This year, International Women’s Day (IWD) #IWD2018 challenges everyone to #PressForChange. IWD has also been a day to focused the call to action for accelerating gender parity.

One precursor for today was the #March4Women in London. Organised by Care International, the 4th of March saw over 5,000 women, men, young people and children joined in a march from Parliament to Trafalgar Square. A further 2,000 people joined the rally to listen to inspiring speeches. Reflecting the past, a Pankhurst mother/daughter duo addressed the rally. Helen Pankhurst, grand-daughter of Sylvia- and great grand-daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst – addressed the crowd alongside her daughter, Laura Pankhurst. Recognising that change will only happen by working together, speakers also included Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London and actor, Michael Sheen.

Being clear and timely about your purpose – your ‘Why’

In the wake of #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, the Ipsos /IWD2018 survey highlights the most worrying gender equality concerns and issues seen in over 20 countries.

Although life expectancy has improved along with medical advances we currently don’t have 217 years to play with. If the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings on the timeline to gender parity are to be addressed, more women need to be engaged in senior leadership roles during our lifetimes..

Right time, Right place, Right actions

“Want to see lasting change? You’ve gotta get organised.

Have a strategy. Have a plan. This is the moment”

Oprah Winfrey

McDonalds flipped its logo ‘in celebration of women’ around the world today and in many corporates nationwide, various one-off events in recognition of the global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

All of this is great and lovely, but what happens next? How can the issue of gender equality be influenced in ways that embed lasting change?

We discussed questions like this at a breakfast meeting today with 25 women leaders in industries as diverse as health & fitness, banking/finance, technology, energy, construction, public sector and arts/ entertainment.

Starting with the ‘Why’

#IWD2018 #PressForChange campaign suggests five things everyone could commit to. And do:

  1. maintain a gender parity mindset
  2. challenge stereotypes and bias
  3. forge positive visibility of women
  4. influence others’ beliefs / actions, and
  5. celebrating women’s achievements.

But this approach may actually be starting you off at the middle of the journey.

That’s why Lean In UK Chapter is collaborating with a corporate supporter to host an event today.


As well as the usual presentations, Q&A and nibbles, we will be also be challenging our women and men delegates to personalise their ‘why‘ for gender equality. Then choosing the ‘what‘ is done with purpose and the #PressForChange action chosen will resonate with the your talents, skills and level of influence.

After all of the fantastic the events that are held today, we’ll go on to encourage our network of members to continue through onto the ‘how‘; supporting them with practical actions they can take within 24 hours to deliver change over the next 12 months.

What’s your challenge in 2018?


What is your #IWD2018 challenge?Have you seen other ideas to engage men and women to embed change towards greater gender equality?I’d love to hear your comments, please share belowEnjoy International Women’s Day!

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