Over the past decade museums have increasingly looked to diversify both their collections and the stories that they tell to become more representative of their communities.
Women’s stories, achievements and art, all of which have too often been overlooked in the past are now more visible in museums than ever before.
International Women’s Day gives museums the perfect opportunity to make further progress by using this to drive forward more initiatives.
Here are six ways in which you can celebrate International Women’s Day at Your Museum.
Create women-oriented content
Get your marketing team to build a content strategy for March. You could use social media to focus attention on women artists, scientists or historic figures.
You could post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter about women relating to your collection using the International Women’s Day hashtag #IWD or #IWD2019.
This would be a powerful way in which to share female achievement with your audiences.
Hold a International Women’s Day event at your museum
While your online content can help share women’s stories across through social media. You could use International Women’s Day as an opportunity to bring women from your community together for a special event at your museum.
Perhaps you’d host talks from women artists, run special tours of your collection with a focus on female achievement or have a debate framed around International Women’s Day (read this article about North Carolina Museum of Arts Women’s Weekend).
International Women’s Day gives museums the perfect excuse to put themselves at the heart of their communities.
Hold film screenings
A study done recently found less than 10 percent of directors working on the highest grossing movies of any year were women. On International Women’s Day, consider screening a female-directed documentary that focuses on issues concerning women’s rights. You can also hold a discussion after the film for attendees.
Bring in professional development
International Women’s Day could be an opportunity to bring in development training to the museum aimed at building inclusive leadership. You could hold a workshop or screen a MuseumNext talk from an inspiring female speaker to get your team thinking.
Share the statistics
There are plenty of interesting statistics out there that show how good it is for businesses to offer workers an inclusive workplace. Share the statistics, either on the museums bulletin board, or in the form of infographics. Tell your museums employees, for example, a study has found companies with equal gender representation are more productive.
Hold a volunteering event
Volunteering can be a great way to help improve your organisation’s culture. On International Women’s Day, you can hold a volunteering event that takes your team outside the museum. There are many ways you can volunteer in line with the theme of the day. Your team could coach a nearby school, answer students’ career questions or talk to kids about women’s empowerment.
While International Women’s Day is a great way to start bringing gender balance into the everyday conversation, it’s important to realise that ideally, the conversation should continue every day until gender equality becomes the rule, rather than the exception.
How does your museum celebrate International Women’s Day?
About the author – Catherine Dann
Catherine Dann is a UK based business journalist focused on innovation and leadership. She is passionate about empowering women business leaders and sharing stories of female entrepreneurial success.