- On International Women's Day, the organizers behind the Women's March on Washington proclaimed a "A Day Without a Woman," similar to the "Day Without Immigrants," in which women would not participate in paid or unpaid labor.
- Various school systems closed due to teachers calling out of work. Some media outlets — particularly those focused on male-dominated fields such as STEM, video game entertainment and the like — made a statement about the impact of women in those industries by having their women editors and reporters not work that day.
- Many organizations took the day as an opportunity to clarify their stance on women in the workplace. Facebook, for example, held a #SheMeansBusiness Facebook Live event, and Uber (currently in some hot water over their treatment of women employees) made statements to their teams explicitly stating that they'd support women who opt to strike.
The movement was notably quieter than the Jan. 21 march, but the Twittersphere was alive with the hashtags #IWD and #InternationalWomensDay. While most companies seemed to stay open, it did shine a light on the growing momentum of gender equality in the workforce and why it matters to business.
Companies that provide pathways for women tend to score better on almost all business metrics, including employee engagement. If a company is looking for a hard numerical reason to improve diversity, those numbers are coming out, too. Women continue to be held back by old prejudices about their ability to lead. Companies have to have a leadership-supported, inside-out effort to transform their culture and provide women and minorities equal opportunities to advance.
Did your company participate in #IWD or need to close due to the demonstration? Let us know below.