With women contributing to a large part of the global workforce and economy, it’s important to take the time to note their achievements and accomplishments. International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day to outline these achievements and act in response to gender inequalities and barriers women have to break on a daily basis.

Whether you’re a freelancing mother trying to find your way, a female business owner learning to hone in on your leadership style, or even just considering some stay at home jobs, this day is for you, by you and you should celebrate  it.

While considering the best move to make during IWD, many companies have rocked their messaging for this day and left an impactful impression on many. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about International Women’s Day as well as some of the best campaigns we’ve seen that commemorate a day as important as this.

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is a global holiday recognized and celebrated each year on March 8th. The earliest recorded celebration of IWD is in 1910, when Clara Zetkin, a German advocate for women’s rights, lobbied for the idea of a day in each country where women are celebrated and offered a seat at decision making tables.

It is a day to recognize and outline the social, economic, cultural and political achievements and successes of women around the world. It is also a day to call for action to bridge the gender gap and raise awareness regarding equality for women.

The International Women’s Day website has a collection of resources that help support the goal of IWD by providing services such as:

  • A hub showcasing women’s creative work
  • A women-owned business directory
  • Free guidance and resources for women
  • A fundraising channel for women-focused charities

International Women’s Day 2022

Each year, the IWD organization chooses a theme for the day. This year the theme is #BreakTheBias. Everywhere they go, women are faced with gender bias and it affects crucial aspects of their life, especially when trying to run a business.

By striking the #BreakTheBias pose, you can join the efforts and promise to be more conscious of breaking biases in your community, workplaces, schools, etc. 

Image Source: International Women’s Day Website

How to celebrate International Women’s Day

There are many ways to celebrate International Women’s Day both in the workplace and on your own.

Here are a few things you can do:

  1. Get involved in the #BreakTheBias photo challenge. Take a picture of yourself striking the pose and make a conscious effort to break gender biases in your community.
  2. Host or attend an online event for International Women’s Day. You can find a list of events on the IWD website.
  3. Have breakfast with women and discuss actionable ideas for change.
  4. Send a thank you note to female clients, thanking them for their loyalty and making them feel special.
  5. Check your business strategy for gender gaps and fix them.
  6. Support women-owned businesses.
  7. Donate to female-focused charities.

How vcita recognized International Women’s Day this year

How other businesses recognized International Women’s Day

There are a number of extremely successful and home hitting campaigns out there that stress the importance of this day and strive to make a significant change in the disparities between men and women.

1. Nike’s “Dream Crazier” campaign

This Nike video showcases how women are perceived as they maneuver their way through life. It is voiced by Serena Williams and highlights female athletes who have, themselves, broken barriers and achieved widespread success despite challenges and hardships.

This is a great example of how a business can turn preconceptions into powerful messages and shine a light on the successes of female athletes.

2. Mothercare’s #BodyProudMums

Mothercare is a British retailer that specializes in products for new and expectant mothers as well as products for children up to the age of eight. In their strive to better engage with their audience, they came up with a strong campaign showcasing pregnant women and new mothers.

Mothercare's #BodyProudMums campaign
Image Source: RedHotPenny.com

The campaign starred 10 women who discussed how pregnancy changed their bodies and were photographed without any digital touch ups. That’s right. Every stretch mark, every blemish, beautifully displayed without shame, guilt or the need to hide.

3. Mindspace’s “Can You Solve the Riddle?”

“A man heading to a job interview is sitting with his father in the car and gets a call from the CEO of a company who says “Good luck, son”. How can this be?” Did you solve it? The answer: The CEO was his mother. Mindspace approached this year’s IWD theme in a creative way: by asking regular people to solve this riddle. In the video, both men and women can be seen scratching their heads trying to figure out the answer. 

Not one of the people in the video was able to answer the riddle correctly. None of them assumed the CEO was a woman, let alone his mother. This ad shows gender biases in the most natural way possible. By showing that none of the responders guessed the CEO was a woman, it highlights the automatically instilled biases that many of us (maybe even you) experience and consider on a daily basis.

4. ElaN “The Unbias Button”

ElaN is a translation company providing translating services for companies. Needless to say, ElaN understands the power of words and how they can affect one’s mentality. That’s why they came up with “The Unbias Button” in their software. This is a button that turns gender heavy words to non-gender specific words – for example, changing the word “mailman” to “mail carrier”. Highlighting these changes as someone is writing keeps the gender biases at the top of one’s mind, therefore, having a higher chance for change.

ElaN showcases gender biases in words like fireman, policeman, cameraman, and how they influence behavior and perceptions of young girls and women across the globe. They pose the question: “how can we create a gender balanced world if these biased words stay a part of our vernacular?”, and they proceed to present the newest feature of their solution: “the unbias button”.

5. Hershey’s “HERSHE” campaign

The chocolate giant, Hershey’s used their company name in a creative way and showcased women’s creativity right on their packaging. They realized their company name has the words “Her” and “She” in it and decided to completely revamp their packaging to lift up inspiring women.

This is such a great way to support women and showcase their talents and achievements on a popular branded chocolate bar. The bars sold out in just a few days and the engagement on social media was extremely successful. 

What will be your IWD campaign?

Whether you’re a small business or a solopreneur, International Women’s Day is here and worth noting. Consider your audience and how you will engage them best. Then, come up with your messaging and finally, how you will execute your own campaign. One thing’s for sure, recognizing International Women’s Day is crucial to bridging gender gaps, breaking biases and ensuring a more equal and successful future for generations of women to come.