IWD 2021 – choose to challenge

International Women’s Day, IWD, (8 March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, as the world and our alumni communities come out of 2020, which has been one of the most disruptive and challenging year in decades due to COVID-19, the impact of the pandemic certainly will have a lasting impact on us all.

We would like to encourage your participation on 2 initiatives that we are running to commemorate IWD this year:

  1. The first is a survey and knowledge sharing initiative on gender equity initiated by DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) team from INSEAD to build awareness and knowledge around this topic. The team has also created an insightful list of reading suggestions (see below) to accompany this effort. This initiative from the school would run for two weeks until 22 March.
  2. The second initiative is a global initiative from INSEAD Women in Business (WiB) Alumni Club that is now running globally. This initiative called Choose to Challenge is meant to raise awareness against biases and encourage a call to action from us all.

Reading Suggestions

Week 1

  • Day 1 – March 8

Disruption as a Force for Good? Gender Balance and COVID-19 | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Vinika D. Rao, Executive Director, INSEAD Gender Initiative | May 20, 2020

Key takeaway: The pandemic may disproportionately affect women around the world, but it need not imperil the hard-earned progress towards gender balance.

  • Day 2 – March 9

From Insight to Action. Gender Equality in the Wake of Covid-19 | UN Women 2020

This publication summarizes the data, research and policy work produced by UN Women on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls, including how it is affecting extreme poverty, employment, health, unpaid care and violence against women and girls.

  • Day 3 – March 10

Making the “New Normal” Better for Women | Benjamin Kessler, INSEAD Knowledge Managing Editor | July 2, 2020

Key takeaway: How can individuals and organisations keep progressing towards gender balance, in this disrupted world?

  • Day 4 – March 11:

Women at the core of the fight against COVID-19 crisis | Policy brief: OECD 2020

  • Day 5 – March 12:

Foundations for Gender Balance Can Be Built at Home | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Vinika D. Rao, Executive Director, INSEAD Gender Initiative | November 13, 2020

Key takeaway: If we want a robust economic recovery and a fairer world, we must stem the tide of women fleeing the Covid-19 workforce.

Week 2

  • Day 1 – March 15

Strategy and Leadership Lessons From the ‘Notorious RBG’ | Chengyi Lin, INSEAD Affiliate Professor of Strategy, Felicia A. Henderson EMCCC ’17, Founder, Henderson Advising, and Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour | March 8, 2021: Strategy & Leadership lessons from “The Notorious RBG”

  • Day 2 – March 16

The Powerful Leadership of African Women | Lucy Quist MBA ’05J, INSEAD Board Director | March 6, 2020: Six women leading the way and inspiring others to realise their potential

  • Day 3 – March 17

Challenging Assumptions About Flexible Work | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Felicia A. Henderson EMCCC ’17, Principal at Henderson Advising | February 24, 2020: How a female CEO built better work-life balance in the gruelling property industry.

  • Day 4 – March 18

Promoting Gender Balance Wisely | Benjamin Kessler, Asia Editor and Digital Manager, Clarissa Cortland, INSEAD Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, and Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour | March 8, 2018: Researchers are identifying powerful, yet sometimes nuanced interventions that can improve outcomes for women and the businesses and societies they serve.

  • Day 5 – March 19

Integrating Diversity Into Business Education | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour; Modupe Akinola, Columbia Business School; Ashli Carter, NYU Stern; Michael Norton, Harvard Business School; and Katherine Phillips, Columbia Business School | September 16, 2019: An example of women leading the integration of diversity conversation into business education in collaboration with men.