While International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8th, the United States also celebrates Women’s History Month throughout March. This is a time to remember the integral role that women have played in the progress of our society. From the suffrage movement to breaking glass ceilings, female leaders have been instrumental in paving the way for opportunity and advancement within corporate America.
However, March isn’t the only time to recognize the achievements of women. If you’re a leader in your organization, there are ways to support women year-round, both in and out of the workplace. In this blog post, we will explore strategies to continue driving positive change for all people.
Let’s dive into how you can keep up (or start!) celebrating the amazing contributions women make every single day!
What is Women’s History Month?
Women’s History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements and contributions made by American women. It has been observed every March since 1987, when Congress first formally recognized the entire month of March as Women’s History Month. The intention of Women’s History Month is to recognize the vital role that women – from all walks of life – have played throughout our nation’s history and today.
Why It’s Important to Recognize Women
Recognizing women’s achievements helps to create a culture of respect and admiration for the contributions that women make in all aspects of life. For International Women’s Day 2023, Ford did this brilliantly with a satirical ad showcasing a car for men—which didn’t include any common features invented by women.
But celebrating women’s achievements shouldn’t be limited to marketing campaigns. This is also important to do in the workplace.
Recognizing the achievements of women helps to create a more inclusive environment for everyone, regardless of gender. By recognizing the contributions that women make in all facets of life, we can foster an environment where everyone is treated with respect. This in turn can help to create a more gender-inclusive workplace and society overall.
If you’re a leader in an industry or company where women are underrepresented, highlighting successful women is especially important. This can break down stereotypes while also encouraging retention among your existing female employees. Remember, research shows that an inclusive workplace improves employee retention.
Ways to Honor Women Year-Round
Honoring women’s professional achievements in March is fantastic, but it’s not enough. While women have made great strides towards equal representation in the workforce, we still run into the glass ceiling. By acknowledging women’s contributions and achievements year-round, we can work together to break the glass ceiling.
Employees at all levels of an organization can celebrate women, but it’s especially impactful when senior leadership paves the way. Here are a few ideas to honor women year-round.
Support Woman-Owned Companies
One of the most effective ways you can celebrate the achievements of women is to support women-owned businesses. Look for ways your company can purchase from or partner with companies founded by women, and work together for mutual success.
Recognize Female Leaders in the Workplace
Recognize the contributions of female employees. Showcase their achievements in internal communications and highlight their successes on social media.
In addition to recognizing women’s successes, it’s also important to ensure they receive equal opportunities for promotion and leadership roles. Praise and recognition alone aren’t enough to support women’s equality.
Commit to DEI Initiatives
If your company hasn’t already invested in a long-term strategy for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), now is the time to start! This includes recognizing the contributions of women in the workforce—especially if you’re in a traditionally male-dominated field. Any DEI strategy should also include providing all employees with equal opportunities for advancement.
By valuing the talents and experiences of all individuals—regardless of gender—we can create a more inclusive environment that encourages collaboration and innovation.
Plan Social Events with a Diverse Focus
Another way to celebrate women’s history year-round is to plan social events that celebrate the achievements of women in various industries. Here are a few ideas:
- Host a Speaker Series: Invite inspiring female speakers to discuss their professional journeys and to provide actionable advice on how to succeed in a particular field.
- Organize Networking Events: Host an event for female employees and women in the community to connect with each other.
- Host a Film Screening: This would be a fun event to hold during office hours as a treat for employees. Too many employees to enjoy a film screening all at once? Give team leaders the flexibility to schedule film screenings with their teams. Good options include the documentary RBG and the biopic Hidden Figures.
These are fun ways to inspire the next generation of female leaders and to create a more gender-inclusive workplace.
Keep Celebrating Women’s History
Celebrating women’s history year-round does more than just honor the contributions made by female leaders throughout history. It also creates an environment of appreciation and respect for those who continue to make positive strides in their respective fields today.
By creating an atmosphere where everyone can thrive, companies can ensure that all employees feel respected, supported, and valued within their organization—regardless of gender or background.
If your business needs help recruiting or retaining female employees, connect with Insight Global today. Our DEI leaders will work with your company to create a customized solution toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.