International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women’s equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.
The theme for this year’s IWD is #BreakTheBias.
Imagine a world where there is equality, diversity and inclusivity. A world which is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
How is the world shifting towards gender equality?
Gender-related conversations and activities are certainly on the rise. Over the years, the term “International Women’s Day” was the most discussed topic on Facebook by millions (even more than the Super Bowl). And back in 2018, Pantone’s ‘Color of the Year’ was purple (i.e. women’s colour). Everywhere, gender is on the mainstream radar and impacting the narrative. Stereotypes, discrimination and bias are more likely to be called out. Men’s role in society is more varied and gender roles are more fluid.
We are moving to a very exciting time in history where the world now “expects” diversity, equity and inclusion. The world notices its absence and celebrates its presence.
Step back over the years. For example, International Women’s Day 2016 saw people worldwide being asked to support women’s equality and develop an inclusive mindset via a #PledgeforParity. Then for International Women’s Day 2017, the world was asked to #BeBoldforChange and identify tangible action to help accelerate gender parity. International Women’s Day 2018 saw a massive #PressforProgress as the world stepped forward to push the boundaries and go beyond in achieving greater equality for women. International Women’s Day 2019 saw groups continue to play a critical role in helping forge a more gender-balanced world as we worked towards a #BalanceforBetter. International Women’s Day 2020, amidst the pandemic, saw an important wave of collective individualism as we all strived to be #EachforEqual – because we know that an equal world is an enabled world. Then in 2021, we saw widespread global adoption of the #ChooseToChallenge theme as groups committed to actively watching for and calling out inequity.
Now in 2022, we must step up and be aware of the significant impact that bias has on women’s equality – both conscious and unconscious bias. We need to recognise it and call it out. We need to #BreakTheBias.
What is Hertsavers doing towards supporting women?
As a credit union, we can build a community with equality and free from bias by making sure that we support women financially so that they can:
- Regain control of their money and independence
- Give them the confidence to make sound decisions and express themselves in their professional and personal lives
Some of the ways we do this are by encouraging people to save money with one of our savings accounts. For those who are struggling with the demanding child care costs, we offer child benefit loans of £500 or £750, if you have two or more children. If you are returning to the workplace and need a head start in getting your finances back on track, we have an introductory loan of up to £3,000 or you can join the Salary Saving Scheme. We also provide financial education such as money-saving tips through our blog and newsletters.
How you can show your support at this year’s International Women’s Day
• cross your arms and strike the #BreakTheBias pose showing solidarity and support
• post across social media using the hashtags #BreakTheBias and #IWD2022
• like, repost, comment on the #BreakTheBias posts of others
Together we can all #BreakTheBias.