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International Women's Day 2021: Choose To Challenge

This year's International Women's Day theme is 'Choose To Challenge'; which is an important call to action in accelerating women’s equality.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Choose To Challenge’; which is an important call to action in accelerating women’s equality.

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural & political achievements of women all around the world and an opportunity to look back on the past year and see what has shifted, and what we need to focus on, moving forwards.

There have been huge changes in the world over the past year thanks to COVID-19, but there is an abundance of opportunity amidst the chaos, and the world needs to be ready for a new way of being, working and leading.

International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Thankfully, women’s rights and equality have come a long way since then. Today, the IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.

But what does it actually mean for women in 2021 and how can we strive for even more equality, right now?

Virgin Australia
Jayne Hrdlicka, Virgin Australia CEO

In travel, we are a female-dominated sector and have many inspiring women in leadership positions, which is fantastic.

We have women such as Jayne Hrdlicka, Jacinda Ardern and Monique Poonfort – just to name a few – leading the way on this side of the world in tourism and politics.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister

However, there can always be room for improvement, with many industries within the sector still very much lacking women in leadership roles – such as touring, retail, and aviation.

Yet, seeing these women in leadership roles is helping to inspire the younger generations to work hard and make their dreams a reality.

It’s time to reject all stereotypes and step into our power. To be unapologetic and confident in all that we do.

What can you do?

It’s all well and good looking up to these inspirational women because they are paving the way for the future, but how can you make a difference in a constantly changing world?

By choosing to challenge, whether it be big or small, each and every day, will help women rise up.

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge.

By rejecting old, outdated and patriarchal ways, you can help forge a gender equal world.

By speaking up when you feel called to (and even more so when you don’t), by celebrating women’s achievements, and by raising awareness against bias you are taking action for equality.

Sure, the big things are incredibly important, but change starts with lots of people doing little things, which make a sustainable impact.

together in travel

For the men out there, this isn’t about tearing you down, it’s simply about forging a more inclusive world. Take time to reflect on what IWD means to you.

According to a report by Forbes, Research found that while 60 percent of men support having more women leaders in their workplace, women report that men overstate their efforts to be allies and lack an understanding of the issues women face. 

Don’t be afraid to speak to women around you and ask them to help you understand what it’s like to be in their shoes.

Happy International Women’s Day, let’s look back on this day, in 2022 and be proud of how far we’ve come.