Here is our list of the best virtual International Women’s Day ideas for work.
International Women’s Day is a global occasion observed on March 8. The purpose of the holiday is to recognize women’s achievements and to promote women’s rights, equality, and gender fairness. International Women’s Day is called Women’s Day too. March is also Women’s History Month in the US, UK, and Australia.
This article includes:
- International Women’s Day activities
- games for Women’s Day
- Women’s Day competition ideas
- workshops for Women’s Day
- International Women’s Day gifts for employees
- Women’s Day celebration ideas
- virtual Women’s Day ideas
Let’s get to it!
List of International Women’s Day ideas for work
From games to gifts to educational entertainment, here are the best ways to observe International Women’s Day in the office.
1. Women’s History Month Trivia
Women’s History Month Trivia is one of the best Women’s Day competition ideas for remote teams. The fully-facilitated event is a 60 minute virtual team competition that tests all genders’ knowledge of women’s history. The event pays homage to influential female figures throughout history while engaging coworkers through fun and challenging mini games and pop quizzes.
Learn more about Women’s History Month Trivia.
2. Storytelling Workshops
Storytelling Workshops are one of the best workshops for Women’s Day because Women’s History month is a chance for women to share their experiences. This virtual workshop is a two hour, fully-facilitated seminar that teaches attendees proprietary frameworks for crafting impactful stories. After the host outlines techniques and demonstrates the format, participants will create their own pieces. The event concludes with story sharing, critique, and group discussion. Storytelling Workshops encourage growth and creative experimentation in a safe setting, imparting confidence and facilitating connection between colleagues.
Learn more about Storytelling Workshops.
3. International Women’s Day Bingo
Bingo is a fun team building game that facilitates interaction and casual conversation between colleagues.
International Women’s Day Bingo encourages teammates to learn more about the women they work with in both personal and professional contexts.
First, give each employee a Bingo card. Then, plan a time to play altogether. Participants will chat and ask questions, and will mark off a square every time they meet a female colleague who meets the criteria. Or, you could also give out cards in the morning and urge coworkers to chat with each other throughout the workday.
We made a template for your game:
For this version of the game, we recommend playing blackout Bingo. Instead of marking five consecutive boxes, participants must fill all squares to win. You could also play all-or-nothing Bingo. In this version of the game, players aim to connect five squares, however, in order to win they must collect all names of coworkers to which the descriptions apply.
For more tips, check out our guide to online team building Bingo.
4. Name the Dame
Name the Dame is one of the best games for Women’s Day. This trivia game challenges players to identify the influential woman who said the quote or performed the feat. To play this game, split the group into teams, and then give the questions. We created a template you could use for the game:
These are starter questions. Feel free to think up your own trivia questions, or show players zoomed-in, cut-out, or silhouetted pictures of famous women and ask them to guess the identity!
5. Donations to Women’s Philanthropies
Contributing to Women’s philanthropies is one of the most meaningful Women’s Day celebration ideas. Donations enable organizations to educate young girls, address female health issues, help women become self-sufficient and self-sustaining, and preserve women’s history.
Here are some great women’s charities to check out:
- Girls Inc
- UN Women
- Girls Who Code
- The Malala Fund
- Women for Women International
- National Women’s History Museum
- Breast Cancer Research Foundation
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
There are many other philanthropies that perform great work for women. Feel free to solicit charity suggestions from your staff, and pay attention to local organizations or groups related to your industry.
If you have the time and resources, then you could even host your own donation drive or philanthropy event for women’s day. For inspiration, check out our list of virtual fundraising ideas.
6. Gifts for Female Colleagues
One way to express thanks to women workers is to give presents. If you work in a traditional office setting, then distribute the gifts at coworker’s desks. If your team is remote, then mail packages to your teammates.
