International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration, recognizing women for their achievements without regard to divisions, and taking into account all intersections across demographics. IWD occurs each year on March 8. This year’s theme is Inspire Inclusion.

According to IWD’s website, “When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment.” So we asked our associates, how will you inspire inclusion? Below is a sampling of their responses.

And be sure to tune in on Friday, March 8, 2024, at 9 a.m. ET to watch our “Fearless Females of Supply Chain” LinkedIn Live – International Women’s Day special edition featuring our customer Pep Stores.

Patricia Harris, Chief Marketing Officer (U.S.): We hear the word inclusion so often in daily corporate life that it can almost lose its meaning.  We start to assume that inspiring inclusion should come naturally for everyone.  The truth is inclusion is something you have to be conscious of every day. It takes hard work and a proactive mindset. You can’t passively inspire inclusion. Good intentions won’t get us there. It has to be something we all actively work at every day. And not just leaders…EVERYONE is responsible for being inclusive. Inclusion is a best practice, which means it’s something you continually have to work at. It’s healthy to recognize we’re not perfect and we make mistakes in this area, so the more you dive in, the more comfortable you will become practicing inclusivity and that action is what will inspire inclusivity in those around you.   

Vera Batyalova, Business Development Director (Netherlands): I work with the global team and I am always aiming to recognize the beauty of different cultures and backgrounds, by  example recognizing major cultural holidays and traditions. I am also aiming to always maintain a diverse team to foster fresh ideas and increase innovation and creativity. On a more day-to-day level, I try to involve everyone in decision-making to feel empowered and to make a difference.

Maddi Cook, Senior Marketing Specialist (UK): As a manager of a small team, I hope to inspire inclusion by creating a safe space for my associates to chat through their professional and personal matters. I take great pride in fostering an environment of empathy and compassion, which hopefully allows my team to know that they will be included, no matter what.

Ellie Hislop, Sustainability Project Manager (U.S.): I really enjoy volunteering with Hudson River Community Sailing, a non-profit that promotes inclusion in the sport of sailing across New York City. Every weekend, we host adaptive sailing events – pictured below I’m sailing with two veterans with physical disabilities that prevent them from being able to use their legs, so instead they steer with a system of pullies using their upper bodies! I’m sharing this to demonstrate the importance of adaptive sports in creating inclusion amongst differently abled members of our community. Getting out on the water each week with our support means so much to these veterans, as they’re provided with a sense of freedom and empowerment from managing the boat on their own.

Ellie Hislop (pictured in a white hat) volunteers with Hudson River Community Sailing in New York City

Liz Jorgensen, Sr. Director, Integration Management Office (U.S.): I will inspire inclusivity by elevating voices and ideas; giving others the visibility needed to bolster their careers and ambitions.

Abby Kimball, Associate Success Business Partner (U.S.): I will inspire inclusion by striving to foster an environment (in and out of the workplace) where everyone feels empowered to express themselves authentically and contribute their unique perspectives knowing that others around them are fully engaged in listening to and supporting them. I truly believe that the world is a brighter place when all our unique stars shine together!

Bethany LeClair, Early Career Recruiter/Intern Program Manager (U.S.): I plan to inspire inclusion with our early career recruiting strategy. We strive to connect with different student groups that focus on women in tech (such as WICS – Women In Computer Science).

Swati Malik, Vice President, Cloud Services (India): Inclusion to me is about listening, accepting, embracing, and empowering anyone that comes my way in my life’s journey.

Aarthy Mani, Project Director, Product Development (India): I would like to introduce a concept called “inclusion pause” in all aspects of my life. This pause signifies a deliberate moment for mindful inclusion rather than simply rushing ahead. For instance, in the workplace, prior to making any strategic decisions or making plans, it’s crucial for the team to take an inclusion pause and assess whether they have the appropriate diversity represented in the group shaping the strategy. While there may be gaps in roles, empowerment is the key to addressing this issue. At home, I would recommend frequent inclusion pauses as I strongly believe inclusion begins at home. These pauses should help, empowering the women at home, creating an environment where children naturally learn the importance of inclusion as they mature for tomorrow where inclusion is naturally happening and not a discussion point.

