At the beginning of March there will be a flurry of activities to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) which is actually
Like many of these special days, you sort of think we should be celebrating the achievements of women every day, or at least more often.
International Women’s Day actually dates back to the early 1900s when women were fighting to get the vote and better working conditions.
Today it is celebrated in many different ways around the world and in some countries it is actually an official holiday, although in China, for example, just for women only.
In many European countries it is seen as a time for men to honour their mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters and small gifts and flowers are frequently given as a sign of their affection and respect.
Today young women may feel that the battle is over, and that women are equal, after all we have several female prime ministers and women as CEOs of major corporations, but us older gals, still feel there is much to achieve, particularly for women working in male dominated industries.
What has changed over the years is the focus of the events which have gone from marches and protests, to more celebrations.
I’ve had the pleasure to work directly on a couple of IWD events this year – one in Guelph on March 5 which is a collaborative event with different women’s groups coming together to put on an evening event. Their focus is on resilience, with local business owners sharing their strategies for successfully dealing with the time demands of business, work and family.
Then in Toronto, I ‘ve been working with Enterprise Toronto to celebrate women and technology and we have pulled together a panel of women who have either started a technology business, are teaching code to women or embraced technology and introduced IT strategies to enhance business.
Being held on March 11 at MaRS, we are not only being blessed with some words of wisdom from CEO, Ilse Treurnicht but will be immersed in an environment that promotes innovation.
The theme this year globally for International Women’s Day is Gaining Momentum and both events fit so well with that theme. When you think about it, developing resilience and coping strategies, helps you move ahead and the male dominated IT industry is seeing more and more women starting technology businesses.
We truly are gaining momentum and in the words from Helen Reddy’s song – I am Woman – we are strong and invincible.