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Let’s not wait for a (inter)national day / week / month

Let’s not wait for a (inter)national day / week / month

National days, weeks, months. They’ve grown a lot over the last few years. Many that have been recognised for a long time are getting a fresh focus alongside newer moments. And my goodness they can be magnificent. Raising money, sparking conversations, platforms for sharing stories…it can be some really good stuff.

It can also, however, be really flipping performative. 

So, how do we tackle it? It doesn’t have to be complicated and there’s no one size fits all. We’re not aiming for perfection here either, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Here are some ways to consider keeping your actions going 365 days a year…

1. Charities and support organisations you partner with 

I’ll give you an example – did you make a big statement about supporting parents through miscarriage in October? (Where you’ll find Baby Loss Awareness Week). If you’re an organisation who is in a position to donate to charities, is this reflected? Could you make regular donations to a charity that provides help lines or research for example?

Perhaps you were Saluting your Sisters during Black History Month last year. But if it stopped at some LinkedIn posts it’s time to grab a mirror. How can you support organisations who are working long term with black women and girls to celebrate them and champion them way beyond October 31st?

You don’t have to be hitting millions in turnover to make some of these donations. It can be affordable. It could be giving time, facilities or when someone is entering a sponsored event on your company’s behalf perhaps they could consider diverting the money to one of these partner charities?

2. Story sharing

Would it be a post from me without mentioning the golden ticket that is story sharing?!

This is a sure fire way of keeping things going. it’s pretty much the lowest cost to you as an organisation as well. Of course there’s a time investment but it’s not got the ticket price lots of other things have. 

Consider how you’re doing it, when you’re doing and how you house the stories. Perhaps it’s an internal podcast for people to refer back to. Or a bank of blog posts alongside those panel discussions you’re hosting and employee resource group initiatives. 

And please remember the golden rules – nobody owes you their story and honour boundaries!

3. Connection to your customer and community

This is going to serve you in two different ways. It has some overlap with the purpose behind charity and support group involvement because it can externally demonstrate your commitment. It’s not just about signing a cheque. Instead finding ways to offer practical support and perhaps partner in running events to raise awareness. 

It also sends a really strong message about who you are as an employer. Not only do you say you’re supporting your people, you also make sure the ripple effects are going out into the world. It might be engaging them in selecting charity partners, partnering on research and insights, running CV or practice interviews for people – quite literally anything. 

Moving forwards…

So as we venture further into this year and the ‘quick, it’s international xxx week, we must do something’ get ever the more louder – have a think about what actually aligns to your organisation.

Recognise the days, weeks, months – but please, do it with authenticity, check your sources (that’s a specific dig at International Women’s Day) and think about the lived experiences of people in your organisation. If you’re saying one thing and doing another, it’s not going to be the dreamy culture you want to create.

You can successfully recognise the milestones and days of significance alongside longer term impacts – don’t let anybody make you feel like you can’t!

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