INSTRUCTIONS: IWD Conversation Cards

In your IWD Event Pack are a set of IWD Conversation Cards.  


Purpose of the IWD Conversation Cards

IWD Conversation Cards provide a key opportunity to explore and reinforce inclusive mindsets and behaviors. Conversations can serve as a powerful catalyst to fostering deeper connections, fresh ideas, and a better understanding of ourselves and our world.

The purpose of the conversations is to encourage insightful communication between participants regarding their views on gender, women's inclusion, allyship, the status of women's equality globally and locally, and ways we can all help forge a gender-equal world.

By actively listening and conversing, participants can internalize a wide range of perspectives, share their own views and beliefs, and consider tangible action they can take to support women's inclusion and advancement. 

Engaging in important conversations about key gender concepts can help further the gender agenda across many contexts.  

Encouraging participants to draw on prior knowledge or experience is beneficial, and IWD conversations support participants to feel heard and valued regarding their background and experiences.

Concluding the IWD conversations with summaries of key thoughts and discussions can be very impactful. 

Step 1: Preparation

Prior to the activity, a facilitator should be identified to introduce, oversee and summarize the IWD Conversations activity.

Their role is to:

  • explain the relevance and importance of the conversations to be had
  • set the tone and context for the conversations
  • provide guidance regarding the practicalities of participating in the conversations
  • facilitate and oversee the conversation process
  • summarize key points and thoughts

It is important for the facilitator to carefully read through the IWD Conversation Cards ahead of the activity, so that they are familiar with the different topics.

It is optional whether the facilitator wishes to undertake further background reading of their own to identify any relevant statistics or information that may prove useful as "Did you know?" points of reference to support each of the conversation topics.

Step 2: Set the Tone

It is important to set up a conducive setting, clearly explain the purpose of this activity and its anticipated outcomes, host the conversations in an open and independent manner, and to then build on the activity further.

It is important to understand that the purpose of IWD Conversations is not to prove a point, but to go on a journey with the people you are speaking with. Remember, one good conversation can shift the direction of change forever. As such, the facilitator should advise participants that there are no right or wrong answers, but there are many perspectives. Furthermore, there may be some directions which are more akin to the organization's values and ethos when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion.

It is important to share with participants the importance of ensuring everyone has an opportunity to speak, and that participants listen in an open and respectful manner. 

A suggested framework to guide participants in their discussion is to share key behaviors and expectations underpinning the activity, such as:

  • two ears, one mouth (i.e. ensure everyone who wishes to speak gets an opportunity)
  • watch the non-verbals (i.e. we can demonstrate respect through appropriate non-verbal gestures)
  • understand all perspectives and views should be listened to (i.e. approach the discussion with an open mind)
  • think about the values and ethos of the organization and its position as relative to the conversation topics

Step 3: Introduce the IWD Conversations activity

Clearly explain the directions for participating in the activity as per the facilitator's chosen process and format (see below).

There are a number of ways to run the IWD Conversations activity.

  1. Single IWD conversation
    Split the audience into five equal groups, distributing one of the IWD conversation cards to each group.
    Invite each group to spend a designated amount of time discussing their IWD conversation topic.
    Invite each group to select a spokesperson to report back to the audience as a whole on their IWD Conversation topic and key aspects discussed.
  2. Multiple IWD conversations
    Split the audience into five equal groups and distribute one IWD conversation card to each group.
    Invite each group to spend a designated amount of time discussing their IWD conversation topic.
    When the designated time has concluded, rotate the cards (or the groups) so that a different IWD conversation card topic can be discussed.
    When all participants have discussed each IWD conversation card topics, facilitate a general discussion inviting participants to share with the audience some of the most interesting, complex, or controversial points.

Step 4: Host the IWD Conversations and Share the Learnings

Consider key people within the audience who may be able to continue the focus on the topics discussed more widely within their own context beyond this activity.

Step 5: Thank Participants

Participants will no doubt have actively engaged in some pretty extensive conversations throughout the activity. Thank the audience for their time, knowledge and effort. If applicable, remind participants that there is assistance available should they wish to further discuss any aspect that has arisen.

Step 6: Further Action

Consider an engaging manner to record and distribute some of the key points addressed within the conversations, such as:

  • a follow-up article published either internally or externally
  • a communication to participants at a later date reminding them of key points

International Women's Day conversations

Looking for the IWD Activity Cards instructions? Click here.

Looking for the IWD Pledge Cards instructions? Click here.



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