International Women’s Day 2018 was Thursday, March 8th, and Women of SpareFoot ensured our office was part of the world-wide celebration. This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme was #PressForProgress.
The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report found that gender parity is 217 years away. Even more upsetting, the gender gap is actually widening across the world. The U.S. ranks 49 out of the 144 countries included in the report, including Iceland, Bolivia, Cuba and many more.
The goal of this year’s International Women’s Day goal was to spread awareness of this gap and reduce the time it will take to bring about gender parity. As Where Women Work wrote, “successfully harnessing and mobilising half of the world’s total talent pool has a huge impact on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and organisations across the globe.”
Participants of International Women’s Day were encouraged to make a commitment to think, act, and be gender inclusive. Women of SpareFoot asked all employees to wear purple to work on IWD to show their support. We set up a themed photo booth, provided “selfie cards” to promote action, and encouraged the whole company to select a card that spoke to them or create their own. I chose: “I will celebrate women’s achievements.”
Since IWD, I’ve been trying to be conscious of how I think and respond to women’s achievements. One approach I am taking is to challenge myself to give more positive feedback to everyone, especially women in our workplace. I’ve already found a few opportunities to do so and am pushing myself to keep it up long after International Women’s Day. Others committed to challenging stereotypes and biases, maintaining gender parity mindsets, and supporting positive visibility of women.
Our International Women’s Day event was a big success. At SpareFoot, employee Brittany Bates said, “The tech industry is historically a ‘boys club’ so I really appreciated that our company chose to participate and acknowledge that our company wouldn’t be where we are without the strong women on our team.”
Women of SpareFoot provided opportunity for all SpareFoot employees to commit to progress and keep gender parity top of mind. In return, SpareFoot reinforced itself as a company that values inclusivity, community, and empowerment.