7 Entrepreneurial Ways to Celebrate International Women's Day Plus, powerhouse female leaders from Google, Pepsi, Etsy and Lilly Pulitzer share how they're marking March 8 this year.
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As usual, I am writing an article in awe of the incredible connections I am able to scour from the internet. Women from Google Cloud, Anthropologie, Sakara Life, Pepsi Co. and Spanx came out of their proverbial offices and into my ethereal writing conference room to share how they celebrate International Women's Day today — and celebrate women every single day of the year.
Related: This International Women's Day, Let's Salute Strong Women
I asked these incredible women to share a piece of advice and to answer this question: If you could encourage readers to do a big act to celebrate the power of being female, what would that look like?
Here's their guide:
Big ways to celebrate
1. Host or attend a virtual event
Nada Lena, the founder and CEO of Rise Up For You, leadership and career confidence coach, and TEDx motivational speaker is bringing together women from around the world to celebrate, be inspired and learn from other incredible female leaders in a free Women's Leadership Teleconference. You'll learn from top leaders at companies including Google, Etsy, LA Fitness, Microsoft, Pepsi-Cola, The Female Leads and more in addition to building positive relationships with other attendees.
2. Donate to start a scholarship fund
It's simpler than you think to begin to give back. For example, Heather Allison, a shamanic guide, is holding a scholarship contest for International Women's Day. The winner of this scholarship will be awarded a free Golden Goddess course, which retails for around $1,000.
It's also just as empowering to donate to established foundations, such as the Tory Burch Foundation, which was founded in 2009 to advance women's empowerment and entrepreneurship, and Spanx's Red Backpack Fund, which has donated $5 million to women business owners since the beginning of Covid-19 and is ready to keep its efforts going. Check out local chapters of IMPACT 100 too.
3. Host or contribute to a virtual workshop to further women in power
Jennifer Spivak and Courtney Tarrant, who are 11-year veterans in the online advertising space, joined forces in 2021 to create The Ad Girls, a Facebook Ads agency run by women that serves primarily women entrepreneurs. On International Women's Day, they are hosting an online workshop to teach top money-making tactics and will be donating 100% of their profits to Freefrom, a nonprofit that financially empowers women who are survivors of domestic abuse.
4. Support a woman-owned business, and partner with others
DeeAnn Tracy, owner of Peak Scents Skincare, runs an almost all-female team, with the exception being her husband, who supports she and the team. Tracy decided this International Women's Day to select various nonprofits to donate to. Throughout the rest of the year, she creates strategic partnerships with causes she cares about.
5. Help a woman start or grow her business
On March 8, Eckis Marketing will be hosting a giveaway to select three women who want help getting back into the workforce. Eckis will supply them with a complimentary headshot, a resume review and audit, a cover letter template and a $150 gift card to buy a powerful new outfit. The giveaway will be kicking off March 8 and, and the winners will be announced on March 15.
YouTube expert Liz Germain is using this season to challenge her female students to collaborate with one another by doing a two-part YouTube series where they feature each other's expertise on their channels to trade traffic.
6. Network like a woman
Real estate expert Ginger Walker created a Clubhouse room to empower women to start making video content. After finding many women are afraid of not being "enough" for video, Walker wanted to empower more confidence.
Jacquie Edwards began a virtual book club, and this month's book choice focuses on a powerful woman: "We are reading Becoming By Michelle Obama right now," Edwards says. "Obama has been a keynote speaker for a number of International Women's Day events and is a huge supporter of women and especially supporting education for girls, so we are going to be taking a page out of her book and discussing ways we can support the education and empowerment of women."
7. Celebrate your woman-hood by investing in you
Randi Hallaway, self-love coach and manifestation expert, shared with me that many entrepreneurs are actually addicted to chaos. After a failed marriage and the disappearance of Hallaway's "white picket fence," she realized everything she needed was inside of herself... if she chose to care for herself, she could truly care for others. She now teaches others to do the same thing. Hallaway recommends spending time today reflecting on what's actually necessary on your calendar, and what's just crazy chaos, as you deserve the space to just be sometimes.
Related: Let's Explore The Might of Women in the Economy This Women's Day
Now, some advice from incredible women for you, today and everyday, as well as how other powerful women are celebrating:
"At Lilly Pulitzer, we are committed to celebrating our mission through all we do — and that mission is to inspire confidence and optimism through Lilly's colorful, authentic style and the belief that we make the world a happier place, one print at a time," Lilly Pulitzer CEO Michelle Kelly shared. "We love the transformative power of fashion, color and print and are so honored to dress generations of strong women in Lilly. Women make up 90% of the Lilly Pulitzer team (including leadership) and I am constantly in awe of all we are achieving as a strong, female-powered team.
What is the percentage of women at your company, and what are you inspiring the world to be?
"We help women embrace their power to be their absolute best," says Linda Fisk, founder and CEO of LeadHERship Global. "Whatever their definition of success is, we help accelerate that definition of success, and encourage them to recognize their power and ability to literally change the world. We have powerful women in business, politics and entertainment who are a part of our team. These women come together to provide priceless guidance around the pivotal steps that pushed them in the direction, their purpose, their mission and their dreams."
To mark International Woman's Day, Fisk recommends thinking about what your own personal definition of success is.
"The leadership team at Sakara is composed of all women — who are actually all mothers as well," Sakara founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise shared. "This makes Sakara special in that we get to celebrate women everyday by holding space for all the other women at our company — we lead by example, holding roles of both mom and business woman, showing empathy and compassion for each other as we all balance family life and work, and demonstrating how to be both hardworking and nurturing. We feel so lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing group of individuals who show up every single day to transform lives and make a difference in the world."
Ask yourself: Who is your company empowering? Are you hardworking and nurturing?
Some final advice
- Lauren Zaner, lead of experiential programs at Google, spent almost a decade of her career pursuing her "impossible why," which was working at Google. She advises women to spend time thinking through their own guiding light or "impossible why" to see where they're going and what's driving them forward.
- Cherilynn Castleman, managing partner and executive coach at CGI, encourages women to find three mentors: one who looks like you, one who has done what you're doing and one who can connect you.
- Charece Williams, marketing communications and consumer engagement executive at PepsiCo, suggests taking time to see how far you've truly come. Sometimes we get stuck seeing ourselves from weak or tough moments with old managers in our past. Spend time today seeing who you truly are now, and how powerful you've become.
- Edwina Dunn, founder of the Female Lead, is celebrating that her organization just finished a year's worth of research on women's career paths. She found that women usually stop peaking mid-way as men's careers continue to climb forward, and this research was sponsored by many large corporations, including LinkedIn. Today, she suggests you see what could be possible for you if you look for supporters in the market.
- Jane Mosbacher Morris, founder and CEO of To The Market, encourages us to analyze our purchasing power today. In her book Buy the Change You Want to See, Morris shows how every purchase we make, from a cup of coffee to a brand new yellow dress, can empower other women and change the lives of many, from the factory to the retail stores.
- Najla Elmachtoub, senior engineering manager at Etsy, reflects on how her work helps woman-owned shops at Etsy and women purchasers. Elmachtoub suggests spending some time today seeing the big picture impact of your work — can you see how many people you can help? How can you make life even better for them?
That's all, female friends. Have a blast today, we deserve it!