Published on March 8th, 2024

This International Women’s Day (IWD), we’re keen to talk about how organisations can authentically and meaningfully engage with the occasion as part of their employer branding strategy.

At Havas People, we understand how important it is to use this as a chance to not just talk about gender inequality in the workplace, but to also champion diversity and inclusion. In this blog, we’ll delve into why engaging with IWD matters, tips for making effective campaigns, and real insight that will empower you to do more than just pay lip service to the day.


The need for authentic engagement:

In recent years, International Women’s Day has turned into a corporate communications frenzy. Often, these efforts have portrayed an impersonal and sanitised depiction of women, focusing on “empowering” them in the workplace. But let’s face it, gender inequity is a multifaceted issue that ‘empowerment’ alone can’t solve. Women aren’t just looking for pep talks and empty promises; they want to be listened to, respected, and to see tangible action.


The importance of engaging everyone:

It’s essential to recognise that gender equity isn’t just a women’s issue; it’s a human rights concern – and a vital aspect of social and economic progress. Men and women both hold biases and stereotypes – whether that’s consciously or unconsciously – that contribute to inequalities like the gender pay gap. That’s why, as employers, we have a responsibility to normalise conversations about gender equity. This ensures that both men and women acknowledge the importance of the IWD cause and commit to its advancement.


Effective communication strategies:

To tackle the problem of gender inequity, communication strategies need to empathise with women’s experiences in the workplace and beyond. Sharing relatable real-life examples and demonstrating genuine understanding can help establish meaningful connections. In our recent survey, a third of women called for companies to share stories of the everyday experiences of being a woman at work – highlighting the importance of authenticity in communication.

We need to see real life examples that are relatable, and not just companies making the right noise on the right days.” – Havas People IWD survey, UK participant, 2023


So what are the key ingredients of a successful IWD campaign?

  1. Make it issue-driven: Identify a gender issue relevant to your industry or organisation and take a stand on it.
  2. Make it ownable: Ensure your campaign is aligned with your organisation’s tone of voice and immediately recognisable as your brand’s own.
  3. Make sure it is action-oriented: Go beyond International Women’s Day by regularly demonstrating evidence of steps taken to address gender inequity and engage the wider industry.
  4. Think about the power of language: Be intentional with language use, ensuring inclusivity and avoiding reliance on buzzwords.


International Women’s Day offers a significant chance for organisations to genuinely address gender equity issues and strengthen their employer brand. Through the adoption of inclusive communication strategies and meaningful actions, companies can play a pivotal role in fostering a more equitable workplace and society overall. Let’s make every day an opportunity to champion diversity and inclusion.