March 8 is International Women’s Day, a “global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women,” as USA Today describes it. In the U.S., IWD has been marked as an observance, though not celebrated as a holiday. In many European and Asian countries, however, IWD is a major celebration, akin to Mother’s Day in the United States. DSFederal Innovation Strategist Larysa Nazarenko explains that in her native Ukraine, women are honored at work and at home on IWD, with flowers, small gifts, and special meals. Larysa fondly remembers a Russian TV comedy that depicts exhausted Russian men, counting down the minutes until IWD ends and they can hand the childcare, cooking, and housekeeping responsibilities back to their wives. In all seriousness, though, she believes that this special day of recognition has great significance for many women, especially the women of her mother’s and grandmother’s generations, when women’s contributions were often overlooked or taken for granted.
DSFederal, a woman-owned small business, is celebrating IWD with desserts and treats (for all DSFederalers, not just the women!) Many of our employees are also wearing the traditional costumes of their native countries.
We’re also proud to celebrate by sponsoring The Women’s Center 32nd Annual Leadership Conference, scheduled for April 14, 2018. The Women’s Center is a non-profit that provides free or low-cost mental health care and counseling to all in need, including women, men, children, and families. It also offers highly regarded training programs for aspiring mental health professionals. The Leadership Conference is a day-long event that brings hundreds of women together to share knowledge and insight, with speakers who include leaders in government, industry, and the arts. Through ticket sales and corporate sponsor contributions, it also serves as a major fundraiser for the work of The Women’s Center. Speakers at this year's conference include author and MacArthur Fellow Chimamanda Adichie, Amnesty International Executive Director Margaret Huang; and Carmen Medina, former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence and founder of MedinAnalytics.
CEO Sophia Parker writes "As a woman business owner, I know that it isn't easy to work full-time, take care of your family, and take care of your own needs--this is why sisterhood is so important. We women matter--we hold up half the sky!" We are delighted to sponsor this day of inspiration and leadership, and the larger cause that it will benefit, and we wish women around the world a happy and hopeful International Women’s Day.