What does International Women’s Day mean for HR?

Emma Castillo, Senior Manager – Oakleaf Executive

I have enjoyed scrolling through LinkedIn and seeing all the photos and posts championing International Women’s Day which is this Sunday, March 8th.

But what does this mean for HR?

International Women’s Day (IWD) was initiated by a gathering in 1911 and has been celebrated annually on the 8th of March. This global day is sought to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements for women. With gender parity high up on the agenda for many employers, this day also calls for further action to improve opportunities for women at work.

Internationalwomensday.com has set the theme for 2020 #EachforEqual, where collectively, each one of us can help create a gender-equal world. However, equality isn’t just a women’s issue, it is a business issue. Organisations and HR need to strive for gender-equal board rooms and workplaces. Unilever CPO Leena Nair announced that they had achieved 50:50 gender balance in managerial roles (up from 38% in 2010). This is a fantastic achievement but Nair herself said that there was still more work to do.

Why should HR care about International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is an important consideration for employers, not only in terms of employee engagement but in terms of business success too. With HR being the core people function for businesses, it is important that they put the people first and support movements that have personal importance to them. It’s also important to keep the momentum created throughout the rest of the year!

Emma Castillo, Senior Manager – Oakleaf Executive