March is packed with awareness days that give your organization the opportunity to promote a work environment where discrimination belongs to the past.
It starts with Zero Discrimination Day on the 1st, celebrating the right of everyone everywhere, to a full and productive life, no matter their gender, national or ethnic background, sexual orientation, age, religion, different abilities, or health condition.
A series of other special days pay tribute to specific population groups that should be included equally in work and business but still face major hurdles in many places.
Focus on gender equality and health conditions
Well-known around the world is International Women’s Day on March, 8. Organizations use it to spark action aimed at closing the gaps between women and men and improving women’s access to jobs, equal pay and opportunities in the work place, representation in professional networks and participation in spaces where decisions about labor and the economy are made.
Other special days focus on people with special health conditions, such as International Wheelchair Day, also on March 1. World Obesity Day on the 4th of March was launched in 2015 to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reverse the obesity crisis that affects countries worldwide. Recognizing the stigma associated with being overweight, advocacy organizations also use this day as an occasion to call for respect and non-discrimination towards people with obesity.
Respecting races and religions
Differences in race and religion are the topic of several awareness days in March.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was introduced by the UN in 1966 in commemoration of those who died fighting for democracy and equal human rights for all in South Africa during apartheid. Celebrated on March 21, Anti-Racism Day is more relevant than ever today.
Last year, the UN General Assembly declared March 15 International Day to Combat Islamophobia. Launched as a response to the sharp rise in hate speech and hostilities against Muslims, calling for dialogue and collaboration instead.
Spark inclusive action in your organization
Anti-discrimination days are great opportunities for your organization to raise awareness about the negative impacts of stereotypes, bias and prejudice on coworkers.
These are great occasions for actions that increase diversity, inclusion and belonging – and by doing so, build better places to work and boost your organization’s capacity for creativity and innovation (several studies demonstrate the benefits of a diverse workforce, we’re referencing some in the Resource section, below).
Mark your events agenda and social media planner with these dates, so you don’t miss the chance to speak out publicly against acts of discrimination and share positive examples that promote inclusion.
Zero discrimination days in March
Here’s a list of special days in March that celebrate differences, and hashtags you can use to get the word out:
1 March Zero Discrimination Day #zerodiscriminationday
1 March International Wheelchair Day #internationalwheelchairday
3 March World Hearing Day #worldhearingday
4 March World Obesity Day #worldobesityday
8 March International Women’s Day #internationalwomensday
15 March International Day to Combat Islamophobia #stopislamophobia
21 March International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination #TogetherAgainstRacism
21 March World Down Syndrome Day #WorldDownSyndromeDay
31 March International Transgender Day of Visibility #internationaltransdayofvisibility
On the internet you’ll find plenty of platforms and advocacy organizations around these anti-discrimination days. They highlight yearly themes and include tips and practical resources to help you build a diverse workplace that uses differences as a source for growth.
Find more awareness days and green & social events on the (free!) FairChange People & Planet Calendar 2023. Download it here
McKinsey has published a series about the social, productivity and financial benefits of diversity for businesses: Diversity wins (2020) is the third report, following Why diversity matters (2015) and Delivering through diversity (2018).