International Women’s Day (IWD) has been celebrated for over a century and continues to gain recognition each year as a worldwide holiday.

A day when women are recognized for their social, economic, cultural, and political achievements.

With support from over a million people throughout Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, the first event was held in 1911. The holiday was especially popular in Europe; gradually becoming more of an international celebration. In 1977, the United Nations officially got behind the annual honoring of women’s rights known as International Women’s Day; a day “to reflect on progress made, to call for change, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women’s rights.”

In the early years, IWD was especially connected with working women’s rights. Today, it is a call to action for accelerating women’s equality in all spheres. The 2020 IWD campaign theme is #EachforEqual; drawn from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism.’ We are all parts of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviors, and mindsets have an impact on our larger society. Collectively, we make change happen. Collectively, we create a gender equal world.

Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive. A gender equal world can be healthier, wealthier, and more harmonious. An equal world is an enabled world and part of the culture we promote at Edwards.

Edwards is a Woman Owned Small Business and our President and CEO, Gina Abate, remembers the days of a mostly male dominated board room. In her early workforce experience, women were more often in a support role rather than the meeting leader. Her experiences led her to grow a diverse, well rounded team of Executives at Edwards, pulling on a variety of talents, backgrounds, and perspectives to form an inclusive culture.

IWD is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action – and so are we! Individually, we are responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. Make every day International Women’s Day and #EachforEqual.


Lily Neaton is the former Edwards HR Generalist, holding a Bachelor Degree in International Relations and Masters Degree in Human Resources Management. Lily’s Bachelor degree from Russian State University helps her view HR elements from an international perspective. She is integral to the HR team, providing ongoing support for team members and new employees throughout employee lifecycle.