Make 2023 the year you commit to #TakeAction on inclusion
As we approach Women’s History Month in March and International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, there’s never been a better time to take action and rally others to join you in creating real and sustainable change in the workplace. Frankly, we’re in trouble, and we need to acknowledge it!
As Megan McCann wrote in her recent Forbes article, 2023 has to be the year of women in the workplace. Why? Because, as she reminds us, while “women have gained footing in the professional world for decades, … we’ve lost some critical ground in recent years.” Our current collective conundrum is that there is a dire workforce shortage of skilled talent — ask any senior leader! But let’s not forget, there is a solution to the problem. Hire more women and underrepresented people and support their advancement!
In recent years, more women are attending and graduating from college than men. McCann states it clearly, “educated, skilled women are not scarce in the U.S.” What is scarce are truly inclusive organizations where all employees can thrive and contribute to organizational goals.
When will employers understand that it is an imperative to make the workplace more inclusive and fix the broken rungs and systems obstructing the corporate ladder for women and underrepresented people?
International Women’s Day 2023
So here we are. Our organizations are in dire need of change or to put it more bluntly, a complete overhaul. And yet this year’s IWD theme is #EmbraceEquity with the suggested action to hug yourself and post a selfie. To say that I’m disappointed is an understatement! Given the realities of the #MeToo movement and the trajectory of change in the workplace, this theme not only misses the mark — it creates a missed opportunity to encourage real conversations and actions in the workplace.
As I’ve noted recently, the Women in the Workplace 2022 report from LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company shows that not only have women failed to advance since the report was launched in 2015, but in many companies, the number of women in the pipeline and in leadership positions has actually moved backward.
Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day should be opportunities for organizations to dive deeply into the issues, obstacles, strategies and tactics to drive change, enlist allies, advocates and sponsors. This celebratory month should be about more than a feel-good cheering session supporting women. It’s a platform and launching pad to use our voices and spheres of influence to actively create more inclusive workplaces. Because isn’t that being truly supportive of women and envisioning the future growth of our companies and businesses?
Join me during the month of March by taking meaningful action and encouraging others to do the same.
Here are some resources to help you take action and kickstart bold conversations:
- Conversation QuickStarters – a monthly e-newsletter with topics and questions
- Staff Meeting in a Box – more discussion starters for your team
Actions for Allies and Advocates
Virtual Team Engagement
- Six-module virtual advocacy series to help individuals or teams to create real and sustainable change
Several of my colleagues also offer tools to help you take action:
- Karen Catlin – 5 Ally Actions – weekly newsletter
- Brad Johnson and David Smith – Good Guys: How Men Can Be Better Allies For Women In The Workplace
- Minda Harts – The Memo
- Dr. Michelle Penelope King – The Fix and 100 Actions for Equality
- Lily Zheng – DEI Deconstructed podcast interviews
- Ruchika Tulshyan – Inclusion on Purpose
Make 2023 the year you take action and go the extra mile to not just support women in a soft way, but to be their advocates in making real change during Women’s History Month and on International Women’s Day — and beyond.