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Supercharge Your Career: Empowering Women in the Workplace

Mar 12, 2024

Women’s Month, observed globally every March, built upon the enduring struggle for women’s rights, invites us to honor the past and shape a more equitable future. This article sheds light on how Women’s Month originated, its celebration of groundbreaking achievements, and why it remains a touchstone for discussing our progress in gender equality and empowerment initiatives around the world.

The Essence of Women’s Month

International Women's Day celebration

At the heart of Women’s Month is the commemoration of International Women’s Day on March 8, an occasion sparked by women’s early 20th-century efforts to improve labor conditions. It’s a day that traces its roots back to the key labor movements across North America and Europe, led by trailblazers like Clara Zetkin who advocated for the recognition of working women’s contributions. But it’s not just about the past; it’s also a reflection of our present and a beacon for our future.

Since its inception, International Women’s Day has grown to become a Global Day of Recognition for women’s achievements in various sectors, breaking down national and cultural barriers. In 1977, the United Nations officially recognized International Women’s Day, underscoring its importance as a celebration of women’s contributions worldwide. This acknowledgment set the stage for what has now become a recurring theme every March – Women’s Month, a month-long celebration of women’s rights, achievements, and empowerment, all inspired by International Women’s Day.

The Milestones of Gender Equality


In celebrating Women’s Month, reflecting on the considerable progress made in the pursuit of gender equality is worthwhile. The journey has been long and arduous, marked by pivotal moments and groundbreaking legislative advancements. One such milestone was the suffrage movement, which saw New Zealand granting women equal voting rights in 1893, a trend that quickly spread across the globe. In an unprecedented move, England and Wales enacted the Married Woman’s Property Act in 1870, allowing career women to own property independently for the first time and setting a legal precedent for gender rights.

The fight for gender equality has not been without its challenges. In 1919, the UK’s Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act aimed to eliminate sex and marriage as disqualifiers for civil roles, but its true effectiveness was not seen until the Sex Discrimination Act of 1973. Today, the pursuit of gender equality understands the gravity of the challenge, with projections suggesting a 131-year wait for parity as no country has yet achieved full gender equality. This serves as a poignant reminder that while we have made significant progress, the road to gender equality is still under construction.

Pioneering Policies for Female Empowerment

Navigating the intricate journey towards gender equality, we should value the groundbreaking policies that have considerably bolstered female empowerment. In the Philippines, several laws have been established to protect women’s rights, such as the Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998 and the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995. These laws provide legal support in various domains, from education to public spaces, setting a robust framework for women’s rights.

Additionally, comprehensive legal measures like the Magna Carta of Women and the Expanded Maternity Leave Law in the Philippines showcase the government’s commitment to ensuring freedom from violence and promoting maternal health and childcare. Internationally, evolving legal frameworks, such as the redefinition of rape as a crime against persons by the Philippines’ Anti-Rape Law of 1997 and the UK’s early start with the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919, reflect the global commitment to gender equality. These initiatives demonstrate that policy reforms are a powerful tool in dismantling systemic barriers and empowering women.

Influential Figures and Their Impact

In the journey towards gender equality, numerous individuals have left indelible marks on the sands of time. Their contributions have not only shaped history but continue to inspire contemporary efforts. Take, for instance, Emmeline Pankhurst, the firebrand founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union, who significantly advanced women’s rights in the UK through the suffragette movement.

Other influential figures like Nanaia Mahuta, the first Māori woman Minister of Foreign Affairs in New Zealand, and Gordana Comic, a champion for women’s equality within the Serbian government, have demonstrated the power of leadership in promoting gender equality. Across the globe, leaders like Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who expanded women’s political participation as Africa’s first democratically-elected woman president, and grassroots activists like Damilola Odufuwa and Odunayo Eweniyi, co-founders of the Feminist Coalition in Nigeria, are paving the way for a future where women’s rights are universally recognized and upheld.

Engaging in National Women’s Month Celebrations

Women's Month community event

Celebrating Women’s Month, we should pause and delve into the myriad ways we can partake in this worldwide event, including the National Women’s Month Celebration. In the Philippines, for instance, March 8 is designated as a special working holiday to commemorate International Women’s Day through the National Women’s Day Act (Republic Act 6949), also known as National Women’s Day. This month-long nationwide observance, led by the Commission on Women, serves as a platform to highlight women’s accomplishments and tackle issues of women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Participation in Women’s Month celebrations can take many forms, including:

  • Joining local parades and fundraisers
  • Contributing to service projects
  • Attending virtual events
  • Sharing inspirational Women’s History Month quotes within teams or on social media platforms

These activities can raise awareness and encourage others to reflect on the significance of the month.

