Monday, March 9, 2015

International Women's Day

March 8th, yesterday, was International Women's Day. In Russia, the day is seriously celebrated with flowers to the women in one's life. In the U.S., the celebration seems to be taken less seriously... perhaps because of its historical socialist roots.

That said, it is an internationally recognized holiday, celebrated on March 8 since 1913. NASA recognizes it, in part due to the cooperation that makes the International Space Station possible.

For the curious, International Men's Day is November 19. However, Google results show that it's existence only matters in March.

Why do we have an International Women's Day?

As I noted last year, in "Why I Cannot Bury My Head in the Sand", even here in the 21st century, women continue to be dramatically underrepresented in nearly all forms of power, from corporate executives, to board members, to CEOs. In all government branches. Among global heads of state. In the military... and in STEM fields.

Here's a short summary of articles that people I follow on Twitter shared, relevant to this day:

I plan to reference this John Scalzi post again, later this week: "Why Yes, I Should Write About Politics."

STEM Women wrote an excellent post last year, "What is Sexism & How Does it Work in STEM?"

This year, the Pew Research Center published a report on Women and Leadership, showing that 4 in 10 people agree that the top reason women are held back, is that women have to do more than men to prove themselves.

The news is not all bad. Fast Company provided three ideas to help avoid mistakes, and Joseph Steinberg published an article on Forbes with 6 things men can do.

Speaking of male allies, aka HeForShe, note this more advanced post: 10 Things All 'Allies' Need to Know.  It's also relevant to white women working on intersectionality, GLBT Allies, etc.

There is also a company working to enable blind interviews for technology positions that bears consideration.

If you would like to make International Women's Day as overlooked as International Men's Day, then help us to change the cultural dynamics holding women back.