It’s All About Embracing Equity

International Women's Day (IWD) and Women's History Month (WHM) are two events that celebrate the achievements and struggles of women around the world. March is WHM each year, with IWD celebrated on March 8. 

The history of International Women's Day

International Women's Day is celebrated annually on March 8 to recognize women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. The first International Women's Day was observed in 1909 in New York City as a way to honor the 1908 garment workers' strike. The United Nations officially recognized the day in 1975, and since then has been celebrated by people worldwide.

International Women's Day's themes vary yearly, focusing on global issues affecting women. The theme of International Women's Day 2023 is #EmbraceEquity, which focuses on the importance of achieving gender equity and addressing the systemic barriers that prevent women from fully participating in all areas of society. Equity means giving everyone what they need to succeed and recognizing that different people have different needs and starting points. In the context of gender, equity means ensuring that women and non-binary individuals have access to the same opportunities, resources, and support as men. This includes access to education, healthcare, employment, political representation, and protection from violence and discrimination. Embracing equity means recognizing and addressing the historical and structural factors contributing to gender inequality and working to create a more just and equitable world for all.

Women's History Month

Women's History Month is celebrated annually in March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, among other countries. It began as a week-long celebration in the United States in 1978, organized by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women. The week of March 8th was chosen to coincide with International Women's Day. In 1987, Congress passed a resolution designating March as Women's History Month in the United States.

The purpose of Women's History Month is to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women throughout history. It is a time to reflect on women’s progress and acknowledge the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equality. The National Women's History Alliance selects a theme for Women's History Month each year.

Together, International Women's Day and Women's History Month help raise awareness of the issues facing women today and highlight the progress made in the fight for gender equality.

International Women’s Day at Aras

To acknowledge International Women’s Day this year, our women’s Business Resource Group (BRG) Aras Women in Leadership arranged several ways to celebrate. We invited Jackie  Glenn of GLENN DIVERSITY Inclusion & HR to speak on March 9 to discuss the history of IWD and what is meant when we talk about equity. During this event segment, we also built a communal, interactive “equity word cloud” (using a tool called Mentimeter), which you can see above. 

After her presentation, Jackie facilitated a discussion on equity between Lalitha Gunturi, Aras General Counsel and leader of our Aras Women in Leadership team, and Valenteen Sterling, HR Manager EMEA. The meeting ended with a lively Q&A. We look forward to our next event, a session on Unconscious Bias featuring all of our BRGs: Aras WIL, Black@Aras, LGBTQ+@Aras, and El Mundo Hispano.

If you want to learn more about Diversity, Inclusion & Equity at Aras, check out our blog, Aras Embraces Diversity and Inclusion: IWD 2022, or visit our career page.