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Pledge for Parity: How to Support International Women’s Day 2016

Gather your friends, family, sisters, colleagues, and supporters together to celebrate and take action!

Tomorrow, the 8th March, marks the 105th International Women’s Day (IWD), a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year, the day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

In 2015, the World Economic Forum predicted that it will take until 2133 to close the gender gap, meaning at least four generations of women not yet born will face some form of gender imbalance. This year’s IWD therefore wants us all – men and women – to make a ‘Pledge for Parity’ and take a concrete step to achieving equality more quickly. Here are a few ways you can take action and help put gender on the agenda this International Women’s Day and beyond:

Celebrate success but make goals for progress

Your own personal success, as well as the progress towards parity for all, should be celebrated, so be sure to take some time to reflect on these achievements. However, it is important to keep striving for new goals and recognise where situations can be improved for yourself, for others, and for those that are next in line to the career throne. Consider ways you can make a difference and be a role model through leading by example. Challenge any conscious or unconscious bias in your industry. Succinctly put, enforce the mantra, “I want to enjoy my success, not apologise for it” (Miranda – Sex and the City). Once you do this, all that will be left to say is, “Bravo, honey. Bravo”.

Make a Pledge

Once you have decided how you would like to invest your efforts, the next step is to make a Pledge for Parity, which can be as simple as making a conscious effort to encourage and help women and girls achieve their ambitions. Mentoring and partnering are just a couple ways you can do this. Remember, “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed” (First Lady Michelle Obama). So do your best to raise awareness, gather support for the pledge, and have your say on the matter.

Focus your energy the right way

Whether #womensupportingwomen, #ThisIsWhatAFeministLooksLike, or #HeForShe, there are many ways to make your voice heard. Take to heart a recent statement made at the Grammys: “I want to say to all the young women out there: there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame… But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you… you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world” (Taylor Swift). By focusing your energy and using your time in the right way, there is no limit to where your aspirations and accomplishments may take you.

Enjoyed this advice? Find more inspiration in City Calling’s previous post, How to Fall in Love With Your Career Again.

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