March 8 marks International Women’s Day (IWD). For over a century, we’ve taken this day to celebrate the achievements of women around the world, and on this day we recognize the need for greater thought and action promoting gender equality and inclusion. More than one hundred years have passed since IWD began, but the call remains the same: achieve full gender equality for women socially, economically, culturally, and politically.
It seems many remain blind to gender inequality. Recent worldwide events have shocked and confirm the lengths we still need to take to achieve parity. Campaigns like #MeToo and #TimesUp remind us there is still so much more to be done, and this issue has greater immediacy and proximity than many believe.
The theme of IWD this year is #PressforProgress. Its goal is to ‘encourage action for recognizing and advancing women’ and, for me, the nature of the theme distills the importance of the event and our need to act. While a single calendar date like International Women’s Day is a great way to focus attention on important issues, it must be a catalyst for ongoing activity rather than a one-off push for a better way. International Women’s Day asks us to collectively focus on making our working environments and our society places that celebrate and encourage diversity. The day will be great when IWD has become a celebration of achieving true gender parity. For now, it’s an opportunity to recommit ourselves to making a difference through advocacy and change.
International Women’s Day isn’t just for women, it’s for everyone who wants our workplaces and our society to work better. It’s for anyone who appreciates that diversity makes a more rounded and better-functioning world. And it’s for anyone who values a flexible culture where women and men's contributions count equally.
At Instructure, we will be marking International Women’s Day by celebrating women in our organization and in the wider communities where they operate. You can help do this too by making a pledge and pressing for progress: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/PressforProgress.
VP of International Marketing, Instructure