Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, a commerative day few people have ever heard but whose roots are actually quite fascinating (and also quite tragic). From the IWD website about the day's birth:
In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
In 1909, in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February.
In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands.
in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However, less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic 'Triangle Fire' in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women's Day events.
So, where are we today with respect to women's rights and roles in the workplace?
To find out, check out Vault Consulting Editor Sam Reynold's post about a recent Grant Thornton study on the state of women in leadership roles around the world -- which, unfortunately, might not make Clara Zetkin (pictured above) all that happy.