30 ideas to celebrate Women’s Day at office
Sheryl Sandberg famously once said:
“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”
Women’s day is around the corner and you are scrambling for ideas to make this day special for all the lovely ladies in your organization?
Don’t worry – here is a list of 30 ideas for you to choose from!
If you want a downloadable copy – click here.
Sometimes, the journey is the destination. How about building up the excitement to the big day by getting everyone involved in it? Instead of outsourcing the work of putting up buntings, balloons and banners, break-up employees into smaller teams and give them different responsibilities. Don’t forget to include display posters that document stories of inspirational women as a part of this!
2. Announce a colour or dress code for the day:
Encourage everyone at office (not just the women) to turn up wearing a beautiful shade of pink or purple or follow a particular dresscode. Colours add a dash of life to everything that we do – and what better way to show solidarity with all the women in office, than if everyone including senior management turn up in the same colour!
3. Thoughtful Gifting:
Everyone loves gifts regardless of where they are in the corporate ladder. Gift each of the women in office a bouquet of flowers, a card and a chocolate to make them feel special. You could also surprise them with gift vouchers for a dinner with family at an upmarket restaurant or shopping at a boutique.
4. E-mail/Newsletter/ Social media communication:
Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. What better day to share a thank you note to all the women who make the office a special place, than today? Send personalised e-mails (not a generic blast) that acknowledges their effort. Alternatively, get out a newsletter sent to the whole company where every single woman is acknowledged for their accomplishments. Better still, post individual testimonials on your company’s social media channel.
5. Brain-storming sessions:
Women need to be the biggest cheer leaders and supporters for each other. What about holding a brain-storming session, where every day/unusual situations are thrown up - be it personal or work-related, to discover how they would deal with it? Such conversations are always very reaffirming for everyone involved.
6. Make-up and grooming:
Proper grooming and a professional appearance are important in today’s workplace. Why not arrange for an interactive corporate grooming session with an image and etiquette consultant? And hey, don’t forget to invite the men too (Psst… maybe they need it more!)
While you are at it, how about gifting the women a voucher for a session at a spa to pamper themselves!
Why not try an activity that research has proven to have physical and mental benefits, in addition to improving employee morale, productivity and team work? Dancing releases endorphins and encourages bonding! The joy and freedom of expressing their being is more powerful than not expressing themselves and worrying about being judged. Dance is a great medium to build confidence & cohesiveness at the same time. Try out the Happy Feet Challenge!
8. Masterclass Sessions:
Invite a woman leader to talk about her experience in the industry and how she finds working in a male-dominated world. These could be senior women leaders from your own company or the industry. No better person to share these insights than someone who has been there – done that. More power to sisterhood.
9. Hold a talent show:
Encourage the women in your organization to showcase some of their hidden talents. You could have a singer, a storyteller or a drummer in your midst and never have known! We are surrounded by superwomen who manage to juggle a host of responsibilities all at once along with being super talented. Sometimes a stage is all that they need. Go ahead and be surprised.
10. Make a pledge:
At 18 percent, India has a lower share of women’s contribution to the GDP than the global average of 37 percent. It is high time we rectify this. Pledge to help women achieve their ambitions, to address unexamined biases and challenge gender discrimination. Promise to value women’s contributions equally and to provide them equal opportunities encouraging gender balanced leadership roles. And hey, make sure all the senior leaders are present while you do this!
11. Encourage the men:
IWD should not be only about women with men watching as by-standers. Get the men onto the dais and let them talk about the women in their lives or about women who have motivated them. Trust us – every single man out there can speak for ages about this.
12. Team Outing:
Nothing like arranging a special team outing for all the women in your team. But plan it meticulously to make it special. You could choose activities that challenge the norms about what women can do or cannot do…. Like say the Velocipede Challenge or Pirate Gaming Challenge Or Wine Tasting Challenge! You could arrange for a stand-up comedy evening by a female comedian, centred around women’s themes. Or you could get an inspirational motivational speaker like Deeya Bajaj to share her experiences! You are limited only by your own imagination.
13. Day-time creche facility:
Recognize a woman’s role as a mother- inaugurate a day time creche facility in your office, to encourage women employees to concentrate on their work, knowing their tiny tots are in safe hands!!
14. Personalised Gifts:
Present your women employees with a memento in which their photos have been customized and printed, as a special remembrance to mark the day. Alternatively, you could also hand out personalized diaries, listing the names of all the women achievers in the organization and specially autographed by one such achiever.
15. Cookery show:
Working women have loads to do, balance work and family, plus chase time! Get some of the best chefs in the industry to cook up their best dishes and hand out handy kitchen tips. Alternatively, get the men in the office to participate in a Cook-Off challenge and get the women to be the judges!
16. Honour them:
Outstanding women employees in the organization. Profile them on the company’s web page and highlight their exemplary dedication to their job! Or hold an award ceremony and distribute prizes to all the women achievers in the organization.
17. Fund raise and donate:
IWD is a great opportunity for your organization to implement an easy fund-raising idea and donate to a women’s shelter or a women’s refuge. You could even donate to support businesses owned by women. Remember, this is not just symbolism – every drop counts. And often, this sort of initiative helps in building more awareness for women’s causes than other celebratory initiatives.
18. Present them an inspiring book:
Books are the most readily available source of inspiration and learning. It’s a pity that more people have not stumbled upon this truth. So this IWD, why not help the women and (more pertinently, the men) around you be inspired through some of the books written by other inspiring women?
