August 26, 2022
How do you celebrate Women’s Equality Day?
Amber Shaverdi Huston, CAE
NACA Executive Director
How do you celebrate Women’s Equality Day? Great question. One I am happy to help provide ideas.
First, let’s set the stage. Women’s Equality Day is celebrated on August 26 because in 1920 that is when the 19th Amendment was signed by then U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. U.S. Secretary Colby signed a proclamation behind closed doors at his own house in Washington, D.C. The 19th Amendment was one step closer for women; however, there’s much work to do. I encourage us to use today as a day of celebration, acknowledgement, a time to refuel, and learn of the work that needs to be done to improve the lives of women and those who identify as women.
According to the
Pew Research Center, only 56 percent of Americans who were able to vote did so in the 2016 presidential election—a rate that trails other developed countries. With that in mind, let’s consider our ability to support all those who are able to vote to get registered and active!
Women’s Equality Day celebrates the achievements of women’s rights activists and reminds us of the unique daily struggles that women face. Voting is a right and privilege; however, barriers exist that make this right challenging – ability to leave work or family commitments, financial capability to take time off of work or access transportation, long wait times, unknown voting laws, intimidation, and concern of other legal implications.
If you are an employer or supervisor, consider providing employees time to vote in all elections. Not only will this emphasize civic engagement it will remove a barrier. Employers can share nonpartisan voter registration information. The Society for Human Resources Management offers suggestions, such as:
Distribute information about how, where and when to vote, along with tools to register and request a ballot online.
Host a voter registration event or voting celebration.
Adopt flexible schedules with no meetings on Election Day.
Provide paid hours to vote, whether on Election Day or before it for early voting.
Sending e-mails to remind employees to vote.
In your community are their women you can honor and celebrate, women who have/are leading the efforts to support the right to vote, if so, please take time to let them know their efforts matter. Even the strongest leader needs to know their work is making an impact.
Amber Shaverdi Huston, CAE is the executive director of the National Association for Campus Activities. Shaverdi Huston has over a decade of association management experience focusing on transforming operations and people through project management, process design, strategy and assessment.