Happy International Women’s Day!

But, why do we need to celebrate it at the workplace? And, how can we do it right?

It’s been an interesting year for gender equality by all accounts. From #MeToo and #TimesUp, which took the world by storm, to Frances McDormand going all guns blazing with her speech at this year’s Oscars — the voices that demand gender equality are getting louder than ever.

So, has life changed for the ordinary woman at work?

Many of us are lucky to be part of organizations where gender equality is both a guiding principle and a practice. However, it’s not all roses and rainbows everywhere. According to the UN, globally women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. And unfortunately, the gap only seems to be increasing.

“Instead of taking 170 years to close the gap at the current rate of progress, it is estimated that gender parity across the world will take over two centuries, 217 years to be exact.” — The Global Gender Gap Report 2017

Not ready to wait? Why not #PressforProgress at your workplace?

Here are 4 things that you can do to celebrate International Women’s Day at work:

Promote gender diversity at your workplace

It is a truth universally acknowledged that empowering women and creating a more balanced workforce is good for business. According to two studies by scientists at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Union College, the more women a team had, the better they performed. And it’s not just limited to being foot soldiers. According to a study by Grant Thornton, “companies perform better when they have women in leadership roles.”

But bridging the gender gap is not just limited to hiring more women. It’s also about recognizing and eliminating the unconscious biases that we bring to the workplace. Companies can encourage this by organizing seminars and workshops, as a first step in this direction.

Read an inspiring book

You don’t have to change the world by big, public gestures. Sometimes, the best way is to inspire and ignite your own mind.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” — Malala Yousafzai, youngest Nobel Laureate

And that’s why I am Malala makes it to number one on our essential women’s day reads.

You can browse through numerous curated lists online and find something that resonates with you. Go old school with Penguin’s vintage reads list, or try this list that simply says: Because feminism, like books, is for everybody!

Ready to take things a step further? Organize a book club at work, decide on one book to read, and share notes later. Nothing brings people together better than discussing ‘the line that really popped out at me’!

Celebrate women in cinema

It’s been an interesting year for women in cinema, with every award ceremony and speech being dominated by dialogue around the themes of pay parity and gender discrimination.

So, why not celebrate women in cinema, both in front of the camera and behind it, by bringing your teammates together and organizing a film screening? Wondering what to screen? You could pick from this amazing list of women-backed movies published by BFI.

Celebrating women in front of the camera and beyond: courtesy BFI

Attend a networking event — or create your own

Events are a great way to meet men and women who share the same concerns and face the same challenges as you. A quick Google search will reveal a multitude of online and offline events that you can attend — from the CII to Lean In and Ellevate. Better yet — create your own event at your workplace. All it takes is some coffee and a comfy meeting room!

So, know what you’ll be doing this women’s day? Let us know in the comments below :) And remember to #PressforProgress.

Authored by Kushal Saini Kakkar, who believes that starting a dialogue about equality is half the job done. Also, a content marketer at Flock.