts are a must!
5. Games and Sports – All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl too. Change the order of the day. Take a break and host a sports event for the ladies. Choose a sport that works will with the crowd. Let the women break into teams and compete for that one fun trophy! P.S. – do invite the men as referees, ball boys and of course the spectators!!
Celebration with a purpose...
6. A class apart – While unique ideas are extremely important, this one never goes out of style. On this day, introduce a health, wellness or safety class for the women. Try Yoga, Zumba, and Aerobics for health and Self Defence or Martial Arts classes for promoting safety. This is a more long term investment in letting the women know that the organization cares.
7. Shout out from the rooftops – Feature some of the special and high performing women from your organization on a wall of fame. Let the world know of their contributions. Give all employees a chance to learn the tricks of the trade from these ladies. Respect certainly inspires engagement.
8. Reach out to the challenged – Make a resolve on this day to introduce or drive an initiative to give back to the society. There are several NGOs working to build a better world for orphaned, abused or socially backward women. Tie up with them and encourage the employees to give their supprt to these causes. You’ll find a lot of takers for this one.
9. Get inspired – There are many women out there who have challenged the odds and made it big. Invite them to your office and let them give an inspirational talk to all your employees (yes, all – include the men too!). Let everyone hear about the struggle and the success. Let your people get inspired... let them realize - If they can, WE can!
10. Promote Gender-Diversity – Deep dive into your employee numbers. What is the percentage of women in the organization? How about every department? Are there teams that have a really low percentage of women? Are there levels where women are completely absent? On this day, make a conscious effort to increase that percentage. Include it in your organizational goals and HR strategy.
It has been well said by Cher, “Women are the architects of society” and a society that can build that balance will certainly rise to success. After all, their 9 yards saree is their cape and they are our superheroes!
For ideas on developing women leaders in your organisation & embracing diversity at your workplace, contact PeopleQ . firstname.lastname@example.org - 9167461160