What is International Women’s Day about?
Since March 1911, the day has celebrated women; raised awareness about discrimination and harassment; and promoted equality for all genders. The day is a powerful, annual reminder of the progress that has been made, but also of what still needs to change.
There has been progress since the first IWD, but there is still a long way to go – both until the numbers show equality, but more importantly women and gender minorities feel they are treated equally. Recent research by Equate Scotland found that almost a third of women and gender minorities, within STEM, have had an experience which makes them feel excluded in the workplace. Over two thirds reported that they have experienced some form of harassment or discrimination.
There is still a pay gap; there is an imbalance in the same numbers of women present in many fields of work; women tend to have more caring responsibilities and less access to health and education; plus continued vulnerability to male violence.
The theme of IWD 2024 is Inspire Inclusion, as “when we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world.” This theme highlights the vital role that inclusion plays in order to achieve gender equality and encourages the recognition of the unique perspectives and contributions of women, from all different backgrounds, including those from minority communities. The theme also emphasises the importance of diversity and empowerment across society as a whole.
Find out more about Napier STEM
Napier STEM are an Edinburgh Napier society who promote and celebrate those in STEM who are women or part of a gender minority.
The society aims to:
- Promote equality in the sector;
- Encourage others to do the same;
- Educate people as to why it is vital to humanity as a whole;
- Influence the field for a better future.
The society works in partnership with Equate Scotland, who aim to make a positive difference for women in STEM – whether they are new to the field, studying or supporting others to remain in the industry.
Equate delivers events, training and support to women at each stage of their STEM career in order to develop their skills and confidence. They also work closely with employers to help create inclusive workplaces and address the gender imbalance.
Cat Wright, Napier STEM student champion