International Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the most important days to celebrate in the year. From the suffragette movement to electing the first female Vice President of the United States, we have come a long way. While there is much to be thankful for, there is still work to do, and support between women has never been more important. One thing to remember is that the power to create change comes in many shapes and sizes and all women have a role to play. Every female success story inspires the next generation to believe anything is possible, from the working mother next door to the young girl dreaming big. At ilapothecary, we strive to support the modern-day woman with a fast-paced lifestyle and would like to honour women everywhere by highlighting some points of progress in the struggle for gender equality and why there is lots more to be done.
History of International Women’s Day and the Importance of Celebration
The progress women have made in the labour market over the last century is remarkable and we have many women to thank for it. Figures like Ruth Bader Ginsburg who made her career and life’s-work about fighting gender discrimination, or the tennis icon Billie Jean King, who campaigned relentlessly for gender equality in sports. Fast forward to women’s day 2021 and we see Kamala Harris, the first female vice president of the United States who also happens to be the first African American and Asian American vice president. However, it is not necessary to go that far to see the progress women have made in the job market. Nowadays, there are many successful and up and coming female entrepreneurs and professionals who have been able to achieve amazing results thanks to their incredible abilities. Take Ella Mills, founder of Deliciously Ella, who went from sharing plant-based recipes with her friends to having six bestselling cookbooks, a #1 food and wellness app, seven lines of food products, and a café in central London, or the gut-health guru Dr Megan Rossi, who founded The Gut Health Doctor and The Gut Health Clinic that help thousands of people improve their health and wellbeing.
Women have also come a long way in traditionally male-dominated industries showing outstanding results. Some inspiring examples are chef Niki Nakayama, who opened a Michelin-star restaurant after several put-downs and discouragement by male co-workers; Anne Boden, the first woman to start a British bank (Starling Bank) with the aim of inspiring other women to pursue opportunities in the financial sector, and Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, founder of Stemettes, an award-winning social enterprise that helps young women tap into careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Nothing should prevent women from taking a particular career path or chasing a dream, and these examples of success despite adversity should inspire all women to let nothing stand in their way.
The Theme of 2021
The theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’ and the goal here is to point out the impact of women during the pandemic. A recent study by McKinsey & Co remarked that women in particular have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 crisis and were more likely to be furloughed or made redundant. It is no secret that working mothers are superheroes, as they have to juggle two full-time jobs: family care and their career. Throughout the pandemic, childcare has been another major issue for working mothers as they have been forced to live at an unsustainable pace or consider downshifting or leaving the labour force. This shows how more needs to be done to make sure women are not disproportionately affected during times of hardship, and that we must continue making our voices heard.
In 2009, the Aurora Ventures firm launched a website for International Women’s Day with the aim of promoting this ceremony through different campaigns. The campaign theme for this year is #ChooseToChallenge and is all about calling out gender bias and inequality.