International Women’s Day 2024: Inspiring Inclusion

It’s International Women’s Day 2024! Learn about why inspiring inclusion matters to your people and your business. Plus, #InspireInclusion in your workplace with support from experienced advisers.

First published on Thursday, Mar 07, 2024

Last updated on Friday, Mar 08, 2024

5 min read

International Women’s Day happens every year on March 8th. The day celebrates the achievements of women—socially, politically, and culturally and raises valuable awareness for greater gender equality.

The IWD theme for 2024 is #InspireInclusion. As an employer, it’s important to consider all the ways you can celebrate and recognise International Women’s Day and how inclusion can be promoted and improved in your workplace.

So, BrightHR has combined some tips and some statistics to help guide you!

And if that’s not enough to inspire change, real stories from real people should be. That’s why this year we also asked our BrightHR clients to share what inspiring inclusion means to them.

First things first though…

What does inspiring inclusion mean?

Inspiring inclusion is a bit of a buzzword. So, let’s break it down in real terms.

When it comes down to it, an inclusive workplace means not excluding members of your team based on gender, race, class, sexuality, or disability. It also means giving everybody a fair chance at success and providing equal opportunities.

Promoting gender equality in the workplace is not just a matter of fairness. It's also essential for the success and growth of your business. Numerous studies have shown that diverse teams lead to better business outcomes.

Inspiring inclusion in your organisation is not just the job of your HR managers, it’s everybody's responsibility to forge a more inclusive world for women and all employees.

So, when it comes to inspiring inclusion—the most important lesson is that it’s not just the responsibility of the people who are looking to be included, in this case, women.

Inspiring change demands attention from every level of business. But fostering inclusion and gender equity begins at the top.

What does inspiring inclusion mean to BrightHR customers?

We asked the female founders and decision-makers who use BrightHR software to tell us what this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #InspiringInclusion, means to them.

Here’s what Britt Hollingworth, the CEO ASAC at Bush Medijina had to say:

“Inspiring Inclusion means creating a space where everyone's unique stories and strengths are not just acknowledged but celebrated. It's about fostering a community where diverse voices contribute to a richer, more vibrant whole.

"Inclusion is not just a concept; it's a commitment to unity, understanding, and shared success.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Why does female representation matter?

While women have made strides in the past several decades, men are still more likely to occupy senior positions—even in female-dominated industries.

In Australia, only:

  • 22.3% of CEOs are women
  • 34% of board members are women
  • 18% of board chairs are women
  • 35.1% of key management positions are held by women

Representation is huge when it comes to inspiring inclusivity, not only for the success of women but for the success of your business.

Holly Christie, Onboarding Account Manager at BrightHR, spoke to us about her past experiences with gender in the workplace. Working in software and sales she said when she first started her career the environment was largely male. But that attitudes are changing and hiring more women who are “incredible at what they do” is flipping the script that you don’t need to be male to be successful in sales.

Reflecting on previous employers, she says: “Unfortunately alongside many other highly qualified and motivated women, I’ve been driven out of companies that don’t offer progression opportunities to their female employees.” Luckily Holly says she now feels like she’s in a position in her career where her gender would never be a barrier to her progression. But unfortunately, a lot of qualified women could still be being pushed out.

Disadvantages women face in the workplace

Businesses, leaders, managers and even your more junior employees can become blind to the societal disadvantages women face day to day.

One substantial inequality women still face at work is the gender pay gap. The national gender pay gap currently stands at 12% and at current rates will take over 20 years to close. And because this huge gap still exists, government guidelines and legislation continue to put laws in place to crack down on unequal pay. As an employer, it’s important you make sure you’re up to date with the latest advice.

But beyond making sure you’re following guidelines, how does the gender pay gap impact your business? Well…if you don’t have the right policies and procedures to support all your staff—no matter their gender—your staff will disengage. And disengaged staff will affect your team and your performance.

So, how can you better support women in your workplace?

To stop driving your talented employees out, it’s important to educate yourself and your staff on equality, diversity & inclusion so you can support everyone at work equally. BrightLearn is a free e-learning tool you can use to educate and upskill your staff. Try our free e-learning course on diversity & inclusion.

Remember inspiring inclusion in your workplace should be your mission this International Women’s Day and beyond. Get support setting the right tone for your employees with advice from our HR experts.

Our team can help you navigate a wide range of sensitive topics, including your approach to ensuring equal opportunities and anti-discrimination in your workplace.

A more equitable workplace starts today! Just click here to learn more about our 24/7 BrightAdvice phone line.

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