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6 Ways to Honor International Women’s Day 2024 in the Workplace

We explore the history of International Women's Day, taking place on March 8, and offer suggestions for commemorating it at work.

Lucy Leonard

by Lucy Leonard - February 23rd, 2024


Each year since the early 1900s, International Women’s Day (IWD) has been celebrated on March 8. This important event stands as a testament to the ongoing struggle for gender equality and the recognition of women's rights globally. 

IWD is especially important within the workplace. In this blog, we’ll explore the history of IWD and offer suggestions for commemorating IWD at work. 

What is the History of International Women’s Day?

IWD originated in the early 20th century, emerging from the global movement for women's rights and suffrage. The idea gained traction at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910, where Clara Zetkin, a German socialist and feminist, proposed the concept of an international celebration of women. 

The following year, on March 19, 1911, the first International Women's Day was observed in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, with rallies and events demanding women's rights to work, vote, and hold public office. In subsequent years, the observance spread around the world, with women and allies organizing protests, strikes, and gatherings to push for gender equality and social justice. 

Over time, International Women's Day has evolved into a global phenomenon, celebrated annually on March 8th, serving as a rallying cry for women's rights, empowerment, and solidarity worldwide. This year’s theme is #InspireInclusion. 

6 Ways to Honor International Women’s Day in the Workplace

Here are just a few ways to celebrate and honor International Women’s Day in the workplace this year:

1. Throw An International Women’s Day Event

One great way to celebrate International Women’s Day at work is to host an event where your employees can get together, learn about the history of IWD, and #InspireInclusion. Are you a remote-first company? No fear! This event doesn’t have to be in person. There are tons of great ways to throw virtual events. Consider a women’s history pub quiz, a virtual speaker, or a company-wide IWD challenge. 

Overwhelmed trying to plan an event? Using your HRIS or workplace communication tool, you can also share local events that others are hosting. Find them here.

2. Donate to Charity as an Organization 

This year, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is the chosen charity partner of International Women’s Day. As a company, consider making a donation to support WAAGS’ mission of tackling gender discrimination, calling out bias and stereotyping, seeking inclusion, and continuing to challenge the structures and attitudes that prevent girls and women from fulfilling their potential as equal citizens of the world.

Another option that gets everyone in your organization involved is to host an internal competition to see which team can raise the most money for WAGGS or another related charity. You can offer prizes, post a leaderboard, and encourage employees to share their mission on social media. 

Other amazing non-profit organizations you can donate to include Catalyst, Nomi Network, Dress for Success, Womankind Worldwide, Girls Who Code, and Malala Fund.

3. Host Educational Workshops and Panels

Hosting educational workshops and panels is an impactful way for employers to promote gender equality, women's leadership, and diversity in the workplace. By organizing these events, companies can create opportunities for meaningful dialogue and awareness among employees. 

These workshops and panels can cover a range of topics, including: 

Inviting guest speakers, such as women leaders and activists, to share their insights and experiences can provide valuable perspectives and inspiration for employees. 

4. Spotlight Employees

Consider dedicating a section of your company newsletter, website, or social media channels to showcase individual stories of employees. Use this space to highlight their professional accomplishments, leadership qualities, and impact within the organization. 

In addition to their own stories and accomplishments, you can also share anecdotes, testimonials, or quotes from colleagues to illustrate their positive influence and leadership in your organization.

5. Sponsor a Book Club

Hosting an IWD book club can be a meaningful and enriching way for employers to celebrate the achievements and experiences of women while promoting dialogue, empathy, and empowerment in the workplace. By engaging employees in thoughtful discussions around literature written by and about women, organizations can create a space for learning, reflection, and connection. 

Here are a few book suggestions to get you started:

For smaller organizations or those with budgets set aside for employee engagement or DEIBA, you can even consider purchasing the books for your employees so that every employee has access to them. 

Final Thoughts

From humble beginnings as a call for women's suffrage, International Women's Day has blossomed into a global phenomenon uniting diverse voices for equality and empowerment. This year's #InspireInclusion theme reminds us that progress thrives on collaboration. By implementing these six actionable steps in the workplace, we can honor the past, celebrate the present, and pave the way for a future where all women can reach their full potential.

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