Human Resources Today

Diversity and inclusion. Gender parity. Marches and campaigns. The topic of working women and challenging stereotypes dates back generations. In recent times, celebrating International Women’s Day (#IWD2018) helps individuals, organizations, and societies take action, press for progress, and celebrate the achievements of women.

As a woman-owned business, exaqueo celebrates the achievements of our team of employer brand strategists, most of whom are women. Our team is building successful careers, supporting multiple clients all around the world, and balancing busy lives outside of work. Collectively, we’re raising children, nurturing relationships, volunteering, teaching classes, speaking at conferences, hosting networking events, and giving back to our chosen profession and communities.

We strive for excellence in our work and balance in our lives, every day. And one of the ways we can achieve balance is by being a 100% virtual company. We work hard. But, we’re flexible on how, when and where. This virtual setting is a part of our culture and our own employer brand.


On March 8, 2018, we will participate in International Women’s Day and recognize the achievements of women -- in our company and our lives, and within society at large. Here are a few last-minute ideas for how your organization can join the celebration and the conversation:



Many organizations have internal employee resource groups (ERGs) focused on creating networking, mentoring, leadership, and collaboration opportunities for women (and the men who support them!). Consider connecting with your ERG to understand their #IWD2018 plans and then amplify their stories, messages, and events.



It’s not too late to schedule “lunch and learns” or a panel-style webinar with female leaders. By identifying women who lead teams, functions, and initiatives across the company, you can create diverse panels of women and men united not around an expected topic, but unique commonalities they may share. This could include personal or professional struggles, common educational backgrounds with disparate paths, or even tales from challenges outside of the workplace.



Share authentic sentiments along with the photos showcasing both successes and failures to bring their true journeys to life. Shine a light on the women who are empowering, mentoring, and helping others to unlock their potential. These stories can be easily shared internally via Yammer or Chatter, and externally via your company’s blog or social media channels. Create opportunities to recognize the contributions, achievements, and careers of women all across your organization.



We don’t mean just showing pictures of women in their corporate headshots, but rather women in their element. Women in action doing their best work, in the field, amongst colleagues or outside of work engaged in the activities that make them whole. Take this idea to the next level by using unedited photos of employees in your marketing materials or encouraging employees to post their own photos using #IWD2018 and a company-specific hashtag. (Check out ours on Instagram #teamexaqueo).


While celebrating women’s achievements is particularly relevant during International Women’s Day, consistently recognizing the achievements of women and men inside your organization has a number of corollary benefits. Creating conversations, telling employee stories, and shining a light on individuals and teams helps to support, engage, recognize, and retain employees. These activities begin to create a culture of appreciation and communication, and build a sense of community and pride in the company. And, from an employer brand perspective, these stories become “proof points” and authentic content to support talent attraction and retention strategies.


If you enjoyed this post, check out this one: Be Real About Diversity and Your Employer Brand

Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad) is the Engagement Director and Principal Employer Brand Strategist for exaqueo, an employer brand experience firm building employer brands and the talent strategies that drive them through research, consulting, and creative and digital execution. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research and recruiting strategy offerings.

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