Here are good International Women’s Day gifts for employees:
- Office art
- Succulent gardens
- Personalized stationery
- Planners and calendars
- Business card holders
- Laptop cases or messenger bags
- T-shirts, sweatshirts, blankets, or caps
- Water bottles or coffee mugs
- Snacks, desserts, or complimentary meals
- Gift cards
For an even more significant gesture, purchase the presents from a women-owned business.
You should avoid handing out stereotypical “girly” gifts like makeup, body care products, all-pink items, or jewellery. Flowers, wine, and chocolates are slightly more acceptable. Generally, it is better to avoid gendered gifts, as they reinforce preconceived notions and send the wrong message.
You do not have to limit the presents to female staff either. You can give all employees a token of appreciation in honor of the holiday.
For more treat ideas, check out our list of the best remote employee gifts.
7. Women’s Day Party
Hosting a party is one way to celebrate International Women’s Day. Simply block out an hour or two where colleagues can gather, either virtually or in person, and engage in fun activities together.
Here are some women’s day party ideas:
- Give speeches and thank women within the company
- Provide food
- Create a playlist of legendary female musicians
- Play games like scavenger hunts, trivia, and charades
- Hold raffles and give away prizes
- Host a craft session where teammates create cards to send to special women in their lives
For inspiration on how to structure a remote gathering, check out our guide to virtual holiday parties.
8. History Lessons
Part of the purpose of International Women’s Day is to acknowledge women’s contributions to history. You can plan programming that educates employees on women’s history.
Here are a few ideas:
- Host a lunch and learn session about a lesser-known female historical figure or event
- Screen a women-centric documentary or biopic
- Check out online exhibits at the National Women’s History Museum
- Profile a notable figure in a section of your company email
- Take a virtual tour of a historical site like Seneca Falls
- Examine female art throughout the ages
These activities also serve as great Women’s Day ideas for schools.
9. Female Speakers
One of the most appropriate International Women’s Day activities is to book a female speaker. You could plan a lunch and learn, hold a panel or workshop, or schedule a lecture or webinar. The speaker could be a distinguished woman in your field or an adjacent industry, an expert on a practical topic like stress management or financial literacy, or simply an individual with impressive accomplishments.
Feel free to poll your staff for input and ideas, and encourage them to submit any contacts they have who may be interested in the opportunity.
10. Workshops for Young Women
One way to honor the spirit of International Women’s Day is to empower younger generations of women. You can hold an in-person or virtual workshop that educates young girls about your industry and gives them an opportunity to ask questions and connect with women in the field. With interest on both sides, the session could even develop into an ongoing mentorship program.
To host your workshop, first recruit staff to help run the event. Then, plan your schedule and activities. Next, promote the event to employees’ families, social media followers, schools, industry groups, and organizations such as the Girl Scouts or YWCA. Then, manage sign-ups, and host your program when the day of the event arrives. Be sure to ask for feedback so that you can gauge interest for future events and improve your planning process.
Here is a list of event management software that can help in the execution of your event.
11. Thank-You Campaigns
Thank-You Campaigns are exercises in gratitude that fit the spirit of International Women’s Day. At some point during the day, ask employees to compose an email or write a card to a woman who influenced them professionally. The recipient does not necessarily have to be a current or former colleague, just someone who impacted their career. For instance, staff could send a thank you to a teacher, community member, or relative. The messages should mention the influence the recipient had. For example, “you gave me the confidence I needed to ask for a promotion,” or, “you sparked my interest in science!”
You could also ask staff to informally thank a current female colleague with a brief note, shout-out in a Slack channel, phone call, or high five.
12. Inspiring Women Story Swap
One easy way to celebrate Women’s Day at work is by swapping stories of inspiring women. You could either use the activity as an icebreaker to kick off a meeting, or ask colleagues to submit stories in their free time. You can use a Google Form to collect information, or start a Slack thread or group chat where staff can share and react to each other’s stories. Employees tell tales of women who have made great impacts on their lives. Stories can be about prominent figures such as artists, historical icons, or celebrities, or about personal influences like family members, teachers, mentors, friends, or community contacts. Staff can share empowering stories from the news as well. To make the activity more interactive, encourage team members to react to each other’s stories.
