M+E Connections

Embracing Equity on International Women’s Day

Technology and other companies around the globe are again preparing to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 by celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while also raising awareness about women’s equality, lobbying for accelerated gender parity and fundraising for female-focused charities.

IWD has been celebrated for more than a century since the first gathering was held in 1911.

The campaign theme for IWD 2023 is #EmbraceEquity, according to the IWD website (just one of many dedicated to this important annual event).

The IWD site asks visitors to: “Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity. Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity. IWD belongs to everyone, everywhere. Inclusion means all IWD action is valid.”

IWD, meanwhile, “sees a number of MISSIONS to help forge a gender equal world,” the site also says, noting: “Celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality, is key.”

The missions include: Celebrate the women forging change; elevate visibility of women creatives; build workplaces where women thrive; improve equality for women in tech; forge women’s empowerment worldwide; empower women’s choices in health; and applaud equality for women in sport.

While great strides have indeed been and continue to be made in the tech industry, it is important to note that there remains work to be done. According to Zippia, in 2022, women held just 28% of computing and mathematical jobs in the US. and made up 34.4% of the workforce of the U.S.’s largest tech companies (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft).

But companies that have taken an active role in supporting IWD in recent years include tech firms Adobe, Google, Imply, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, Salesforce and Sony.

Adobe is once again among the companies promoting IWD this year, according to its website. Salesforce is also touting the day at its website.

Official partners this year include DXC Technology, Honeywell and John Deere, according to the IWD website. John Deere is serving as the lead corporate partner this year.

According to a quote on the IWD site: “Embracing a culture that celebrates diversity, champions equity, and promotes inclusiveness is vital for John Deere to innovate on behalf of its customers and humanity so life can leap forward. Visit www.deere.com to learn more.”

The United Nations theme for 2023 is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” according to the BBC.  “This theme aims to recognise and celebrate the contribution women and girls are making to technology and online education,” the BBC reports.

“This year, IWD will also explore the impact of the digital gender gap on inequality for women and girls, as the UN estimates that women’s lack of access to the online world will cause a $1.5 trillion loss to gross domestic product of low and middle-income countries by 2025 if action isn’t taken,” according to the BBC.