Women’s Day: why it’s not all about (or are) flowers

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For those who follow us, should not be news that Digital Results invests and encourages diversity. It is known, too, that this is the way that any company should follow.

A survey of McKinsey , for example, points out that companies that invest in gender diversity tend to have financial returns 21% higher than the others. When we talk about ethnic and racial diversity, this figure rises to 33%. Another fact, according to the Change Catalyst , points out that many teams have customers 39% more satisfied.

So today the theme of diversity in business is widely discussed. Dates as the day of gay pride, the Disabled and the Black Consciousness are highlighted and celebrated. The International Women’s Day is no different: it is a time to recognize and engage women’s team and, moreover, no company wants to stay out, is not it?

Here in DR we improve our actions every year. For 2018 we prepared one month full of lectures, discussions and relevant moments for our RDivas (as they call themselves women of our time). Thus, I will share some tips and lessons for you to make International Women’s Day even better!

Woman's Day

Understand and share why this day is celebrated

For decades a myth about the date circulates around: on March 8, 1857 a group of striking workers have been set on fire in a New York factory as a means of repression of the strike, and in honor of them marks the Day of the woman.

There are some possibilities that lead to this historical mistake, but discuss them is not our focus for this moment. The point here is that, to celebrate a date is necessary to understand what it really celebrates, is not it ?! So, what actually leads the world celebrate March 8?

In 1909, the 28th of February was established as “Women’s Day” by US feminist groups in New York and Chicago. Then, in August 1910 it was held in Copenhagen the Second International Conference of Working Women.

On that day, American feminists presented the proposal to create an International Women’s Day to be celebrated annually on the last day of February. The proposal was approved, but did not set a specific date for the celebration. Some countries celebrated in February as the United States, as others did in other months, always between February and May.

Between failed attempts to unify the date, the UN (United Nations) entered the dance and decreed in 1975 that the date to be considered the International Women’s Day was March 8. According to the organization, this is a day when women are recognized for their achievements, whatever their nationality, ethnicity, language etc. Moreover, this is a day to support the rights of women, their struggles and their inclusion in several areas.

Escape from stereotypes

But if what you want of this day is to recognize, encourage and discuss how women can gain more space, with a sweet or a rose will help?

Woman's Day

Well, we do not know!

Applied research in Silicon Valley called The Elephant in the Valley went to some problems that women face in the world of work. The results show that 84% of participants have received feedback that are very aggressive.

Gifts like flowers, days of beauty and cosmetics reinforce each gender stereotype that women should be delicate, sweet, kind, concerned with the appearance etc. They can be all those things, but in no way should be. Moreover, such initiatives help to reinforce that women who do not fit in the boxes above are aggressive, bossy etc.

Investing in development and knowledge is always a great option. Call inspiring women to lectures, offer mentorias women on your team, give voice to them and ask if there is any subject that they are interested in sharing with others the company. The possibilities are endless.

Make room for vulnerability

Just as women in Silicon Valley have come together to talk about their pain in a search, open space for the women of his team can speak of the difficulties they face in their day to day.

A campaign launched by the Labor Ministry this week asked women “which is to be working for you?”. The answer you can see below:

 

As you can see, it is not easy to hear the difficulties that women encounter in your company. Even with the best of environments you will hear difficult stories. But remember: you’re not alone! This is a reflection of the society we live in: women in Silicon Valley spend so women of Brazil are so short, all women in the world go through this!

The first step to create initiatives to promote gender equity in your business is to listen to what women have to say about it and understand the challenges that are found every day. The Women’s Day can be a great time to start!

Call men to the wheel

No, it’s not just men who have machismo. Women do it all the time when they judge each other. However, it is undeniable that more drastic changes in behavior need to come from men.

The HeForShe is a movement affiliated to the United Nations, whose goal is to achieve gender equality. Its main focus is to encourage men and boys to be agents of change, in order to counteract the negative inequalities faced by women and girls.

Thus, it is necessary to bring this movement into the companies. It is important that men can hear testimonials from women and understand with examples that inequality exists. Even more relevant is to open space for dialogue, to understand what can be different and how.

Do not despair, do not make a revolution in one day!

According to the World Economic Forum Brazil will take over 93 years to achieve gender equality. Do not wait, then you go get change all a reality with only an International Women’s Day.

However, if you do not want women in your company find the equality only in 2111, it’s time to start acting.

How about exchanging flowers and chocolates this year for concrete initiatives for development and inclusion?

Let’s make the Women’s Day in a month, a year or a program geared to women?

I bet you will not regret it!