Doing It DigitALL on IWD

Carli Gernot, Content Development Specialist

What’s Up

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year, international organizations are focusing on women and girls in the digital world.

The United Nation’s (UN) theme for 2023 International Women’s Day is “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality,” chosen due to its connections to the UN Women’s 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which is March 6th - 18th. The UN’s observation of IWD will focus on the need for inclusive and transformative technology and digital education. The CSW’s priority involves promoting innovation and technological change and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

UN Women honors “the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education,” noting that research illuminates growing social and economic inequalities, particularly in the context of digital living and access to technologies. Events hosted by UN Women throughout March will revolve around addressing how to heal this “digital gender divide.”

Image credit: (CSW67 2023) Commission on the Status of Women

What It Means

Brands and businesses need to incorporate efforts to address the ills of the world around them as more consumers are committed to supporting brands that share their values. According to Harris Poll data from 2022, 82% of shoppers said they prefer brands’ values to align with their own values and 75% said they have parted ways with a brand over a conflict in values.

The practice of gender inequality is bad business on a global scale. The UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report illustrates how women’s exclusion from the digital world has reduced the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries by $1 trillion over the last decade. In terms of reaching economic stability and finding a future that has growth potential, gender inequality must be a priority.

In practical terms, brands need to communicate corporate commitment to addressing this digital gender divide and display how their efforts show the follow-through needed to make a difference:

  • Mattel is celebrating IWD with the launch of a new line of Barbie dolls which represent six women who work as global leaders in STEM.
  • Macy’s launched the It Starts With Her campaign to celebrate IWD and Women’s History Month with a month-long round-up and donation campaign that will benefit Girls, Inc., a nonprofit that supports STEM and college & career readiness programming for U.S. girls.
  • Coty Inc. announced a 2-year partnership between Max Factor UK and UNICEF that will support Skills4Girls, a program designed to give girls and young women the tools and resources to succeed in STEM, digital technologies, and social entrepreneurship

Across categories, marketing messages and digital strategies must display the values central to the brand and authentic engagement in social issues that matter to consumers. Digital marketers are able to assist clients in developing strategies that speak to this intentional effort by boosting diverse and authentic representation as well as partnering with organizations and nonprofits that already operate in that space. RSI’s 2023 Trend Prediction Partner Up highlights how collaborations can amplify both brand’s message and impact — this International Women’s Day, it’s uplifting to see that more businesses are choosing to work together to maximize efforts to close the digital gender divide.

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