500 Reasons to Support International Women’s Day

As published on LinkedIn Influencers on March 8th, 2018.

Every March 8th, the world celebrates International Women’s Day, a celebration first held in 1909 in New York, but which was formally declared an annual international celebration by the United Nations in 1975 during the International Women’s Year. Today, March 8th is officially a public holiday in numerous countries around the world, including Cambodia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Nepal, Mongolia, Ukraine, and Belarus, and there are events scheduled to mark this occasion in nearly every country across the globe. International Women’s Day is both a celebration of the accomplishments of women worldwide, and a call to action for gender equality and world peace, and I hope you all join me today in celebrating the incredible women in your life.

Every year, the United Nations picks a theme for the celebrations, and this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Time is Now. I can’t think of a better mantra coming off of the year we’ve just had. Incredible strides have been made, yes, but we still have so much farther to go. Gender inequality is not yesterday’s business, it is today’s. The Time is Now. This past year was, for me, the year that moments became movements, and movements are about people moving together towards a better future.

So what makes people move, individually and collectively? Many things, including personal experiences, values, stories of others, and yes, data. Prior to my extensive work in philanthropy, I worked in the finance industry as a trader, and I relied on numbers, statistics, and data to inform my decisions and my actions. As I transitioned out of the financial sector and into the philanthropic space, I brought this mindset with me. Though I personally did not need evidence to prove what I know to be true; that a more gender balanced and inclusive world will be a better world for all, when I truly dug into the research, I learned the depth of the need, the depth of the inequities, the depth of the opportunities, and the depth of proven interventions in need of resources. A road-map for positive change is in the research. It is not hypothetical, it is real. So not only did I search out, collect, and aggregate research and studies, but I shared them. Last year, in honour of International’s Women’s Day 2017, I published the Top 400 Reports on Women and Girls. 

The response to this publication was fantastic, and over this past year it has been an invaluable resource on more occasions than I can count. However, it quickly became clear that 400 reports, as high a number as that may seem, did not nearly encompass the scope of the research available. I continued to collect and gather research, studies, and reports, and before I knew it, that list had grown to 500 reports across 20 different categories, including Arts, Entertainment, Film & Media, Impact Investing with a Gender Lens, Philanthropy, Violence Against Women & Trafficking, Entrepreneurship, and Political Representation. There’s even a section for Masculinity and Engaging Men in Gender Equality.

I cannot promise that this list will be updated and republished every March 8th to celebrate International Women’s Day, but I’m hoping it will, so please send me any missed or new reports for inclusion in future editions to @researchonwomen and #researchonWandG on twitter, or post the link below.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Women, Work and Worth

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When more women take the lead in business, the financial picture gets brighter. Not just for the ladies at the top, but for the companies that they direct.

The research proves it: Corporations with a consistent female presence on their boards report better returns on sales, invested capital and equity than those whose board rooms lack gender diversity. Still, in the U.S. today, women hold fewer than 17 percent of the seats on corporate boards.

Women are clearly good for business. But is business good to women?

Check out this cool infographic about women and work, and see for yourself.

For instance: When it comes to gender equity, we’ve made huge strides in everything from education (women earn 60 percent of college degrees) to C-suite stature (check out Marissa Mayer’s annual compensation). But, Ms. Mayer and her cohorts aside, women are paid just 78 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Clearly, it’s not enough to quote statistics. How do women build momentum to move toward full equity? The infographic also captures upbeat advice from female CEOs and offers 10 tips to inspire women to go for the brass ring.

Take the long view with a clear snapshot of the progress, the obstacles and the path to women’s leadership.

(This was the guest post by Jason Gilbert – thank you!)

International Women’s Day – 15 Ways To Get Involved

IWD Banner-Google+ Each year on March 8 the people around the world gather to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). The United Nations celebrated the first IWD in 1975 during International Women’s Year. Two years later the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed each year on March 8. All over the world thousands of events occur in support of IWD to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Want to get involved? Here’s what you need to know!

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Every year the UN picks a theme for IWD, although many organizations identify their own themes for the day as well. This year the UN’s theme is ‘Empowering Women- Empowering Humanity: Picture It!
In so doing the UN invites us to  “envision a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.”  March is also Women’s History Month and there are so many ways to stay engaged all month long. See below for my list of 15 ways to get involved!

  1. Follow IWD and UNWomen on Twitter
  2. Join the conversation on twitter using the hashtags #MakeItHappen #WomensDay #IWD2015 #Beijing20 #InternationalWomensDay #PaintItPurple
  3. Post a #EmpoweredBy selfie on Instagram
  4. Interact on other social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Pinterest
  5. Participate in local activities and campaigns – find one here.
  6. Join UN Women for their Live Facebook event with UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, 8 March (1 p.m. EST).
  7. Display the IWD logo on your blog, Twitter or Facebook page.
  8. Download and share content from UN Women Social Media packages with images, videos and sample messages.
  9. Listen to BBC Radio 3 on March 8 as they spotlight female composers and musicians
  10. Run an event celebrating women to raise awareness for gender equality.
  11. Paint it purple or wear purple! Why Purple? Purple symbolized justice and dignity two values strongly associated with women’s equality.
  12. Get inspired by watching UN Women’s video “One Woman”, released in 2013 in celebration of IWD.
  13. Donate to your favorite charity that supports and champions women.
  14. Check out this list of CNN’s 10 International Women’s Day Events You’d Be Crazy to Miss
  15.  If you are in New York City join the UN Women March for Gender Equality and Women’s Rights on March 8 (Click here for more info)

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Search for events by Country:
Click here for a list of events in the United States
Click here for a list of events in Canada
Click here for a list of events in your country