International Women’s Day is March 8, and the theme for this year’s efforts is #BeBoldForChange. We all have the power to affect change. Throughout history, women have made changes by raising their voices, having courage, being compassionate, and taking action.

Change has always been within us   

From ancient times to modern day, women have proven that what resides within us is powerful enough to change not just us but the world. From contributing to the arts to leading armies, women have been powerful shapers of society.

Change comes from all generations

A great example of the power of our voices is in listening to the young women who are lending their voices to the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides.  Their campaign, encouraging their 10 million members to share their hopes and dreams for a better world, is giving a powerful voice to young women around the world to make a difference.

Change is everywhere  

From scientists to saints, change comes from everywhere around the globe. It’s both what we do and that we do it. These women changed the world with their efforts large and small.

Change brings us together     

Cisco Canada’s President Bernadette Wightman has spent 30 years in the telecom industry and has adapted to radical changes. Seven years ago, she and a Cisco colleague created JUMP –  a program to help advance women to senior manager roles and higher. Only 12 women signed up that first year, but JUMP has now helped more than 1,000 women around the world through its workshops, mentoring, peer networking, and group support.

Change is hope

We all have the opportunity and ability to embrace and affect change.

“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” Libba Bray