Celebrate International Women’s Day and Impact Your Bottom Line

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Celebrate International Women’s Day and Impact Your Bottom Line   

  “If you can see it, you can be it” – Elizabeth Marvel and Kim Ng

 

Leslie Grossman, Founder, Her Circle Leadership, and faculty director, Women’s Leadership, GWU-Center for Excellence in Public Leadership

International Women’s Day is a global event aimed at highlighting the achievements of women around the world and a catalyst towards greater gender equality.

Women have been grossly missing from history books, museums, and national holidays, although their accomplishments are huge. “When you see it, you can be it”, which is why it is important that companies, schools and institutions recognize both International Women’s Day on March 8th and Women’s History Month in March.

It reminds us all of the contributions women have made to our world and our own organizations. This past year alone, many global women leaders have had the greatest success in curbing the pandemic in their own countries. In addition, women have been highly visible as doctors, public health leaders, researchers, health care workers, scientists and community organizers.

During this time of the Great Reevaluation/Resignation, it’s more important than ever to celebrate women this month. March has 31 days, so you have plenty of time to move into action.   Here’s how you can celebrate International Women’s Day in your company for far reaching effects that will impact your retention and thus, your bottom line:

  1. Identify the women who have made contributions in your industry or field. Share on social media and send an email to your colleagues acknowledging  these women.
  2. Recognize women within your own organization who have made a difference. Thank them and acknowledge them through an internal email, a virtual lunch or an online town hall meeting of all employees.
  3. Bring in a speaker to talk about gender and diversity and inclusion during the month of March and invite the entire organization to participate. Encourage the men to attend.  Women already know about this.  It’s the men that need to be present.
  4. Start making gender equity  a critical part of your organization’s culture. Analyze how many female managers vs. male managers there are, as well as whether pay and promotions are equal.   Begin the process of moving more women up to leadership positions with equal pay. Let your employees know you are doing this and then DO IT!  You will attract the best people, have an improved retention rate, and your revenues and growth will benefit (research confirms this is true).
  5. Look at your C-suite, your board of directors or, if you are a small business, review your advisory board. Commit to add more qualified women.  Women are circular thinkers and think through problems differently than men. They also identify new opportunities and ways of doing things that add innovative practices, processes and products. One woman is not enough. Make  three or four women the minimum on your Board.
  6. When you have women on your team, make sure their ideas and views are heard. Encourage them to speak out. And when they get interrupted, interrupt the interrupter and ensure women get listened to. Reward men in your organization who sponsor high-potential women. Train them in what sponsorship means and acknowledge them for taking on this role. Your organization will be more successful for it.
  7. Learn what mansplaining is. Men must call out their male colleagues when they hear it. The same goes for harassment and bullying.  Create a culture of respect and success. When men make their male colleagues aware of what constitutes harassment and makes in unacceptable, it will positively impact teamwork, productivity, and retention.
  8. Offer leadership and career development courses to the women in your organization. Men are often offered such benefits. Women are less likely to ask for tuition reimbursement than men, thinking they don’t have time because of child or elder care responsibilities. With the many virtual programs being offered presently, now is the best time for women to participate. Encourage them.  

Women’s History Month is the perfect day to kick-off your commitment to gender equality.  You have an entire month to display your dedication and celebrate women’s contributions. Make 2022 the year you show your people – internal and external – that your organization is on the path to gender equality, which will benefit everyone and your organization.   


Leslie GrossmanAbout the Author:  Leslie Grossman, leadership coach, educator and speaker; Senior Fellow, Faculty Director, Executive Women’s Leadership, GWU Center for Excellence in Public Leadership; Leslie@hercircleleadership.com.