Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

ZSers #ChoosetoChallenge for International Women’s Day

By ZS Author

March 7, 2021 | Article | 4-minute read

ZSers #ChoosetoChallenge for International Women’s Day

Each year, ZSers unite to celebrate International Women’s Day through various events hosted by our local offices. This year, ZS’s women-focused resource group, the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), encourages ZSers to join virtual office events in addition to participating in the global theme #ChooseToChallenge. The movement calls for everyone to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. 


Read below to see what a handful of ZSers will #ChooseToChallange in honor of International Women’s Day.

This year, in honor of International Women's Day 2021, I #ChooseToChallenge the status quo everywhere and to question what we've accepted as "normal" or the "default" for too long. I #ChooseToChallenge any situation that does not reflect the diversity of the people who make up our shared world. I choose to uplift the voices of the underrepresented and to eliminate the gender bias that holds us all back from achieving great things together.

I #ChooseToChallenge the boxes (social mores, standards of behavior, unspoken intentions and stealth expectations) that unwittingly imprison me and those around me. The more I pull free, the more I can see the ways in which this impacts me and people all over the world. 

“Believing in oneself”, “take risks” and “choosing courage over comfort” are the mantras that I live by. On International Women’s Day, I #ChooseToChallenge our unconscious bias and actions which get influenced towards conformity of general thinking, thus diverting our efforts and mindshare from making progress towards ZS's vision of building a strong culture of inclusion and diversity.

International Women’s Day 2021 has such an interesting theme this year of #ChooseToChallenge. I feel the time is right for everyone driving inclusion and diversity to take a more active and visible stance. I choose to challenge the unawareness in me and my fellow ZSers, the inertia of inaction and shifting the archaic mindset.

This International Women's Day, I #ChooseToChallenge gender stereotypes and biases I see in everyday life, especially the biases that I might hold. Positive change happens by working together and holding each other accountable!  

As part of International Women's Day 2021, I #ChooseToChallenge what it means to be an ally for women at ZS. There are many great examples of allyship that we can observe daily, however, there is still opportunity to educate and enable our people to be better allies. 

I would like to take time to celebrate the increased support from our WLI members while committing to further inclusion and diversity in my personal and work spaces. I #ChooseToChallenge the gender stereotypes in my kids, by encouraging them to reach out more to their dad for day-to-day activities. I #ChooseToChallenge more awareness about gender inequity among fellow ZSers so that they can take steps within their own inclusion and diversity journeys.

In honor of International Women's Day 2021, I #ChooseToChallenge inaction and affirm that I will start with challenging my own assumptions and unconscious biases. I also aspire to be a resource to others who want to join the discussion and spur change to make ZS the best place it can be for ALL ZSers. I believe that having all of us commit to make little changes can make a world of difference for our ZS community.

I #ChooseToChallenge the expectations for perfection that I, like many women and ZSers, put on myself. Through my involvement with WLI, I hope to show ZS women - including myself - that success should be viewed holistically in life.  

I #ChooseToChallenge myself to be the best ally one can be through my thoughts, actions and habits. 

I #ChooseToChallenge all social and gender norms when thinking about team structure, giving feedback and fostering development. I will push myself to evaluate if the feedback I give, and the way I think about individuals on my teams, is biased by gender norms, and challenge others to do the same!

I #ChooseToChallenge my self-awareness and the awareness among my fellow colleagues regarding unconscious gender stereotyping and bias in our day-to-day work and conversations to ultimately create a more inclusive environment for all.


Thank you to our ZSers who shared what they will continue to #ChooseToChallenge to help create a more inclusive world. Happy International Women’s Day!

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