This year, International Women’s Day will be celebrated on the 8th of March. It is a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It provides us with an opportunity to hammer home that we all have a role to play in creating a more gender-balanced* world. It’s also a day to celebrate the achievements of women to date and the incredible movements and efforts of women across the globe. So, this IWD, we wanted to do just this, curating a list of people, events, communities and more that we STAN (are fangirling) on this day.
For general information about International Women’s Day 2020, head to the official website. This years theme is ‘An equal world is an enabled world’, asking men and women worldwide to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.
1. Suzy Heath, SEO Account Executive
Must join: Code First: Girls
Code First: Girls is a not for profit organisation that arranges free community courses for young women looking to learn to code. Why do we stan it? It provides an entry point for women who missed the tech boat at school to get a foot in the door. The tech industry has one of the most unequally weighted distributions of men and women, due to a huge range of social factors.
I really enjoyed the course for many reasons. It came around at a very timely stage of my work in SEO – I began in March (totally green), had six months to get a handle on things, and as I was gaining confidence it became the perfect time to pick up some development knowledge too. Every SEO should have coding basics – it helps you know where to look when things are going wrong, what the likely culprit is, and how to know which suggestions would be feasible for a particular client’s site.
We also rely on working very closely with developers to achieve SEO goals. The course was incredibly helpful as it not only gave insight into how the code works, but also the processes and practices common to working in development. This is thanks to the developers who gave up many hours of their time volunteering to run the course.
My team came away with a fully working site hosted on GitHub Pages to keep for posterity, as well as lasting literacy in a skill that is still seen as obscure and reserved for specialists. The icing on the cake is that a few weeks ago, I began the next level of Code First: Girls – Introduction to Python. Catch me in five weeks’ time for more on that.
The quick criteria are to identify as a women/non-binary AND
- Be aged 18-23 OR
- Aged 18+ and studying OR
- Aged 18+ and finished studies in the past 2 years.
2. Elinor Abraham, PR Content Manager
Must read: Educated by Tara Westover.
Growing up in rural Idaho to a Mormon survivalist family, Tara never had a formal education. But as she got older she realised she was different – she began to branch out of her close-knit community, hungry to learn. Her memoir covers her life; the impact of breaking away from her family and her increasingly violent brother, her journey towards earning her PhD from Cambridge and how she ultimately became ‘educated’. It’s one of the best books I’ve read for a long time and is hugely inspiring, taking you through the ups and downs of family life, being a woman and earning the right to be heard. It’s a refreshingly open and candid articulation of a young woman finding herself and I really couldn’t recommend it more – I literally couldn’t put it down.
3. Sarah Hughes, SEO Account Manager at ROAST
Must Join: The ://WOMEN IN TECH SEO/
The ://WOMEN IN TECH SEO/ community, founded by the inspiring Areej AbuAli, is a community which supports and brings together a growing network of women in the Technical SEO field. Less than a year old, WIT host free monthly meetups and provide a network for sharing problems or knowledge. Since its inception, our team have enjoyed attending the monthly meetups, which are both inspiring and empowering for women at every stage of their career, we loved hosting the community at Christmas and can’t wait to see what they have in store next. WIT is celebrating International Women’s Day with a full-day conference on the 6th March. This extremely popular event sold out early but you’ll be able to access our Women in Tech SEO Festival key takeaways very soon.
4. Jessica Hollingbery, Associate Marketing Director TIPi Group
Must see: ‘This Girl Can’
Launched in 2015, ‘This Girl Can’ drove a revolution in women’s exercise regimes, celebrating keeping active, no matter how we choose to stay fit, nor how we look doing it. Not only have three million women become active off the back of this, in recent years women’s competitive sports are now beginning to gain greater exposure as we push to close the ‘participation gap’.
More recent campaigns are continuing the good work to support the sporting shift. The Federation of Irish Sport’s ‘If she can’t see it, she can’t be it’ looks to drive media coverage, participation and attendance to female events. The Telegraph’s ‘Girls, Inspired’ seeks to close the gender sports gap in schools. Beer brands Guinness and Budweiser chose to advertise their products through telling the stories of women’s UK rugby and football teams, giving the teams deserved media coverage and brand backing. These are only a few examples of the increasing attention being paid to women becoming a greater part of the sports space.