Here are a few you could gift:
How women rise: Marshall Goldsmith and Sally Helgesen
Lean in: Sheryl Sandberg
Big Magic: Elizabeth Gilbert
Exhausted to Energized: Dr. Libby
The Art of Asking: Amanda Palmer
How remarkable women lead: Joanna Barsh
Becoming: Michelle Obama
Good Night stories for Rebel Girls: Elena Favilli
19. Wellness based session:
Celebrate feminine power with a yoga, pranayama and a meditation workshop. The complexities of women’s physical and mental health are unique and hence needs to be tackled differently. Women’s physiology, health and hormonal changes calls for a different approach than that for men. Why not use this opportunity to organize a WOW (Women on Wellness) workshop?
20. Arrange for a movie show:
IWD is the perfect opportunity to celebrate empowerment, equality and everything that women throughout history to the present day have achieved and what better way to celebrate that than to watch an inspiring film together?
Here are a few you could explore:
• Mamma Mia!
• The Hunger Games
• Black Swan
• Alice in Wonderland
• Mona Lisa Smile
• GI Jane
• The Blind Side
• Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider
• Miss Congeniality
• Kill Bill
• Million Dollar Baby
• The Iron Lady
As you see – the list is a really long one!
21. Schedule a competitive sport:
IWD is an opportunity to break all gender stereotypes. Like saying “women like indoor games.” Says who? Organise a completely outdoor engagement. Could be something traditional like cricket or soccer(if you have enough women in your office) or choose from a host of outdoor team building activities like the Horse Whisperer Challenge, Sailing Challenge, City Race or Beach Olympics!
22. Launch a special insurance plan:
When it comes to their health, women always prioritise their family members over themselves, leaving them vulnerable to critical illnesses. Why not provide her with an insurance cover to take care of such exigencies?Make it specific to women and giving cover for life, savings and women-specific critical illnesses.
A health check-up or a health consultation session with guidance on nutrition and diet to complement it, would also go a long way in empowering women, with information and upkeep of their health.
23. Gender reversal or role play:
Bring out some situations that women face everyday and get the menfolk to enact how they would respond in such scenarios. Sessions such as these not only sensitize the men to women’s issues, but they could also generate some laughter and fun!
24. IWD Photo Contest:
Get employees to post photos of what they think represents an ideal IWD celebration and upload them on the company’s website. You can allow people to vote for their favourite pictures and then organize a prize draw between the top three entries!
25. IWD Quiz contest:
Prepare a set of questions relating to Women’s day and hold a quiz contest. Attractive incentives for winners will not only keep participants interested, but could also test their awareness about IWD and gender equality.
26. Arrange a Women’s Leadership Program:
There are plenty of reasons that make women great leaders. The challenge however is the mindsets that come in the way – and the fewer opportunities that women get. What is the difference between men and women in Leadership roles? It turns out there is plenty. So why not use this IWD to actually inspire more of the women in your team into understanding leadership? You could check out our Women’s Leadership Program.This is a workshop designed and run mostly by the amazing women Facilitators in our team.
27. Inspire your team to do little acts of kindness :
Little acts of kindness, little acts of love,
Go on to make the earth, like the heavens above
It does not take much to show the women in your life that they really matter. It could be a colleague, a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, girlfriend, or a female friend… Why not celebrate IWD by making them feel special?
Send flowers, write a card, give a small gift, or take them out for lunch. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman; we can all show our gratitude and love for the women around us.
If you want to help a worthy cause at the same time, these unique gift cards from Oxfam help to provide safe refuge for women fleeing from violence. (Unfortunately not available directly in India yet)
28. Together watch these inspiring TED talks by women:
TED today hosts hundreds of incredible talks by women. These are just a few of the powerful, controversial and stimulating talks out there. They will help your team to together take in and appreciate issues related to women – hopefully leading to a kinder workplace.
• We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
• Unlock the intelligence, passion, greatness of girls by LeymahGbowee..
• The dangerous ways ads see women by Jean Kilbourne..
• The price of shame by Monica Lewinsky.
29. Schedule an IWD at work:
While long term commitment to foster gender diversity is critical, it does not harm to bring the spotlight on this issue with events on the day.
Here are a few things that you can organize without too much of external help:
• Hold an IWD themed company huddle, to raise awareness
• List all the clichés about women – and bust them together!
30. Align with the IWD Theme for the year:
This year’s official theme of IWD #ChooseToChallenge focuses on the idea that each one of us can choose to challenge and call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements.
Collectively, we can create an inclusive and more gender-equal world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge. The campaign runs all year long. It doesn't end on International Women's Day.
The campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned journalist once explained that "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."
• So motivate others by putting your hands out and STRIKE THE #ChooseToChallenge POSE (like in the image above) and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women everywhere.
• Amplify your message through social media by posting your #IWD2021 message on social media by raising your hand high and showing your solidarity in choosing to challenge and giving a strong call-to-action for others to also #ChooseToChallenge
• Download the #ChooseToChallenge posters and ask colleagues to think about what progressive actions they can take. Write them on the posters, or add yellow sticky notes, listing tangible ideas and commitment
Quoting Hillary Clinton – “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world”
There are a myriad other ways in which IWD can still be celebrated – it is just up to you to don the thinking cap and get creative. So Happy Women’s day and three cheers to all the women who persevere to contribute to our homes, workplaces, society and the nation!!
We love to put together bespoke work for our clients. So in case none of these ideas seemed exciting enough, but you have a half baked idea running in your head – do throw it at us and let us see what comes out of it!
Contact us today to make your Women’s Day meaningful!