International Women’s Day 2020

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8 March and provides an opportunity to recognise the achievements of women and the barriers that remain to equality.

Many CSIRO workplaces hold a range of events to mark the day ranging from lunchtime forums, occasional lectures and morning teas.

Through improving conditions, organising events and providing scholarships, the Staff Association supports women in science and CSIRO.

Get involved

Staff Association members and delegates are encouraged to support International Women’s Day (IWD) by organising an event or activity. This year IWD falls on a Sunday so aim for the Friday before or the Monday following.

Speak to your organiser for more information on how to plan your event, including access to promotional materials.

What Women Want survey report

The results of CPSU’s What Women Want survey – the biggest survey of working women in Australia – are in and the report will be launched to coincide with IWD 2020.

Conducted every two years, What Women Want provides invaluable data about issues affecting women in public sector workplaces, and that information has helped CPSU and Staff Association campaigns to defend vital conditions like overtime for part-timers, Time Off In Lieu (TOIL), and working hours.

CPSU IWD and survey report launch events will be held in most capital cities during early March, details to be confirmed.

IWD event list

This page will be regularly updated with both CSIRO, CPSU and selected community events.

Changing traditions

The first International Women’s Day (IWD) was held over a century ago and for much of its history the event has focussed on achieving equal rights for working women across the world, largely through union membership and organising.

Australia’s first International Women’s Day was held in 1928 in Sydney and called for equal pay for equal work, an eight-hour working day for shop girls and paid leave.

In more recent times the scope of IWD has expanded from the workplace to include the political, social and cultural contribution of women; in 1975 the United Nations used the International Women’s Year to start celebrating the event annually.

Since 2000 the event has been increasingly embraced by the companies as a showcase for efforts to promote gender balance and diversity initiatives.

Each for equal

The United Nations mandated theme for the 2020 edition of IWD is styled as #EachforEqual.

“An equal world is an enabled world.. equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive… The race is on for the gender equal boardroom, a gender equal government, gender equal media coverage, gender equal workplaces, gender equal sports coverage, more gender equality in health and wealth.”

The UN has announced Amazon as one of the global corporate partners for the event. One of the so-called big four tech companies, Amazon has been routinely criticised for low rates of pay and unsafe working conditions in its distribution centres while pursuing strategies hostile to unions and workplace organising.

“These [partner] companies maintain a strong connection between their higher purpose and their business… they value diversity and inclusion and lead the way when it comes to attracting and retaining female talent within their progressive workforce,” according to the United Nations IWD website.

More information