Why International Women's Day is Important in Management

05 February 2019

International Women’s Day celebrates accomplishments of women, whilst bringing gender parity to the forefront of individual’s minds and challenges perceptions. This is an opportunity for a call to action for organisations and reiterates the essential role of managers in encouraging diversity. Managers are responsible in establishing a positive example of behaviour to ensure inclusivity and nurture organisational culture.

One aspect includes policies, such as recruitment, flexible working and pay, which can go some way to bring about inclusivity across organisations. The intangible aspects at an organisation’s core are more complex, such as fostering an awareness of the existence of unconscious bias and consistently being proactive in challenging assumptions. In addition, acknowledging when an individual is seen primarily as their gender and ensuring they are heard and not dismissed by colleagues on this basis.


"As CMI Women & Diversity Champion I would like to raise awareness of gender parity amongst middle managers as research shows that only 13 % of middle managers share this ideal. Middle managers are crucial and have the power to affect organisational attitudes and bring about change toward gender parity. I’d like to see more middle managers, particularly men, and other change agents in organisation realise how they can be aware of the micro practices that they can adopt with the aim of creating gender parity and balance. This will also ensure that organisations work practices are more in line with agile working practices. Some examples of these practices are: calling out bias, championing and defending gender initiatives and celebrating and encouraging women.”

Thelma Ford-Escobar CMgr FCMI CMI Women Diversity Champion

International Women’s Day is equally important to male colleagues, who are vital in supporting progress as agents of change and have just as much responsibility in speaking up. International Women’s Day can enable men to be confident in challenging behaviour which is not gender inclusive, start conversations with female colleagues and play an active role in encouraging diversity across their organisation. International Women’s Day is beneficial as it allows males to challenge assumptions and gain new perspectives on issues of gender equality and diversity. Diversity has a positive impact on organisations, a variety of perspectives are invaluable in gaining new insights, therefore it is crucial for managers to embrace it. 

Join us for an International Women's Day Event on Friday 8th March in Leeds.Balance Begins Within

Balance for better is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, which considers everyone’s role in ensuring balance globally. CMI’s International Women’s Day celebration will consider how balance begins from within, by establishing self-belief for gender equality at work and empowering individuals to be critical agents of change in their organisation. This explores empowering individuals as a starting point, in addition to discussing more practical aspects such as ensuring inclusivity in policies.

“The CMI Women & Diversity and Inclusion portfolio is a very important one. As a board member my role involves developing employer and educational organisations’ engagement in order to understand, inform and influence the debate around Women, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace creating positive examples and leading on best practice.Part of my role is also to work closely with the events champion to coordinate events and I hope that this will lead to more diversity and inclusion events in the area. 

As a board member it is important to engender trust and develop good relations with the CMI members. One of the aim is to be able to provide networking opportunities with likeminded individuals and together learn from each other and help raise awareness and embrace diversity as a positive move for productivity in the workplace for a better balance.”

Thelma Ford-Escobar CMgr FCMI CMI Women Diversity Champion