What did you set out to achieve?
To raise awareness of the International Women’s Day 2021 theme, #ChoosetoChange.
To raise money for women’s charity, Smart Works, which helps women with changing their lives and supporting them back into the workplace.
To be inclusive and considerate with our campaign – it was open for everyone to participate in including our staff, families, friends, customers and readers/subscribers and the general public.
Describe how the campaign works
With International Women’s Day 2021 on 8 March, participants were set the challenge of completing four miles (in total) of their chosen physical activity during the first week of March. Four miles was set because this was the distance of the famous four-mile suffragette Coronation Procession that culminated in a rally at the Royal Albert Hall in 1911. The challenge took place during lockdown at a time when many were already going on daily walks and taking exercise. The four miles were logged in our public Strava Group.
Participants were encouraged to make optional donations or raise sponsorship for Smart Works, which is the partner charity of Stella, The Telegraph’s magazine. Smart Works is a UK charity that provides high-quality interview clothes and interview training to unemployed women in need.
Donations were collected via the JustGiving page and money was raised during the week from participants and their sponsors.
What was the first step you took to get the campaign off the ground?
Our Gender Inclusion Network (known as 100 Gender) met to brainstorm ideas of how Telegraph Media Group (TMG) would recognise and celebrate IWD 2021 during lockdown and remote working. This campaign was led by our Head of Programs, Elizabeth Knights, who is also the Chair of 100 Gender. They agreed on an optional physical and inclusive challenge that could be done at home and also include the family.
Given the circumstances of lockdown, participants were asked to adhere to government guidelines by staying in their local area and maintaining social distancing rules. Given children were being home-schooled at the time, this was an activity that they could get involved in while learning about the purpose of IWD.
The idea was then submitted to the D&I team for initial review. After their approval, we created a proposal for our executive team, who gave the green light. Some senior executives also participated in the challenge and updated the network personally on their progress.
There was also cross-functional collaboration between Editorial and D&I as the campaign was promoted in Stella magazine to our readers.
What budget/resource did you need?
No budget was needed for this campaign. The main requirement was time from the ‘100 Gender’ ERG to organise, create the website and Strava Group and keep the campaign alive with comms via our internal social platform (Workplace) and in team meetings to create engagement and participation.
We kept the campaign going by featuring it in our internal employee weekly newsletters (including our Diversity & Inclusion newsletter), which all staff received. It was also mentioned in various company-wide meetings, including our Diversity & Inclusion Monthly Update. We also posted about the initiative on our Workplace communication channel, which all employees have access to. It was also promoted to our readers in Stella magazine.
What positive impact has this campaign had?
Telegraph Culture - the challenge brought different teams together after a year of lockdown. If comfortable, employees were able to share a little bit of their personal lives by sharing photos of them completing the challenge with their families and partners.
Male allies - we saw a number of men participate in this International Women’s Day challenge, including those from the Senior Leadership Team.
CSR activity - All money raised for Smart Works will go towards changing the lives of a number of women, helping to support them back into the workplace with interview clothing and coaching.
What did you learn that could help others?
The impact of these initiatives can go beyond the workplace. Opening campaigns/initiatives up to families and friends helps to create an inclusive culture internally and enables others outside of our organisation to learn more about the importance of D&I.
How will you make the ID&E benefit of this campaign endure?
Every year, the TMG 100 Gender Group celebrates and recognises IWD and International Men’s Day (IMD) as we continue to strive for gender equality and raise awareness of gender-related challenges in the workplace. We plan to continue supporting the annual IWD and IMD themes as we have done in recent years, with relevant inclusive initiatives. We will also continue to support Smart Works as we have since 2017.
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