March ushers in International Women’s Day, which seems to getting bigger and bigger every year. Of course, it is all about celebrating womanhood. The International Women’s Day theme was – will you #BeBoldForChange? It was a call to help forge a better working world, a more inclusive, gender equal world.
The news lead-up to this celebration is something that I had been following – that companies have increased the employee ratio of women:men. Even the Parliament had increased it to 33%. And, helping women employees restart their careers, some companies are planning to take stock of the initiatives taken so far for their women employees. Amazon launched rekindle, an initiative to encourage women on a professional break; similarly, Intuit India has a programme called Intuit Again developed to provide an opportunity for women technologists, who have taken a break in their career.
And one of the first things that I noted was that the Millenium City was one of the first to acknowledge this, as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus building was lit up in pink on the eve of #InternationalWomensDay. Now, is this hitting on the pink button, a bit too much?
The day was certainly devoted to putting the spotlight on the woman. So, while opening the laptop, the Google page flashed “International Women’s Day 2017”. When I opened the Times of India, the masthead proudly exhibited the “woman connection” as it proclaimed it was celebrating womanhood, “from earth to spirit”. Then there were sections “Celebrating her: A Woman’s Day Special” which featured an ode to working mothers. PayTm presented the concept – “We the women, incredibly inspiring”, thus curating women of will and their success stories.
The role of the woman and her shining performance was played gloriously everywhere. To commemorate this, Air India made a first round-the-world trip with an all female crew. An Air India Boeing 777 flew from Delhi to San Francisco over the Pacific Ocean and then returned across the Atlantic. What stood out was that in addition to female pilots and cabin crew, all ground staff working with the plane – including safety auditors, engineers and air traffic controllers – were women! Claiming it was “another feather to Air India’s cap, in its constant endeavour to encourage women”, they have already contacted Guinness Book of World Records to document the flight. Again, it is not the first initiative they have introduced to promote gender equality. Another airline Spicejet, announced a Women’s Day Special, where exclusive offers and freebies were announced for women flyers.
Other brands joined in the narrative. And, they went all out to pamper the womankind. Looking into all areas that would interest her – like films, shopping, eating out, hot and happening cars and the workplace scenario, which is top-of-mind for working women.
InOrbit Mall went the extra mile, to affirm “Women are the real architects of society”. Big Bazaar celebrated the day with discounts, giving an innovative twist to the celebrations, playing on customer’s biggest delight – shopping! Also, any woman who does a search for her name on Google on March 7, would receive a surprise from Big Bazaar. Phoenix Market City, Mumbai also decided to club offers of select brands with customised packages, extended to corporate offices, which they called Women’s Day Corporate packages from March 2 to 12, all designed to reach out to corporate women (like hosting them to dine and shop at the Mall). Even online portals like Amazon India and Flipkart gave a shout to women to browse and avail of special offers/discounts on a wide product range.
Good times includes exploring the world of cinema for many. I spotted Yash Raj Films urging women to “Chase your dreams. Conquer the world”. #ShadesOf Women. PVR Cinemas laid out WOW Women on Wednesday – Women’s Day Special, inviting womenfolk to a day-long festival celebrating womanhood.
Was it all things girlie and pink? Not, at all. Renault India celebrated the occasion by unveiling special offers from March 6 to 11, with special offers for women customers, offering free Car Pick & Drop facility, with women customer education on car maintenance thrown in, to make them more self-reliant and independent. Definitely, the plan was to give an unmatched brand experience. Another prominent auto giant Datsun’s special offer on the eve of International Women’s Day, was a flat discount of Rs 8,000 for women planning to buy the Redigo on this day. Then, the company has also rolled out #DrivenByHer digital campaign and its social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) to encourage women drivers to share their stories.
Food and eating out was in focus, and like every year, restaurants across the capital city put together special offers for all the ladies out there. Like Olive Qutub, where their chefs were all set to pamper ladies, by personally taking orders. So, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your day! Like Radisson Blu, at Paschim Vihar where women empowerment is being celebrated the whole month. Not just one day, celebrate “Being-you” for the whole month, was the message.