8th March – Women’s Day! There was so much spoken about and written about and actioned about this Day that it got me wondering when and why it started in the first place.
I mean, I do not, for one second, negate the requirement for an occasion to bring to light the disparities that exist in society. And gender disparity is one of the most deep-rooted problems that we, as a world, face.
So some basic research about when Women’s Day was first commemorated revealed that 8th March was officially recognized as International Women’s Day by the United Nations in 1975.
Well, while this piece of history is interesting, what fascinated me most during my online read-up was why the Day was celebrated.
What started off as a call for giving women the right to vote in some countries, the movement slowly gained momentum each year to address very serious and real issues like freedom from discrimination, education, empowerment for rural women, freedom against sexual harassment and gender disparity.
Does it strike you guys that nowhere in this entire history of fighting for women’s rights does beauty, consumerism or personal gratification ever feature?
Okay, I am all for wearing what you want and being unapologetic of who you are, but to latch on to these glamorous themes and propagate a brand’s agenda while losing the essence of what the Day was truly meant to achieve is, in my opinion, sad to say the least.
I work in the marketing field myself and I understand that brand agendas are important and it has economic implications as well.
But my point is, the least we as marketers can do is to keep with the UN’s theme of International Women’s Day that they fix on every year or simply make sure that some social good comes out of it.
Keeping with the international theme helps in achieving a unified goal, rather than creating a fancy theme of our own which can easily translate into sales for a company. And from a societal point of view, it takes us one step further in achieving something meaningful.
The theme this year, Be Bold for Change, has been interpreted in a thousand different ways to suit commercial needs, without paying heed to the fact that it was conceptualised to promote gender diversity in workplaces.
Instead of harping on how men need to understand women or how women need to be bold about who they are (which is certainly important but out of context in this case), it would be more valuable to understand what we, as a society, should do to get to a place where women get equal opportunity to hold leadership positions in companies.
And don’t get me wrong guys, I am not implying, at any point, that workplace diversity will be achieved only when external factors work out in favour of women. I realise, and so does the UN, that women need to plan and chalk out a proactive strategy to get to a leadership role.
My point is, instead of digressing, it will probably create more impact if we have open discussions about what each section of society (women and men alike) needs to do to get to the ultimate objective of gender diversity at workplaces.
Okay, too many pent up thoughts that I needed to pen (type) down. But I will end this blog post ona good note.
On the occasion of Women’s Day today, I cannot help but be proud that I work at a company called The PRactice, where our workforce is extremely diverse, culturally and gender-wise too! There is competition amongst us, but never has gender been a reason for either man or woman to progress in our company and that’s pretty kick-ass right?
Oh, and no one asked me to write that about my office and I am not doing it to promote anything but workplace parity! #BeBoldForChange