13. Blog Posts
Publishing a special blog post is one of the best virtual Women’s Day ideas. On March 8, devote an article on your internal or external blog to International Women’s Day.
Here are some content ideas:
- The history and significance of Women’s Day
- Past and present Women’s Day celebrations at your company
- Female achievement within your organization
- Stories of notable women within your industry
- Profiles of female team members
- A collection of the staff’s favorite quotes from influential women
- Spotlight on a partnering philanthropy that serves women
- Highlights of organizational efforts to empower women
You can also repurpose these ideas into social media posts.
If you cannot choose a single topic, then choose a mix approach and combine several ideas, or post a series of women-centric blog articles throughout the month.
14. Awards for Exceptional Women
Recognition is important for all employees. Women tend to be less self-promotional, and their contributions to the workplace can sometimes be overlooked as a result. One of the best International Women’s Day activities is to hold an awards ceremony specifically to honor the exceptional women in your organization.
Here are some sample categories:
- Woman of the year
- Best mentor
- Team player
- Lifelong learner
- Rising rookie
- Leader extraordinaire
- Humble heroine
Depending on your crew, your award categories can be playful. However, take care not to undercut the honor of the awards by using “girl power” sentiments. The purpose of the awards is to draw attention to the quality of your teammates’ work, not their gender.
15. Book Club Meetings
Dedicating a book club meeting to female authors is a way to honor women’s experiences and perspectives. First, choose and assign a book at least two weeks before the meeting. Then, meet up in person or on Zoom and discuss the reading.
Here are some great books to read during Women’s month:
- Hunger by Roxane Gay
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- I Am Malala by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai
- My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsberg
- Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
- Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World by Rachel Swaby
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
The books do not have to center specifically on the female experience, as long as they are by women writers. If you have the time and interest, then you could even host a book club series and feature a different book and author every week.
Book clubs are a great employee engagement activity too.
International Women’s Day is a time to honor the achievements of women throughout history and to acknowledge the gender injustices that still exist. Taking time out of the workday to observe the occasion underscores the importance of the holiday. Most folks work on Women’s Day, so it is important for companies to give the event the attention it deserves. Not to mention, celebrating women in the workplace champions diversity, promotes inclusion, and gives women the support and confidence needed to professionally thrive.
FAQ: International Women's Day
Here are answers to common questions about International Women's Day.
What is International Women's Day?
International Women’s Day is on March 8. Countries around the world celebrate the holiday to honor women’s achievements and to promote gender equality. Folks often observe the occasion with talks, ceremonies, fundraising events, articles, and celebrations of amazing women.
Why is International Women's Day important?
Throughout history, women’s contributions to society have been downplayed and limited. Even now, there are large gaps in gender equality in many places around the world. Women’s issues include problems like pay disparity, harassment, unequal education, limited access to specialized healthcare, and even denial of basic human rights. Women’s Day draws attention to these issues and reminds folks of the work yet to be done, while simultaneously celebrating and empowering women.
How do you celebrate International Women's Day at work?
If you work in a traditional office or physical location, then you can decorate the workspace with pictures and quotes of notable women. In online offices you can set a virtual background with historical images or empowering graphics.
Other great ways to celebrate Women’s Day at work include games, gifts, charity donations, and female speakers.
Tone is equally important as content. Disparaging men is not a requirement for empowering women. Women’s Day is about achieving gender equality, not promoting female superiority. Also, you should avoid shallow stereotypes such as, “girl power!” or “all women love pink.”
What do companies do for International Women's Day?
Companies often celebrate International Women’s Day by hosting educational events like lectures and workshops, making charitable donations, posting holiday-centric content on social media channels and blogs, and rewarding staff with gifts or celebrations.
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