Community Events and Education Programs

Community events and education programs stand out as highly effective means to honor Women’s Month. These initiatives not only celebrate women’s achievements but also educate the public about the importance of gender equality. In the Philippines, the National Women’s Month Celebration includes nationwide observances led by the Commission on Women, featuring various ceremonies and activities designed to promote women’s empowerment.

Events like ‘Music Evolution: She Rocks!’ spotlight women’s contributions to the music industry, while educational programs, such as ‘Pecha Kucha’ sessions on Women’s History Month topics, can incite community engagement and learning. Ensuring an inclusive educational setting that features diverse authors and perspectives is also crucial in fostering an environment of equality for girls and future generations.

Promoting Compassionate and Harmonized Networks

The advancement of gender equality hinges on the establishment of compassionate and harmonized networks. This involves fostering an inclusive society that transcends distinctions in SOGIE, class, ability, generation, status, and culture. Such societies support women’s rights and create equitable and diversified communities. Participation in women’s organizations or clubs bolsters solidarity and purpose, while shared cultural expressions like a women’s empowerment playlist can celebrate womanhood and community.

Moreover, strengthening compassionate networks for advocating women’s rights involves donating and volunteering with organizations that empower women and girls. Initiatives such as the theme ‘WE Make CHANGE Work for Women’ for National Women’s Month from 2016 to 2022 have highlighted the impact of compassionate and harmonized networks on achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The Role of Organizations in Promoting Gender Equality

Women's rights organization meeting

The promotion of gender equality and women’s rights is significantly driven by organizations. Some notable organizations include:

  • UN Women, led by notable figures such as Michelle Bachelet, which focuses on key areas to promote gender equality globally
  • Association for Women’s Rights in Development, which leads initiatives to enhance women’s economic autonomy
  • Plan International, which leads initiatives to enhance women’s participation in decision-making

These organizations play a crucial role in advancing gender equality and women’s rights.

Also noteworthy are the efforts of Womankind Worldwide, Women for Women International, and Men Engage Alliance. These organizations work collaboratively to advocate for policy changes and inclusion of women’s rights in the global agenda. The spotlight is also on the efforts by organizations like the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and promote sustainable development through WEDO, contributing significantly to improving gender equality.

Facilitating Platforms for Women’s Voices

Promoting gender equality crucially involves establishing platforms for women to voice their experiences and champion change. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), for instance, facilitates dialogue and strategy sharing to empower women in advocating for gender equality. Similarly, Womankind Worldwide assists women and girls in articulating their community change ambitions by providing them platforms for rights movements and technical support.

Innovative platforms such as virtual events hosted by organizations also allow teams to learn about the contributions of historical women innovators through interactive sessions. Online platforms like the National Women’s History Museum provide virtual tours that educate about women’s history via digital exhibits. Financial support is also crucial for women’s organizations that work towards ending violence against women and ensuring equal rights.

Strengthening Implementation of Women’s Rights

The effective execution of policies and laws safeguarding women’s rights is a vital component of gender equality. Organizations like Equality Now and the Center for Reproductive Rights actively engage in legal advocacy, bringing cases before national courts and UN committees. Campaigns like UN Women’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence emphasize the necessity of mobilizing funds, supporting prevention initiatives, and collecting data for informed responses to violence against women.

The European Institute for Gender Equality plays a crucial role in this arena, supporting EU Member States by providing comprehensive data and analysis to inform and enhance the implementation of gender equality measures. These collective efforts underline the importance of a holistic approach in strengthening the implementation of women’s rights.

The State of the Gender Gap in the Workplace

Gender gap in the workplace

Let’s now shift our attention to the workplace, a key battleground in the struggle for gender equality. Despite progress, gender inequality in the workplace remains a significant issue. The gender gap, for instance, is evident, with only 87 women being promoted to manager roles for every 100 men. Men end up holding 60 percent of manager-level positions, controlling the majority of these roles.

Moreover, director-level positions have seen an increased attrition rate for women relative to their male counterparts. Yet, it’s not all grim. The presence of women in the C-suite has trended upward from 17 to 28 percent since 2015, and ambition for promotions remains high among women, particularly women of color.

However, as women continue to strive for equality, women of color remain severely underrepresented in leadership positions, especially in the C-suite, indicating that there’s still a long way to go.

