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Here’s how to actually support women on International Women’s Day

Here’s how to actually support women on International Women’s Day
[Photo: Mike Petrucci/Unsplash]

Google is going all in on International Women’s Day. In addition to its excellent Google Doodle, which paired inspirational quotes by 13 (female) trailblazers with illustrations by 13 female artists, the search giant is making it easier to support women-owned businesses—on International Women’s Day or any other day of the year.

Starting this week, businesses on Google Maps or Google search can now identify as being owned, led, or founded by women. That means the next time you’re looking for a nearby churro shop, acupuncturist, or auto mechanic, you can simply type it into Google Maps and look for the women-led business attribute, next to other useful tips like “Has Wi-Fi” and “Outdoor seating.” You’ll be making a conscious effort to support women-owned or operated businesses throughout the year. It’s similar to the program that Yelp unveiled to indicate women-owned restaurants on its site.

Female entrepreneurs who want the business to be listed just have to go to their Google My Business dashboard, and if you don’t know where that is—Google it or sign up for Google’s Womenwill initiative, which helps women learn new digital skills, from website creation to social media to putting a business on the map literally. Womenwill trainings are happening in more than 17 countries and territories this month alone to help create tomorrow’s business leaders.

Supporting women is always a great cause—whether it’s International Women’s Day or not—and it’s worth noting that Google doesn’t have the best track record of supporting women within its own company. Last year, 20,000 Google employees walked out to protest the company’s approach to sexual harassment and general fairness, following reports that it let male executives accused of sexual misconduct leave with multimillion-dollar exit packages for years. Since then, Google has changed its forced arbitration policy and seems to be taking steps to make the world a little better for women around the globe, and hopefully within Google’s workforce, too.

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