Young Folks

IWD is making my eye twitch

It’s IWD and I’m over it

This Friday is International Women’s Day (IWD) and I’m over it.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is great in theory, right? It serves as a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Plus it’s also a day to put the spotlight on the ongoing fight for gender equality and to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment worldwide.

And yet, it’s become another day on the calendar of corporate tokenism where brands look good on social media for a hot minute but nothing really changes. Reading posts by leading brands and business leaders alike exclaiming how proud they are of women’s achievements without doing a thing to advance equality for women makes my eye twitch.

It’s like those workplaces that post ‘heartfelt’ trollop on social media for RUOK Day but don’t bother creating genuine psychological safety for their team, or those corporates that slap a rainbow on their logo for Pride month while doing absolutely nothing for LGBTQIA+ communities.

If the WGEA gender pay gap data has shown us anything, it’s that while women are legally entitled to equal pay, real equality for women at work is still a pipe dream without dismantling a system that’s rigged against women from the get-go.

The truth is, the challenges women face aren’t just individual hurdles to jump over; they’re deeply ingrained in the fabric of our society.

And until we address the systemic issues head-on, IWD will remain nothing more than a token gesture with a side of cupcakes – a band-aid solution to a problem that requires major surgery.

So, yeah, I’m over it. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up. It means I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work – because real change isn’t going to happen overnight, and it sure as heck isn’t going to come from a hashtag or a corporate-sponsored event.

It’s going to take grit, determination, and a whole lot of uncomfortable conversations. But you know what? I’m up for the challenge. Are you?

Written by

Erin Morris is the founder and director at Young Folks. Packing more than 10 years marketing experience, Erin has worked with start-ups, corporates and everything in between. She loves listening to audiobooks whilst running, oat milk flat whites, and scouring Marketplace for secondhand furniture finds.

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