Pursuing Gender Parity in High Growth Pathways

Accomplishing gender parity in the workplace goes beyond being a moral duty; it’s a strategic necessity. Gender parity should be embraced as a strategic objective and part of the core company culture, with commitments from the top levels of management fostering accountability and equality.

To achieve this, companies should:

  • Increase the representation of women in managerial and decision-making roles
  • Implement performance and merit-based evaluations to ensure equal opportunities for advancement
  • Foster a culture of inclusivity and support for women in the workplace
  • Provide mentorship and leadership development programs for women
  • Address unconscious bias and promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the organization

By taking these steps, companies can drive innovation, improve employee satisfaction, and create a more equitable and successful workplace.

Structural disadvantages in performance reviews should be mitigated by ensuring that work-life balance choices do not inadvertently penalize employees. Furthermore, a gender-balanced candidate pool for recruitment and insights from a Women’s Leadership Panel with successful leaders can inform and inspire efforts towards gender parity in an organization.

Addressing Unfair Labor Practices

Tackling unjust labor practices is another vital element in advocating for workplace gender equality. Strategies such as strengthening wage transparency, gender-neutral job evaluation, and enhancing systems like minimum wages and collective bargaining are critical for equal remuneration for work of equal value. Comprehensive approaches, including effective remedies, dissuasive sanctions, specialized equality bodies, and public awareness campaigns are essential in complementing legislation against gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Initiatives that support parental needs, like ensuring maternity and paternity leave policies, help in creating fairer labor practices. Gender-inclusive language in professional settings reduces bias, and a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and racism supports a safer and more equitable work environment.

Examining pay parity within organizations and building supportive networks can be instrumental in achieving fair compensation for all genders.

How to Support Women’s Progress Beyond Women’s Month

Backing women’s progress and gender equality should extend beyond Women’s Month. The ‘WE’ theme emphasizes collective responsibility in supporting Women’s Empowerment and gender equality, promoting actions that foster an environment of equality in everyday settings. Achieving gender justice in daily life can be supported by equally sharing household chores and childcare, and by rejecting chauvinist and racist comments that undermine equality.

Empowering women in political spheres can be facilitated by identifying female candidates, especially those from marginalized communities, and actively supporting their candidacies. Personal commitment to challenging one’s own unconscious biases through reflection and education forms a crucial part of sustaining momentum for empowered women and women’s rights beyond Women’s Month. By doing so, we can promote citizen centric governance and contribute to women’s empowerment, ensuring that all voices are heard and represented in the decision-making process.

Moreover, staying vigilant for signs of domestic violence and offering support to the victims are essential actions in maintaining the defense of women’s rights throughout the year.

Engage Women in Everyday Decision Making

promoting gender equality, incorporating women in daily decision-making processes is fundamental. Involving women in decision-making processes can help address unconscious biases and implicit associations that limit equal opportunities. Open discussions about gender equality within families and involving children contribute to a foundational awareness that supports women in decision-making roles.

Educating the younger generation about gender roles, respect, and human rights is essential to establishing a future where women’s rights are recognized and enacted. Promoting an equitable distribution of household responsibilities can also dismantle stereotypes and empower women to seek and execute broader decision-making roles in the community.

Advocate for Future Generations

Working towards a more equitable world requires us to champion the rights and opportunities of forthcoming generations, especially regarding education and empowerment. Education for girls lays the foundation for substantial economic development and paves the way for the emergence of future women leaders and entrepreneurs. Malala Yousafzai’s advocacy for girls’ right to education exemplifies the significant impact education has on the potential of future generations.

Enabling young girls to stay in school and access sexual and reproductive health services is pivotal for the empowerment of future generations. To actualize the full potential of women and girls, education campaigns must address and dismantle cultural practices and legal barriers.

Happy Housekeepers promotes inclusive society and work environment

Women in the Workplace

Despite progress, women continue to face barriers in the workplace, from bias and discrimination to unequal opportunities for advancement. At Happy Housekeepers, we’re committed to creating a level playing field where meritocracy reigns supreme. We celebrate the diverse talents and skills that women bring to the table and actively support their career development through mentorship, training, and leadership programs.

Happy Housekeepers: Breaking Gender Stereotypes

At Happy Housekeepers, we’re proud to be an inclusive employer that values talent over gender. We believe in challenging traditional gender roles and providing equal opportunities for all employees to succeed. Whether it’s in management positions, technical roles, or customer-facing jobs, we embrace diversity and champion women’s empowerment every step of the way.