March is an important month here at Maven Wave — and not because Q1 is drawing to a close. In addition to March being Women’s History Month, March 8 is International Women’s Day. And as a company that’s committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), it’s our chance to shine a spotlight on the achievements of women as well as important issues they face globally.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day urged every participant to #BreakTheBias. As stated on the event’s official website, this theme invites us to “imagine a gender-equal world…free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination” and reminds us that “we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions — all day, every day.” It’s through individual actions that we can break biases in our communities, workplaces, and educational institutions, which makes the playing field level for women everywhere.
Challenging Bias Through Education
In keeping with this year’s theme, Women & Allies of Maven Wave (WAM), our organization’s very own women-focused resource group, hosted a trivia event in our HQ in downtown Chicago and virtually. It goes without saying that trivia is a great activity to bring people together, but this event did far more than that: it challenged our unconscious biases as well as our understanding of women’s contributions across all areas of society. From STEM to humanities to the arts, the impact women have had can be felt across all communities and industries.
The event welcomed all people, regardless of gender, across a wide range of teams and at all levels of leadership, with over 20 people on-site and more than 50 others joining virtually, making it our largest International Women’s Day event to date!
Discussing “A Secret Love”
In recognition of Women’s History Month, Wavelength, Maven Wave’s LGBTQ+ employee community, led a lunch & learn that focused on Pat Henschel and Terry Donahue, a lesbian couple from Chicago who kept their relationship hidden for nearly seven decades. The 2020 film “A Secret Love” examined the unique challenges faced by women in same-sex relationships in an era long before the beginning of the gay rights movement in the 1960s.
The lunch & learn prompted an interesting and insightful discussion around issues such as the social stigma (and sometimes danger) of being openly gay in the 1940s and eldercare for LGBTQ+ individuals. Additionally, another major theme of the film was Terry’s involvement in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which led to a discussion on women’s sports and the stigma and stereotypes imposed on female athletes. And as we continue to strive for equality, Pat and Terry’s story and the ensuing conversation reinforced how far we’ve come.
At Maven Wave, we think every month is a great month to celebrate women, but that’s especially true for March. To learn more about International Women’s Day, visit the official website. You can also learn more about Women’s History Month (and explore different activities and teaching resources) here.
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