International Women’s Day (IWD) is bigger than ever for 2021.
The start of International Women’s Day
IWD came about over time as women in the US fought for better workers’ rights. In 1908, more than 15,000 women took to the streets in New York to protest against their working hours, pay and lack of vote. It was a huge moment and one year later the Socialist Party of America announced it was the first National Woman’s Day.
It gained recognition around the world with women taking notice of what their American sisters had done. Clara Zetkin was the brainchild to take the US’s day and make it international. She was at a conference in Copenhagen for working women when she made the suggestion, and it was agreed on straight away.
1911 was the very first International Women’s Day. The United Nations made it official 64 years later in 1975.
The aims of International Women’s Day
It’s a day of celebration! Today is the day we acknowledge how far women have come while also raising awareness that there is more work to be done. The theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge. A challenged world is an alert world and individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions.
It highlights the discussion around gender inequality and keeps the conversation going. It brings people together and there are events taking place across the world.
AMBITIOUS PR women’s stories
Here are some our team’s memories of how the work environment has changed and what our expectations are for the future…
“PR is actually one career path where there is no shortage of female role models. I’ve never felt my gender has held me back.
“I started my career in 1999, and there was this unspoken acceptance that having a family probably meant the end of an agency career because agency life can be so demanding. PR agencies saw a massive drain of experienced female talent. I love how much this has changed and now it’s all possible – part time, contract, freelancing and full time with work life balance.
“I think our commitment to the next generation should be a focus on social mobility and finding routes to reach young females and helping them break into the creative sector. Easier said than done.
“The most unexpected joy for me in this season of my career is how much I love seeing the potential and then witnessing the growth of our younger female (and male) team.”
“Like many sectors, PR’s an industry that’s certainly changed since I started working in it. And, there’s still a way to go before we can close the chapter on some of the outdated perceptions that the PR industry is associated with.
“Creating an environment where everyone feels they have a voice and a value is hugely important and I hope that AMBITIOUS is always that and more. I’ve benefited from working with supportive colleagues and clients throughout my career so I always try to pay that forward – make time, listen, support and encourage fellow females in the workplace. If you can, you should.”
“I have been very lucky to have had (and continue to have) guidance from some brilliant women throughout my career. Role models who have shown me far more than how to ‘do the job’ – from helping me develop my skills to building confidence and, on occasion, emotional support. Whether they have been directing me, or I am managing them, I owe a great deal to the exceptional women I’ve worked with.”
“I joined AMBITIOUS at 17 years old with no experience in the PR industry prior to this role, so I’m incredibly grateful to have started my professional career surrounded by women that not only inspire me on the day to day, but are actively creating an environment for myself and future women to succeed and achieve in.
“I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that I wouldn’t be half the content executive I am now without Lis and Sarah! It’s hard to imagine myself with the same confidence I have now, had I not had so many female role models amongst me to look up to.”
“International Women’s Day has always been important to me, but this year it feels especially poignant as I venture into the field I’ve always wanted to work in. Not only that, but I have joined a PR agency that is run by two strong and inspiring female figures. There used to be a glass ceiling for women progressing beyond a certain point in their careers, but now there are more chances for women to compete on a level playing field.
“I definitely think it is easier for women now entering the sector, there aren’t as many barriers and I think that there are a lot more opportunities, as proved by this agency. My journalism degree was predominately female and that reflects the shift towards a more diverse work culture. I’m looking forward to my progression in this industry, knowing that there’s so many female role models to look up to and strive to be like within this field.”