Most of us recognise the International Women’s Day hashtag, #IWD, when it populates our newsfeeds each year on the 8th March.
Perhaps your workplace celebrates this day with various activations, content, and events? Yet, how many of us pause to reflect on the significance of International Women’s Day? What is this annual celebration truly symbolic of?
These were the same questions we started asking ourselves in the lead up to International Women’s Day 2020.
While most of us were aware of this day, it took a moment of pensiveness to allow a more cognisant understanding of the day’s magnitude and to identify a personal connection to the mission that is represented by International Women’s Day.
The day represents three key things: celebrating achievement, raising awareness against bias, and ultimately, taking action for equality. Unpacking the layers would take some time, so we asked our people to explain in their own words the importance of what this day means to them. Discover what they had to say, in the quotes below.
“International Women’s day is important to me because as a dad with a fabulously skilled young daughter, the thought of her growing up in a world where she is equally skilled, qualified and eligible as men but may be offered less opportunity simply because of her gender sends shudders down my spine. From the sporting field to the office – things need to change!”
– Adam Taylor, Head of Sourcing APAC
“It is a day where we take the time to celebrate the accomplishments of women of all nationalities, ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. All women including mothers who stay home to raise their children, women re-entering the workforce after years of unemployment, and female CEO’s of Fortune 500’s, make a valuable contribution to society.”
– Christine Santesuanio, Talent Acquisition Consultant
“I believe that throughout history and still in the present day, there are gender-based inequalities meaning that the incredible women face issues that they shouldn’t have to. Women achieve incredible things and deserve to be showcased and appreciated for it at every level. The fact that Women receive 15.4% lower weekly wages and one in two mothers have reported workplace discrimination as a result of their pregnancy makes me very angry, but equally as enthused to make a difference so that the women of today and the women of the future are treated fairly.”
– Brent Honey, Recruitment Co-ordinator – Early Talent
“I support women’s rights and being rewarded for hard work, regardless of gender. I am upset when I hear about examples of those who are undervalued and unappreciated solely because of their gender, in the workplace or elsewhere”.
– Adina Bambur, Senior Recruiter
“International Women’s Day is a day to recognise the progress we have made but also to acknowledge that we still have a long way to go. It is an opportunity to speak up for women around the world that are still disadvantaged and marginalised by gender inequality.”
– Paula McCashin, Senior Recruitment Partner
“It’s an important landmark that celebrates the unending strength of womenkind. It is important to me because on this day, I close my eyes and acknowledge the many roles that I play every day; a committed employee and an equal contributor to the workforce, while being a nurturing mother and an organized home manager. It helps me realize my own strength and potential to keep doing better.”
– Mita Mukherjee, Recruitment Consultant
“It’s important because representing women is also about giving them the right to speak for themselves and represent themselves publicly. Living abroad made me realise not every culture has the same gender equality we have.”
– Karies Tam, Senior Recruitment Consultant
“The international Women’s Day is the respect, appreciation and love for women to the celebration of women’s economic, political and social achievements. I believe that every female compatriot cannot truly express their importance to their family in words.”
– Tiffany Kwok, Recruitment Coordinator
“As a full-time working mother, raising a son; the importance of not only teaching but consistently demonstrating equality to me is absolutely key.”
– Emma Brinsford, Senior Manager Recruitment
“There is nothing that Women cannot do! This is particularly true in my instance – my Mum attained the epitome of success although she was the least literate among all of us in the family. Yet she was titled the “best stakeholder manager” because she knew exactly how to build trust and win the hearts of her loved ones! Women are capable of making a difference in their own capacity in every sphere of life and I’m proud to be one indeed!”
– Christina Raj, Senior Recruitment Consultant
“Whilst there is still such glaring inequality between genders in the workplace, International Women’s Day is critically important. It provides a platform to celebrate and recognise the amazing achievements of women around the world, whilst importantly reminding us that there is still much that needs to be done.”
– Lucy Knowles, Recruitment & Employer Brand Specialist
“It’s important to me because it provides the vehicle and platform for having important discussions that will take us one step closer to the day where we no longer need to fight for gender equality – one step closer to there no longer being a need for International Women’s Day.”
– Margot Moore, Candidate Experience Manager
“International Women’s Day is important to me as I am part of a family of 5, 4 of which are women. My mum inspires me every day and she deserves to be celebrated along with all the other Women who have made an impact to anyone in their lives and society.”
– Natalie Krstevska, Support Team Supervisor
“What International Women’s Day means to me is that every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on.”
– Aimee Muschamp, Recruiter
“This day highlights all of the amazing things that women are doing across the world and inspires our future generation! It also works to overcome the barriers that unfortunately hinder true gender equality, through encouraging education and open dialogue.”
– Charis Turner, Recruiter Business Partner
“As a husband and a father as we unfortunately still need to push for gender equality and women’s rights. The day gives us a chance to highlight and shine the spotlight on these important issues to make sure more and more barriers are broken down, creating a fairer and more respectful world for everyone regardless of gender.
– Jon Grant, Technology Recruitment Lead
“I have grown up with 4 extremely strong and inspirational women in my family, and they have shaped who I am today, through their guidance, advice and care. I want to be able to fight for my family’s equality, as well as for women around the globe, who feel they do not have equal opportunities to pursue the careers and lifestyles that they want.”
– Manny Wahidi, Recruiter
“Equality should not just be a right but also a responsibility – this is how I interpret the theme of this year’s IWD, #EachforEqual. It is an important day since it serves to remind us that it is the right of all kinds of women to be given the same opportunities, the same benefits, the same challenges even, but it is also our responsibility to provide the same “equality” to the rest of the world, even to men. This is very important in my role as an operations lead and as a single mom in a somewhat still traditional (Filipino) type of culture and society.”
– Jamie Bais, Sourcing & Operations Manager
“Having worked in truly diverse teams, I recognise the strength that diversity brings to the workplace. It’s vital that the success of women is recognised, celebrated and encouraged to ensure gender diversity continues to improve as we move forward. I’ve been lucky to work in organizations that have genuinely supported diversity – but we need to keep making progress to give everyone the opportunities that only men had in the past.”
– Andrew Crosby, Resourcing Consultant
“For far too long, women have struggled to have the same opportunities, same rights, and the same freedom as men – when in the first place, they should have these privileges. Women do not need for me to stand up for them, but to stand with them. We are all made equal – as I believe it should be.”
– JP Pimentel, Admin Coordinator
“I believe that women should not be penalized in their careers for starting families. There should be equal opportunity for both men and women when it comes to parental leave.”
– Brigid Hambleton, Operational Excellence Lead
“It’s important to me that we recognise both how far society and our cultural standards have come, but also take a stand on how far we still have to go.”
– Brigitte Ward-Moss, Resourcing Coordinator
“Womans Days is an important reminder to me to reflect on the past struggles, challenges and achievements, whilst continuing to act as an ambassador for female inclusion and equality – especially in the workplace.”
– Adam Decari, Recruitment Business Partner
International Women’s Day represents one piece of a multi-faceted societal, political, economic and cultural movement. It comes as no surprise that the day encompasses meaning in so many diverse ways for each individual.
So, what does #IWD mean to you this year?