International Women’s Day (IWD) is a few days away. Despite landing on a Sunday this year, this does not mean we can’t celebrate this momentous occasion in the office the following week. Unfortunately with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, there are limitations to the activities you can organise to commemorate this special day.

With the recommendation of governments throughout the world to cancel or reschedule non-essential large-scale events, businesses may have to shelf that mega townhall or lunch celebration, especially if an organisation is large and there will be more than 1,000 attendees to the event.

That said, such events are not the only way to celebrate IWD. There are still plenty of ways a business can celebrate its women employees at the office while avoiding the dangers of COVID-19.

The ‘thank you’ note

Nothing can truly beat the classic show of appreciation. The ‘thank you’ note can easily set the tone for a business’ IWD celebration. As we’re now in the digital age, this is not limited to a physical card; it can also be in the form of a shout out, a thoughtfully-crafted email, or a shareable social media card.

Even if there isn’t much time to create such a card, there are plenty of websites and services that offer easy templates that can be printed out or shared via email.

Create a IWD 2020 pledge wall

Engage your employees and encourage them to commit to an action to forge a more gender equal world by creating a pledge wall. This is an activity that also works for organisations that have implemented team segregation as part of the business continuity planning, just leave the wall up as long as it takes for one full team rotation.

Create Lean in Circles to bring women together

Lean in Circles are a lesser known method for boosting the morale and skills of women employees. These are small groups of women who meet regularly to learn new skills, network, and encourage each other. These meetings can be anywhere, be it over coffee, in a lunch series at work, or in virtual meet-ups online. When creating such circles, always ensure that they are diverse, with women from different backgrounds, job functions, and levels of seniority.

Plan an IWD library display

Most businesses tend to have a small library or bookshelf filled with all sorts of informative and entertaining material for employees. Businesses can take advantage of this resource for IWD by displaying several feature classics and modern literature by women authors. Becoming by Michelle Obama is one such example of uplifting and inspiring reading material.

Put a spotlight on outstanding women employees

Many businesses have already implemented a monthly or annual awards system as a part of their recognition programmes. So why not one more for IWD as well?

Put this down to a nomination and let all employees share stories of the inspiring women in their team as well as their achievements in the past year.

Don’t limit it to just the work-related KPIs. Also recognise their creativity, kindness, leadership skills, and effort to innovate.


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