So your news feed’s filling up with International Women’s Day content and you’re all riled up to take action? Strap in – Here are 6 concrete ways to make a difference this International Women’s Day…
1. Support women in business
Vote with your wallet and support women in business, especially in male-dominated fields. Why not snag a beautiful bouquet from Moxom + Whitney or GG’s Flowers
or grab a bite to eat at Bookplate at the National Library of Australia?
While you’re at it, book in a date to see a female directed film (a woman hasn’t even been nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards for seven years). My picks for 2017? Wonder Woman and Loving Vincent.
Prefer sports? Canberra has a plethora of killer female sporting teams, including the Canberra Capitals (basketball), the ACT Meteors (cricket), and Canberra United (soccer).
2. Demand equal pay
Talk to your co-workers about what they’re getting paid. There’s an unwritten rule that you aren’t allowed to talk about your pay at work. Why not? I feel like the only reason for this is allowing the exploitation of certain members of the workforce by keeping them in the dark about the actual distribution of pay. When I’ve chatted to co-workers about their level of pay, I’ve often found that I’m not being paid comparably to my (more often male) co-workers with similar responsibilities. At one workplace, I was able to ask for a raise to the same level, which was granted (yay!). At another, I was denied the extra cash, so I quit and found a job that paid 60% more (muahahaha).
3. Back yourself if you’re a woman
Make sure you apply for that job, or that raise – You won’t get it if you don’t ask. Research shows that men will apply for a job if they fulfil 60% of the requirements, whereas women will only apply if they believe they fulfil 100% of the criteria. So if you’re second-guessing yourself, don’t – go out there with the confidence of a mediocre white man, girlfriend.
4. Fight for fairer taxes
Get in contact with your local Senator (Katy Gallagher, Zed Seselja) or MP (Gai Brodtmann, Andrew Leigh) and ask them to demand fairer taxation policies.
The Australian Government’s 2016 budget included a change to tax brackets that benefitted those earning over $80,000. The Australia Institute said that this change benefits high-income earners (those earning over 100,000) the most, with men (generally being higher earners) receiving 75% of this benefit. A better idea would be to increase the tax-free threshold, which would benefit all taxpayers, and put money back in the pocket of those who need it the most.
Also, ask them to stop taxing tampons. Just stop it.
5. Bring on blind hiring processes
In the 70s and 80s, orchestras began auditioning their musicians from behind a screen, so that their gender remained a mystery to the judging panel. Crazily enough, this simple innovation resulted in a 30% increase in women passing the final selection stage.
Similarly, when the Australian Bureau of Statistics advertised 19 senior roles and concealed the names, genders and identifying features of the applicants, they ended up hiring women for 15 of those roles. This meant doubling their number of female bosses in a matter of months.
It seems like such a no-brainer – this should be standard practice everywhere. If possible, talk to your HR department to ask about implementing some of these procedures.
6. Donate to the cause
If you can, donate to help women around the world. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Help enact change for women and girls in Africa by promoting leadership for women and working to end child marriages and female genital cutting with Tostan.
- Support women escaping domestic violence or experiencing homelessness in Canberra with one of these charities.
- Promote equal civil and political participation for women across the Asia-Pacific region with International Women’s Development Agency.
- Fight Trump’s global gag order and support women’s sexual and reproductive health rights around the world with the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
How will you be marking International Women’s Day? Celebrating? Striking? Let us know in the comments!