Colette Mathews, Senior Benefits Program Manager (U.S.): As a Black woman, I plan to recognize and celebrate days/times that are significant to other communities, such as Pride Month, Diwali, Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month as examples. I will also be an ally to other marginalized communities, by being an ally to others, I hope to develop similar support for my own community.

Bryant Miller, Marketing Manager (U.S.): I believe the best way I can personally inspire inclusion is to listen. When women are speaking, I should actively listen and not interrupt or start thinking about how to respond. And I should search for opportunities to listen to all types of women, not just those with the loudest, most prominent voices. Then, I should quietly implement the lessons I’ve learned — this isn’t a time for showboating or grandstanding.

Shrihari “Shree” Pandula, Marketing Director (India): I inspire inclusion by practicing both a proactive and a reactive approach at the same time. When I act proactively, I do not talk about inclusion but practice it as a new normal. The more you talk about inclusion at ground level, the more it seems like a forced mandate. Enabling a safe space for women in our home and work environments is a new normal that can be achieved by fostering a culture of regularly celebrating differences by recognizing strengths and contributions of these individuals from diverse backgrounds and identities. This eventually makes them feel welcome, heard, and respected. The other side to this inspiration is by demonstrating a strong reactive approach to promptly and effectively address instances of bias and discrimination while implementing a zero tolerance policy. This asserts to everyone around that inclusion is not just a token buzzword that’s nominally trending but it is the way to be.

Gael Ramaen, Corporate Vice President, Sales (UK): I can only continue to promote the best for everyone, our customers, our partners, our colleagues on International Women’s Day. Developing a naturally diverse team with a beautiful mix of genders, backgrounds, origins, orientations, ideas and experience is so close to my heart. We are lucky to have fantastic women at Blue Yonder driving our business forward with brilliant experience and potential. Today, I want to celebrate this diversity and I am just excited to continue to strengthen our inclusion focus and trajectory. Let’s keep going Blue Yonder! 🚀

Kranthi Remala, Staff Software Engineer, Product Development (India): As we pen down this blog, each of us are still lost about the next meeting or what we owe for tomorrow and if we arranged everything for our family at home. It’s as if there’s a clock installed in our brains that does not have time for ourselves, to pause, to breathe, to look into our own eyes and say, “Hey! How are you doing? Guess what, you’re doing absolutely great and that you are proud of you, irrespective of the mountains or icebergs you have been aiming to climb or break!” Even before we think of inclusion at large, let us, right now, pause for 5 minutes, sit wherever we are, leave all the devices, look around, gaze with wonder about what a blessing it is to be alive in this moment, and then, write a one liner thank you letter to ourselves. Now that we have connected with ourselves, we are first being inclusive with ourselves. In this space of oneness, let us believe in the power of trust, faith and creating a co-existential world filled with hope and horizons that make meaning, thoughtful, empathetic of each other – at work, at home, in the society or even when we are in public – may we garner that every being has the right to be themselves and they are accepted, nurtured and allowed to grow in their own unique way – may we be instruments to empower each other and that’s how we become inclusively equal – spreading wings of joy out beyond the realms of Blue Yonder.

Nina Seth, Marketing Director (U.S.): I mentor women in tech and women in marketing through a few different career-oriented groups.  I share guidance and advice based on my journey as a female marketer in Silicon Valley.

Taylor Weissman, Associate Success Business Partner (U.S.): I will inspire inclusion by promoting and offering resources around work-life balance. It’s important to support employees in managing their work and personal responsibilities. Associates often juggle many hats including work, caregiving, pursuing education and learning, etc., that it’s important to help them focus on well-being to prevent burnout, reduce stress, and increase productivity and overall job satisfaction.

Ellen Yudt, Vice President, Program Management (U.S.): I inspire inclusion by including everyone always.  “There’s always room for one more” is a motto I grew up with.