The movement is having a knock on effect, for instance, this year, the participation number of women athletes at the Olympic Games is approaching 50 percent, and traditionally women based sports such as netball recently drove record breaking sales for games.
It is certainly an exciting and promising time for the women’s sports arena, however there is still a long way to go, and we should all try to be a part of driving change forward.
5. Katherine Wren, Junior Developer at Rabbit & Pork
Must read: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez.
An incredibly well researched book and one I force on to any man I hear making noises about how sexism no longer exists. It’s a great reminder of all the little ways in which women’s lives are made unnecessarily harder that we’ve just learned to accept – but shouldn’t have to! Read and be outraged. Caroline is also the only person I’ve ever heard speak with true passion about toilets. If you can’t face the whole book yet, read this article in The Guardian, ‘The Deadly truth about a world built for men’ and a feature by the author as previews.
Must Join: The Girls’ Network
The Girls Network is a charity that connects working professional women with girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them dream bigger and reach their goals. The mentoring scheme is super simple to apply for, and you only need to commit to 12 hours in a year to take part. It runs in several cities across the UK and matches around 1000 girls every year. You need 3 years of professional experience to become a mentor, but this can be part time work. A phrase from their materials that really struck me was ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ – this is an issue in so many workplaces with lack of female role models in senior roles, which leads to many women’s lack of confidence when applying for more senior positions.
6. Bonnie Beadle, Office Manager at TIPi Group
Must watch: Nike – Dream Crazier Campaign
It’s great to see big brands such as Nike, supporting women in sport, reflecting a huge shift in society. Ultimatelly, the pay gap and the exposure between men’s and women’s sport is still vast but we are definitely moving in the right direction. Ad campaigns such as this shed light on moments of injustice and discrimination against women, reclaiming the connotations of women as ‘crazy’ and associating it with the fantastic achievements of women in sport. Brands should be pioneers for change and campaigns such as this can have tangible and positive impacts on society, I hope to see more ads like this on our screens in 2020!
7. Christina Daskajiannis, Marketing Executive at TIPi Group
Must join: Women in Voice
The Women in Voice community have a clear goal: International empowerment for women in voice technology. Their mission statement is fourfold: 1) to build community for women in this field, 2) to amplify the work and talent of women, 3) to provide professional development and resources to support women, 4) to empower women and diverse people in the voice technology field. This includes but is not restricted to developers, engineers, designers, marketers, user experience researchers, voice actors, linguists, and artificial intelligence specialists.
The voice sector is rapidly expanding, with adoption rates of smart speakers expected to rise to 8 billion by 2023, however the tech sector’s workforce remains a stronghold for gender inbalance. Women in voice aim to break down some of the barriers to entry for women in the sector, through providing the means to upskill, and a community to empower one another.
I 100% STAN.
You can join this community, who will be holding another Women in Voice Meetup on the 18th March
8. Maddie Benyon, PPC Account Executive at ROAST
Must Join: Kode With Klossy
Entrepreneur & model, Karlie Kloss, is breaking boundaries within the computer programming world by helping to boost female representation within a predominantly male sector. The non-profit summer camp, Kode with Klossy, aims to get create “learning experiences and opportunities for young women that increase their confidence and inspire them to pursue their passions in a technology driven world”.
Kloss developed a keen passion for Science, Technology and Maths at an early age. After pursuing a career in modelling, she decided to harness her former passions by attending coding classes at the Flatiron School in New York. It was there where Kloss decided to use her platform within the media to champion an entirely different industry – STEM. Not only is she diversifying the sector, the ‘Kode With Klossy’ initiative is helping young women, aged 13 to 18, shape the future!
That’s it from the women at TIPi Group, we hope you have enjoyed our suggestions and are as inspired as us this International Women’s Day!
*The OECD defines gender balance as “an equitable distribution of life’s opportunities and resources between women and men, and/or the equal representation of women and men.”