As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, here’s a simple truth: inclusion starts with us. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, each of us holds the power to make a meaningful impact in fostering a more diverse and equitable world.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of engaging in activities aimed at promoting inclusion, from speaking publicly, mentoring junior professionals and implementing equitable foundational HR processes. While these are notable opportunities to inspireinclusion, fostering inclusion isn’t solely the responsibility of leaders or HR professionals. Equally impactful actions can be taken by anyone, regardless of their role within an organization.

Here are five simple yet powerful ways to inspire inclusion:

1. Make new employees feel welcome:
Starting a new job can be intimidating, especially for women in male-dominated work environments. Act as an onboarding buddy for newly hired women, offering guidance and support during their initial days. By helping them navigate unfamiliar territory, you can ease their transition and ensure they feel valued from the start.

2. Invite Participation in Meetings:
In group settings, be mindful of those who may not have the opportunity to share their thoughts. Invite women to contribute to discussions and decision-making processes. By amplifying their voices, you create an environment where diverse perspectives are heard and valued.

3. Thank you’s are magic:
Take the time to acknowledge the contributions of women around you. Whether it’s a colleague, mentor, or friend, let them know that their efforts have made a positive impact. Sometimes, a simple word of appreciation can go a long way in boosting morale and fostering a sense of belonging.

4. Celebrate Balance:
Recognize the unique challenges faced by women, particularly those who are balancing career responsibilities with family obligations. Check in with colleagues and offer a listening ear and a supportive presence. By creating a culture that values work-life balance, you demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of all employees.

5. Promote Psychological Safety:
Create safe and inclusive “spaces” where women feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, and concerns. Invite open dialogue and validate experiences, recognizing that it’s okay to not always be okay. By nurturing a culture of empathy and understanding, you empower women to bring their authentic selves to work.

Inclusion is not limited to grand gestures or high-level initiatives. It’s about taking small but meaningful actions in our everyday interactions. Whether it’s welcoming new employees, amplifying voices in meetings, or expressing appreciation for others, each of us has the power to make a difference. As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, let’s commit to building a more inclusive world where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to thrive. #inclusionstartswithus