Women’s history month is an opportunity for employers to action their DEI agenda by recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of women in and out of the workplace. Organizations can leverage this celebration to raise awareness around women’s issues and action employee intent to power tangible impact around issues of gender equity and women empowerment.
In this concise introduction, we’ll explore the significance of Women’s History Month and how organizations can celebrate this Women’s History Month by planning ahead.
Why are Women’s History Month celebrations important?
Women’s history month is celebrated globally every year to honor and recognize the trailblazing women in our history and their contributions to society. The occasion is an opportunity to spotlight persisting inequalities and impact change around contemporary issues such as gender equity, access to education, autonomy, and gender-based violence.
Organizations around the world celebrate this month by
- Donating to women-focused nonprofits,
- Volunteering with their employees to empower underserved women in their communities,
- Recognizing their female employees and vendors, and
- Creating more equitable spaces by organizing lunch and learns, workshops, and inviting expert guest speakers.
When is Women’s History Month celebrated globally?
Women’s History Month is observed in March across many countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8. Canada observes Women's History Month during October to coincide with the celebration of the landmark ruling in the Persons case on October 18, which held women eligible to hold positions of political power.
Women’s History Month initially began as Women’s History Week in Santa Rosa, California and was observed during the week of March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day. In 1987, March was proclaimed by President Reagan as Women's History Month and since then, every president has issued an official proclamation recognizing March as “Women’s History Month.”
What is the theme for Women’s History Month 2023?
Every year the National Women’s History Alliance picks and publishes the theme for Women's History Month. Women’s History Month 2023’s theme is “celebrating the women who tell our stories.”
The theme recognizes the contributions of women, past and present, who devote their lives to pursuing truth and reflecting society. It encourages us to recognize and amplify the achievements of women and empower them to lead equitable lives.
How to celebrate Women’s History Month at work this year?
Organizations around the world celebrate this month by actioning their support for gender equity through various initiatives that run throughout the year. However, Goodera recommends a three-step process or the 3 A's to embed a culture of empowerment and equity within the organization this Women’s History Month
How can organizations generate awareness this Women’s History Month at work?
Many of our teams today are global and often remote. Generating awareness about Women’s History Month and its significance is the first step to rallying the support and participation of employees during these celebrations. Organizations can create this awareness by
1. Sharing resources about the company’s Women’s History Month campaign
- Impact teams can empower employees with knowledge about Women’s History Month, its significance, and various initiatives taken by the organization to improve gender equity through blogs and videos.
- Organizing breakout sessions at this stage can help employees deep dive into issues affecting women and provide a safe space to express themselves. Awareness resources can help set context and direction and encourage productive discussions around the topic.
2. Starting campaign threads on internal communications
- Emails are not only a great way to announce Women’s History Month celebrations but can also serve as a great channel to compile efforts for the campaign by different teams and encourage participation.
- Organizations can circulate timely emails that encapsulate the org-wide activities planned for Women’s History Month, collaboration opportunities, and spotlight team initiatives around the campaign.
3. Collaborating with women’s resource groups
- Women’s ERGs are ideally positioned to gain insights on the barriers women face in workplaces and beyond. Organizations can leverage their insights to guide discussions around new initiatives and plan activities to sensitize the organization on the challenges women face this Women’s History Month.
If your organization doesn’t have formalized women's resource group, or you want to improve your existing ERG, refer to our complete guide to establish a women's employee resource group.
Activate employees for Women’s History Month celebrations at work
This is the time to act on employee awareness and intent. Organizations can celebrate Women’s History Month at work by
1. Engaging employees through volunteering activities
- Providing volunteering opportunities not only helps employees feel a sense of purpose but also promotes meaningful connections in the workplace. These activities drive a tangible impact on women’s issues and help the organization action their core values.
With virtual, in-person, and hybrid volunteering opportunities available, impact teams can pick and choose what works best for their organization in impact areas that align with their giving goals.
2. Organizing lunch and learns
- Lunch and learns are a great way for employees to develop skills or learn about the experiences of diverse women, all in a day’s lunch. Teams can collaborate with different stakeholders, like a women’s ERG, to organize lunch and learns on various topics through the month.
3. Sponsoring Summits, workshops, and networking events
- Organizations often provide opportunities for female employees to attend leadership or skill-building workshops and summits. These opportunities not only upskill talent but also improve talent retention and engagement.
4. Hosting guest speakers
- Educational talks and discussions bring teams together and are a great way to celebrate organizational values during Women’s History Month. Teams can invite experts for talks/workshops on topics like gender sensitization, intersectionality, inclusion, and more.
If you're a member of a Women's Employee Resource Group and looking for a comprehensive year-round activity plan for your ERG, explore our dedicated page featuring engaging and empowering activities for women ERG members.
Amplify Women’s History Month celebrations at work
Women’s History Month celebrations can act as a launchpad for organizations to drive awareness and rally support for organizational goals around advancing women. Organizational commitment for these giving goals can amplified through
1. Social media engagement this Women’s History Month
- Organizations can engage their social audiences through fun trivia posts and quizzes that educate them on the significance of Women’s History Month celebrations.
- Audiences can be made a part of the organization’s Women’s History Month celebrations by streaming educational and skill-based events on social media handles.
- If employees are volunteering their time or holding donation drives to celebrate Women’s History Month at work, organizations can spotlight their impact to inspire audiences and create a movement for action on the organization’s focus areas.
The Good Tip 💡
Did you know that the color purple, which was one of the three colors adopted by the suffragettes, is widely recognized as the official color of Women’s History Month? The other two are green and white! Use these theme colors to highlight your campaign on social media.
2. Recognition and support for female employees
- Spotlighting female employees through interviews, blog, and awards on social media not only recognizes and supports their growth but also offers insights into the organization’s inclusive and vibrant culture to audiences and potential talent.
3. Year-round engagement and impact
- Organizations can build on this impact through year-round engaging volunteering and team building activities that can sensitize and engage your employees on barriers to women empowerment.
4. Timely impact reports
- By sharing the progress and impact of such initiatives internally, organizations can embed a culture of inclusivity and empowerment among employees. This transparency encourages employee participation and inter-departmental collaboration and boosts employee retention.
Women’s History Month is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of women in society and include employees in building inclusive and equitable workplaces. Getting a head start and planning early with relevant stakeholders can help organizations build a truly celebratory campaign that champions the ideas of the women who tell our stories.
Here are great resources to help you celebrate Women’s History Month at work