International Women’s Day 2024 campaign theme: #InspireInclusion
For International Women’s Day 2024 and beyond, let’s Inspire Inclusion.This is the most brilliant theme. Inclusion is about including everyone – including women into decision making; participating in the world and not being excluded from conversations, living and being involved. Unfortunately some people consider that ‘inclusion’ is unfair: that individuals are given advantages. How many times have I heard “Oh they got that job because they had to tick the woman box” without respecting the credibility of this person and the value they add to the role – as well as undermining their abilities to get the role. However, inclusion adds massive
When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we create a better world for everyone. Isn’t that a win win situation for everyone? NO one misses out but everyone benefits.
And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment. If women are excluded from
The aim of the IWD 2024 #InspireInclusion campaign is to collectively forge a more inclusive world for women and for everyone to discover and appreciate that the world is a better place if women are actively involved rather than excluded from many things.
Committing to inspire inclusion
Here are ways we could actively include women in the world:
- When women aren’t present, we must ask: “If not, why not?”. Instead of either not noticing this, or ignoring this, challenge the norms. Respectfully, there are so many occasions where it is exclusively men who appear; speak; are decisionmakers. Is this the best way to progress? Excluding 51% of the population? No.
- When women are discriminated against, we must call out poor practice. Instead of accepting that “This is how it is” challenge this; provide solutions to over come this. If there are no suitable women with relevant experience, ask why not? Have women been excluded from career progression or from gaining specific experience? Is the talent recognition based upon ‘male’ attributes or the ability to work long hours when many women have caring commitments? If women are considered not to be fully committed because they take time off to see their children’s plays – yet it is okay for men to watch a football match in work time, that is a double standard. Being aware of these biases is crucial to develop all of the talent.
- When the treatment of women is not equitable, we must take action. This might be occasions where women’s views are ignored or undervalued. That women’s contribution is seen as less valuable than mens. That specific challenges women have – such as childcare, caring responsibilities for elderly, being concerned about leaving the office late for personal safety reasons, should be considered to enable women to show up and perform to the best of their abilities. The Chairman of a FTSE 100 company told me that women aren’t committed to their jobs because they ‘leave early’ and aren’t suitable to senior roles. When business leaders are still saying this in 2024, we have to challenge this. It is not equitable for women.
- And we must do this each time, every time. Although it becomes tiresome when we feel we are fighting the same battles; repeating the same ‘battles’ is essential. Unless we remind others and inspire others to see the value of inclusion, there will not be change for the better.
Everyone can inspire inclusion
Organizations, groups, and individuals worldwide can all play a part – in the community, at work, at home, and beyond. But men could also be involved. Men have mothers, sisters, partners, daughters. Many men want to make the world a better, safer, fairer place for women to live. Having these conversations with men and boys so they appreciate the challenges women encounter on a daily basis, they could support the world to change.
To truly include women means to openly embrace their diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image, and how they identify. Worldwide, women must be included in all fields of endeavour. This means that we are aware of ensuring that women from all backgrounds and communities are included in the conversation. We need to be proactive in consciously including people who aren’t necessarily like us.
How will you inspire inclusion?
On an individual basis, it’s important to understand, value and seek out the inclusion of women and girls. Additionally, sharing this knowledge, support and encouragement with others is key.On an organizational or group basis, there are many ways to ensure the needs, interests and aspirations of women and girls are valued and included. Organizations and groups can #InspireInclusion through action in areas such as:
- forging women’s economic empowerment
- recruiting, retaining and developing female talent
- supporting women and girls into leadership, decision-making, business and STEM
- designing and building infrastructure meeting the needs of women and girls
- helping women and girls make informed decisions about their health
- involving women and girls in sustainable agriculture and food security
- providing women and girls with access to quality education and training
- elevating women and girl’s participation and achievement in sport
- promoting creative and artistic talent of women and girls
- addressing further areas supporting the advancement of women and girls