Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month in Chicago and Beyond

Not only is March Women’s History Month, but on March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day, a day established over a century ago to honor the achievements of women and to promote gender equality around the world.

This year’s theme is #BreaktheBias — raising awareness on bias, stereotypes and discrimination in the struggle for women’s equality. By highlighting this theme, International Women’s Day states that “celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality, is key.”

To inspire you, we rounded up features that highlight exceptional women, plus we’re sharing ways to celebrate and honor the day (and month), around Chicago and at home.


March 7, 9 & 10: Kearney’s International Women’s Day Forum

As champions of gender equality, this forum consists of a series of events worldwide and convenes global business leaders and thought leaders to share their insights.

The Power Of Inclusion: 1 + 1 = 3
March 7 | 8:00 a.m. CT

Women In The New Era Of Work
March 7 | 12:00 p.m. CT

Why Collaboration And Allyship Matter
March 9 | 1:00 p.m. CT

Women Making A Difference: Purpose In Action
March 10 | 11:00 a.m. CT

Register here.

March 8: Immersive Frida Kahlo

Attend the new immersive experience on March 8 and toast to International Women’s Day, which includes hors d’oeuvres and sparkling wine. Grab your tickets.

March 8: Let’s Talk Womxn Chicago: Let’s Talk & Celebrate

Let’s Talk Womxn Chicago Restaurateurs. Photo courtesy of Siège Food Photo.

On March 8, Chicago’s women restaurateurs are collaborating for multi-restaurant tasting dinners at Morgan Manufacturing for $150 a person. The 25 participating chefs, from Saigon SistersFrontera GrillPrairie Grass Café, KasamaNakornBrindille, Justice of the Pies, and more, will take place in a panel, followed by dancing to tunes by DJ Megan Taylor. You can also order a scaled down take-out meal, for pick up in Avondale the day of, for $70 per person. To register and find more information, visit Tock

March 8: Women in Wine at avec River North

Celebrate female winemakers with a five-course wine dinner. All wines featured are from notable womenwinemakers and a portion of the proceeds go to nonprofit The Abundance Setting. Reserve your tickets on Tock.

March 11: Badass Women of History Virtual Tour by Chicago Detours

This live virtual Zoom event on March 11 from women-owned Chicago Detours will highlight a diverse array of historical women with Chicago ties, including a daredevil pilot, a trailblazing sculptor from the 1893 World’s Fair, and more. Learn more.

March 13: Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce International Women’s Day Pop-Up Market

Highlighting women-owned businesses in the community, Lincoln Square will host its first ever International Women’s Day Pop-up Market on Sunday, March 13 from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. at Artifact Events.

All Month

Watch: WTTW’s Women’s History Month Coverage

This month, tune into WTTW to watch new documentaries that tell the stories of women fighting for change in male-dominated worlds. The Academy Award-nominated Writing with Fire follows an all-female newspaper in India; The Conductor chronicles the pioneering Marin Alsop, the only woman music director to ever lead any of America’s top orchestras; Bring Her Home shows a quest by three Indigenous women to bring attention to and honor missing and murdered Indigenous women; and Betty White: First Lady of Television gives a definitive look at the late Betty White’s life and careerLearn more.

Be Inspired: Inspirational Chicago Women Making a Difference

Suzanne Le Mignot at the 2019 Make It Better Philanthropy Awards Celebration. (Photo by Jaclyn Simpson.)

When it comes to the business world, there are women leading the way in all sorts of ways, from heading up small businesses to leading large organizations. If there’s one thing that they have in common, the most successful have found ways not only to grow their businesses but to help others in the community as well. We invite you to get to know a few of these inspiring women. Read more.

Be Inspired: 9 Inspiring Women to Celebrate on International Women’s Day (and Every Day!)

These are the women in politics, journalism, Hollywood, and sports continually inspire us year after year. Read more.

Visit: Tours at Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives

A center for women’s history and leadership on the North Shore, the historic home and museum is reopening for in-person tours just in time for Women’s History Month. Tours will be held at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. on Sundays, March 6 and 13, and Thursdays, March 10 and 24. Admission is $15 per person and free for students at all levels. To RSVP, email info@franceswillardhouse.org or call (847) 328-7500. 1730 Chicago Ave., Evanston

Read: Women’s History Month – 8 Nonfiction Books That Highlight Awesome Women

Women are often left out of history books, but fortunately there are plenty of quality books that cover a variety of areas that women have been pioneering. Whether it is science or sports or civil rights, women are on the front lines and making a difference in this world. Here are eight books to read this month. Read more.

Watch: ‘The Women Who Made Us Who We Are’: The Power of Your Family Stories

Although male figures dominate history books, ask anyone about the family leaders who helped them grow into successful adults, and chances are you’ll hear about women. Grandmothers, moms, older sisters and aunts inspire young people to grow, achieve and help others.

This is especially true in the family of Make It Better Media Group founder Susan Noyes. She recently sat down for a virtual Fireside Chat, “The Power of Your Family Stories: Be Inspired By Three Generations,” with four family members. Watch the recording here.

Be Inspired: 10 of Chicago’s Top Black Women of Impact


During challenging times, the 10 women named to our Black Women of Impact List for 2022 have taken the helm of a range of different important institutions and have provided what is most needed to guide us forward in a positive way: energetic, caring and visionary leadership. Read more.

Watch: Helping Women Achieve Their Most Important Financial Goals

Women as a group face many financial challenges. They earn less on average during our careers compared to men, and compound that shortcoming by investing less. All of these shortfalls send us into retirement with significantly smaller nest eggs than men have — yet we live longer, meaning we actually need more savings to cover our living expenses and medical care in later years. As grim as all this sounds, financial advisor Helen Abe knows women don’t have to accept being limited by circumstances. She knows this because of her mother, an immigrant who earned just pennies for every piece of cloth she sewed together in a Chinatown sweatshop.

Watch her Fireside Chat with Make It Better Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Susan Noyes to learn more.

Be Inspired: Women at the Top of Their Game Share Their Best Tips for Success in Work and Life

Women on the Rise panel
Photos by Elliot Mandel

In late 2019, at one of our last in-person events before the pandemic, we gathered at Rise Interactive for a celebration of “Women on the Rise” and our Most Most Powerful Women list. Over 130 guests raised a glass of rosé to toast to inspiring females as a panel of influential CEOs, founders, and directors shared their career wisdom with the group.

If you are looking to grow your career or your own business, here is some valuable wisdom from women who are truly at the top of their game, having made bold moves and learned valuable lessons along the way. Read more.

Want more? Watch our 2021 Virtual Women on the Rise Webinar with Cheryl Berman, Erin Clifford, Zoe Elton, Nurit Raphael, Kathy Roeser and Megan Gailey here.

Support Other Women: Why Investing in Women is a Smart Business Move

Gender Lens Investing: Doing Well by Doing Good

As investors review their portfolios for new sources of growth, one area gaining the attention of policy leaders and corporate executives is the economic potential of investing in women. According to Women as a Force for Economic Change, a UBS CIO Wealth Management Research report published in October 2016, just half of the world’s women are gainfully employed, compared to 75 percent of men. This gap has narrowed in many countries in recent decades, but considerable disparities still exist. Read more.

Be Inspired: Chicago’s Most Powerful Women 2021

These dynamic women are at the top of their respective industries, and yet each also find time to support nonprofits and civic organizations. Despite the recent challenges we’ve all faced in the past year, many on this list offer words of wisdom for future leaders and are looking forward to a bright future. Read more.

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