Embracing Gender Equality: Today and Everyday

Mar 08

You may have heard that today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. What you may not know is that, though the day has been relatively unknown in the U.S. until recently, the observance’s origins are actually American.

A quick history: the first Women’s Day took place in February 1909, organized by the Socialist Party of America, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the New York Garment Workers’ Strike. From there, women’s days caught on internationally—particularly in Europe—to protest war and fight for women’s labor rights and suffrage. A Women’s Day protest is even credited with triggering the Russian Revolution in 1917. Once Vladmir Lenin declared Women’s Day an official holiday in 1922 and the observance was embraced by communists in other parts of the world, the day fell out of favor with Americans. Then, in 1975, the United Nations (UN) recognized March 8 as International Women’s Day.

While the day slowly started to resurface on Americans’ radar, it has gotten increased media attention and coverage this year following January’s historic Women’s March and its tie to today’s A Day Without a Woman strike.

For me, International Women’s Day is a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come on the issues that matter to women—as well as the work that still needs to be done. I’ve been fortunate through my work at Ogilvy to have worked on campaigns that improve women’s equality. Here in Washington, we have a long history of championing women’s health, urging women to care for their own health as much as they care for their families’. For several years I had the privilege of supporting the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s The Heart Truth, a program that has helped move the needle nationally in making women aware that women and men are equal when it comes to risk for heart disease. Ogilvy also launched USAID’s Let Girls Learn website, and continues to support the agency’s Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths division. Our Sacramento office has championed Planned Parenthood for years, and our broader network has worked on some incredibly important initiatives for UN Women, including He for She and #womenshould.

Beyond the work we do, I’ve had the opportunity to work under and alongside many, many amazing women that have illustrated that the makeup of leadership in the public relations industry is changing, and Ogilvy itself is doubling down on its commitment to creating an environment that nurtures and champions women through gender equality trainings, paid paternal leave policies, and a professional network designed to empower the next generation of women leaders.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, our Women’s Leadership Professional Network is hosting a panel discussion tomorrow, March 9, focused on the pathways to leadership in a diverse array of industries. I’m excited to learn from women leaders who came before me, and to take those learnings forward to empower my colleagues and continue to work for women’s equality. Be sure to check back next week for a recap of the conversation. In the meantime, take a look at Ogilvy’s conversation with Nanette Braun of UN Women on why March 8 still matters.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 at 10:45 am and is filed under Ogilvy Washington. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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