International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March 2023. The theme for this year is #EmbraceEquity. A global day celebrating the achievements of women and highlighting the challenges facing them, this day is a call to action to take a step forward towards female empowerment and equity.
International Women’s Day (IWD) has been historically observed since the early 1900s, a time of great change and unrest. Tired of being relentlessly oppressed and ignored, women across the world demanded an international day to share their demands and concerns. This day would be marked with rallies, speeches, protests, and campaigns across the world. International Women’s Day was honoured the first time in 1911. Around one million women and men attended rallies and protests demanding women’s rights to work, vote, to hold public office and end discrimination.
Over the years the day evolved, and various countries used it to highlight local, regional, and national issues. It was in 1975 that International Women’s Day was marked for the first time by the United Nations.
The day has been traditionally heralded as a day to embrace change, demand equity, and work toward empowerment. However, there are recent years where it has been diluted by lip service, hollow gestures, and empty promises. While women have come a long way, there is still so much that needs to be done. For example, did you know that none of us will see gender parity in our lifetime? According to the World Economic Forum, it will take 132 years to reach full parity.
No wonder, the theme for 2023 is #EmbraceEquity.
Equality is based on the belief that all people should have the same opportunities for a happy life. Equity is linked to the ideal that all individuals have different needs and allocates required resources and opportunities they need to reach an equal outcome. For centuries we have demanded equality but the conversation is slowly shifting to equity as equality seems to be inadequate. Equality ignores the fact that people don’t have the same resources or privileges and different circumstances shape their journeys. Inequity affects several people around the world, especially marginalized communities such as people of colour, disabled people, economically disadvantaged, and those from the LGBTIQ+ community. What equity can do is change systemic barriers and shift structural obstacles that get in the way of people achieving their goals.
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How can you embrace equity?
As an employer, you have the responsibility to ensure all your employees feel valued and respected. Embracing equity is a long-term and sustainable solution that tells your employees that you notice their struggles, their circumstances, and you are working to address imbalances.
Ask your employees what they need to succeed at work. This can be flexible working, flexible working hours, or other resources.
How diverse is your workplace? Is your team culture inclusive?
Do you have open communication channels with your employees and staff? Can they reach out to you for support?
Do your employees have support to mental health resources and services?
Do you have policies and processes in place to protect and support diverse groups and communities in the workplace?
Build better businesses with Employsure
At Employsure, we pride in embracing equity and empowering women in the workplace. Our team is grateful for the women who make it possible for us to build better businesses regularly and consistently.
Around 30,000 businesses across Australia and New Zealand trust Employsure. They have faith that we can support them and guide them in matters of employment relations and workplace health and safety. You can trust us too. Call our 24/7 free Advice Line today to get all your questions answered.