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Celebrating International Women’s Day

This Sunday, March 8th marks International Women’s Day. The day has been observed in some form since the early 1900s and is now an official holiday in more than 20 countries.

The theme this year is “Make It Happen,” which is both striking in its simplicity and a powerful call to action. The theme works on many levels – a “carpe diem” for women who want to effect positive change in their own lives in ways big and small, as well as a wider proclamation: it’s time we moved on from talking about things like wage inequality, lack of representation, and diversity in the boardroom (without mentioning other very troubling problems around the globe) and just get on with making it happen.

You may have read about the ‘He for She’ campaign, fronted by actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, which presents the struggle for gender equality as one that should be of equal importance to both men and women, or as the official website puts it, “A Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality.” Over the course of my career, I have always taken the stance that there is no “us and them,” it’s all about working together for one common goal: together let’s Make It Happen. This is demonstrated in the WBENC and Astra communities I am involved in; communities in which WBEs support each other and recognize the importance of a “we vs me” attitude.

If you don’t have any specific plans to mark this coming International Women’s Day, one simple way to get involved, informed and inspired by all the events is by following all the activity on Twitter. Using the hashtags #internationalwomensday and #womensday2015 will reveal a wealth of content from people around the globe such as this gender inequality blog from respected publisher Wiley Psychology. You could also simply tweet how you are going to #makeithappen with your own personal promise.

This is also a great time to find new people on Twitter to follow, either with the aim of building your network or to boost your knowledge in certain areas or industries. To me, it is moments like this when Twitter is at its most powerful and positive, and why I hope this year’s International Women’s Day will be the strongest yet. Just by retweeting or favoriting a tweet, its easy for people of any gender to show support, and for real momentum to grow.

So to all of us, have a great 2015 International Women’s Day!

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