International Women’s Day: Inspiring Inclusion

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International Women's Day 2024
This year, the hope for International Women’s Day, March 8, is to inspire inclusion among women around the world — including those in the meetings and events industry.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, March 8, is “Inspire Inclusion.” The idea is to emphasize the importance of all women being empowered to achieve gender equality.

“It calls for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create environments where all women are valued and respected. Inspire Inclusion encourages everyone to recognize the unique perspectives and contributions of women from all walks of life, including those from marginalized communities.”

Women in the meetings and events industry are encouraged to join women in all professions and life roles in raising both education and awareness of the need to foster inclusion and empower women through supporting mentorship programs, educational workshops and advocacy campaigns designed to support women as they overcome obstacles and achieve their full potential.

One way the International Women’s Day initiative is showcasing inclusivity is by creating a gallery of women throughout the world who have submitted their own photo of #InspireInclusion photos, which this year feature women making a heart shape with their hands. You can upload a photo of yourself, and your team, here (you do have to register for an IWD account and log in to upload a photo).

The organization also has a page outlining some of the events being held to commemorate the mission, and spur future action. Among the many virtual and in-person events listed on the page are Lean In: Let’s #InspireInclusion by Debunking Four Myths Holding Women Back, sponsored by the LeanIn organization. You can search for IRL and virtual events on the IWD website.

There also are a number of downloadable resources available, from a free IWD 2024 Planning Toolkit to IWD pledge cards and databases of bookable IWD speakers and suppliers.

The meetings and events industry also is leaning into celebrating International Women’s Day. For example, the New England Chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is hosting a panel on women who are breaking the barriers in the food and beverage industry, held in Boston on March 7.

Positive Impact, an organization based in Manchester, England, and composed of more than 2,000 meeting and event professionals committed to helping the United Nations achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the UN SDGs 17 goals, goal #5, is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and Positive Impact with its annual Girls Creating Campaign, which encourages people to o share stories of women in their lives who have inspired them. It also is facilitating a webinar, interviewed leading female CEOs and encouraged people to share stories of women in their lives who have inspired them. The free, 30-minute webinar will be broadcast live on March 8, as well as archived for on-demand viewing.

What are you doing to foster a more inclusive, empowering environment for women and girls? Contact Barbara Scofidio if you have a story to share.

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