In March, we celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD), so consider this your annual reminder that you have the power to change the world. By supporting the women in your life, whether they’re your best mate, a fringe acquaintance, colleague, or someone you saw on Instagram one time, we have an opportunity every day to lift up the people around us to make sure they’re crushing that glass ceiling. Because, at the risk of sounding like a total hack, when one rises, we all rise.
That’s the whole point of IWD: to support and celebrate women who are already doing great things or are destined to in the future. The day itself — which is celebrated each year on March 8 — is rooted in women’s rights and started in 1911 to not only celebrate women but to address gender parity. There are three core goals of IWD, and those are to celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality.
But it can be difficult to know how to get in on the conversation and make a real difference, which is why the 2021 IWD theme was “Choose to Challenge”. We can all call out gender bias and inequality when we see it and celebrate women’s achievements, whether they’re making an impact in their community, their company, or in their family. It all matters and showing a bit of love to help them keep moving forward is, frankly, the least we can all do. Together, we have the power to create a more inclusive world.
Here are a few small and mighty ways you can help the women in your life smash through that glass ceiling.
Educate Yourself On What Gender Equity Actually Is
It’s well-documented that women are underrepresented at all levels of decision-making, worldwide. Plus, the gender pay gap is still alive and kicking, with women earning, on average, 14% less than their male counterparts, which translates to $253.60 less in women’s pockets every. Single. Week.
But just like any complex issue, there’s still a lot of room for confusion and where there’s confusion, there’s room for a lot more progress. Knowledge is power, after all, and Did you know there’s a difference between the ‘gender pay gap’ and ‘equal pay’? I didn’t, until recently.
Celebrate & Support Their Wins
If a friend has started their own business, you’ve got to show up for them. Whether it’s a service-based business (buy a voucher for another friend!) or a flower shop (buy a bunch!), don’t go asking for freebies because they’ve followed through on their great idea. Support them in one way that massively makes a difference: with your cash. We’ll go ahead and assume you’re already celebrating your mates’ wins privately and enthusiastically every chance you get, but a little bit of public love can also be a nice touch.
Support Businesses That Are Making Steps To Achieving Equity
We’ve all heard it before, but this is a big one. Every time you choose to spend money with a brand or business, you’re casting a vote with your dollar and making a statement about what you care about. We can’t overstate this — choosing to spend your hard-earned cash with companies that are driving forward women’s rights in this country and actively doing the work to achieve gender equity across all levels is important.
Our hack here is to look at the companies you already use regularly and do some research into whether there’s another company doing the same thing but is also supporting women. For example, next time you’re booking a ride share home at the end of the night, choose a company like DiDi, which has committed to a five-year roadmap towards increasing representation of women drivers on their platform to 20% by 2026. In honour of IWD, they are also introducing a new ‘TripChoice’ feature nationally, allowing women drivers to choose to pick-up women riders only, directly addressing safety concerns by women drivers using the platform.
Be The Resident Hype Person For The Women In Your Life
I’m a firm believer that everyone needs a hype person. They’re the one who pushes you when you doubt yourself — when you miss out on getting the dream job or you’re comparing yourself to everyone else’s seemingly meteoric career trajectory, or are just having a little wobbly. The world can feel like a fickle thing (especially if you’re a woman trying to smash that glass ceiling), so having your hype person in your corner is not only important but downright crucial. Be that person.
Seek Out Female Artists & Support Them
Why limit your support to your circle of women? Exactly, you shouldn’t. There’s plenty of room for everyone to succeed, and doing things like buying tickets to women-led exhibitions, gigs, webinars and Patreons can be lifechanging or give people the push to keep on striving to achieve more. If you’re in the business of planning events, panels, or corporate talks, booking female talent and paying them what they’re worth is a great first step. Because we all deserve to thrive.
Do A Double Whammy & Buy Gifts From Women-Led Companies
Score double points and support the women in your life and community by buying gifts from women-led businesses. Whether it’s your friend’s birthday, they’ve achieved a huge milestone at work, or need a little pep, treating them to a thoughtful gift that shows you care could be the extra support they need to take a chance on something that’ll help them shatter their goals.
At the end of the day, when we’re supporting our sisters and have got each other’s backs, the world is inherently a safer place for all women. Whether it’s the comfort of getting into a DiDi with a woman driver or knowing that you’re able to speak up in situations that make you uncomfortable, being there for one another is the best place to start. You can suss more info around their commitment to promoting inclusivity throughout the Australian community here.Image: Clueless