To commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8, a small group of women have organized “A Day Without a Woman” — an entire day for women to abstain from going to work or shopping to illustrate the economic value that women provide, despite often receiving lower wages or other inequities.
Critics of the event have argued that the event is geared toward women privileged enough to leave behind a day’s worth of pay.
Still, a few Silicon Valley companies — some of which are in the spotlight for allegations of workplace sexism and sexual harassment — have begun to prepare for the strike internally.
Both Uber and Lyft have communicated to employees that they are free to participate in the strike.
In addition to an email Lyft sent out to its employees, the company’s general counsel, Kristin Sverchek, also emailed the staff about Women’s Day in general.
I'm chiming in from maternity leave on a topic that is close to home for me - Wednesday, March 8 is International Women's Day. This year's theme is #BeBoldForChange, and I wanted to share a few thoughts about what the theme means to me, and what I think we can all take from International Women's Day.
It's about asking questions (and sometimes asking them again and again). See something unfair or outdated? Question it. And then question it again and again. It's about acceptance.
Lean in or lean out? It's a personal choice — support your peers either way! It's about creating an inclusive space. Women are often (although not always) less likely to interject in a large meeting — focus on giving everyone a turn to participate, and consider working to amplify the contributions of other women in meetings.
It's about recognizing your own bias. Strike words like "unlikeable" and "uncharismatic" from your vocabulary — chances are you would only apply them to a woman.
But above all, it is about more than women — for any of this to be successful it is imperative that every single person #BeBoldForChange. Everyone should be an ally; the onus simply cannot be on women alone. It’s why Employee Resource Groups like UpLyft Women are so important — they teach us how to be stronger, together.
While Facebook did not send around an official mandate to its staffers, the company says employees are free to participate in the strike and join movements for issues that are important to them.
"If people want to support the strike, we support them,” a company spokesperson said in a conversation with Recode. “We support our employees’ rights and freedoms to express their beliefs."
Facebook is also holding #SheMeansBusiness, a 24-hour Facebook Live event highlighting female entrepreneurs, according to company COO Sheryl Sandberg.
A Google spokesperson said the company supports employees "participating in the many grassroots efforts happening to mark International Women’s Day, just as we do other movements like Pride parades." This includes support of participation in Wednesday's strike.
Women Techmakers, an international brand and program dedicated to providing resources to women in technology — it was started at Google in 2012 by then-VP of Google X Megan Smith — is holding an event series in honor of International Women’s Day. And YouTube has launched a campaign called #HerVoiceIsMyVoice that encourages users to share videos of inspiring women.
We’ll continue to update this post as companies get back to us on their plans for tomorrow.
Are you participating in #DayWithoutAWoman? Why or why not? Does your company have a policy on participating? We want to hear from you.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.