Users logging into Facebook this morning were greeted by a distinctive image: Five women in shadow, of multiple ethnicities and styles of dress, waiting in line to catch the stars.

It was only the beginning of a companywide effort to commemmorate this year’s International Women’s Day, which included a 24-hour live broadcast featuring interviews with female business owners and a video message from Facebook’s well-known COO (and bestselling author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead), Sheryl Sandberg.

“On International Women’s Day, we celebrate womens’ progress and achievements,” Sandberg says in the video. “We also remind ourselves there’s a lot more to do to reach true equality. Getting to an equal world takes every single one of us.”

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Posted by Facebook on Monday, March 6, 2017

Google Inc., meanwhile, marked the occasion with one of its patented Doodles, and while we can’t embed the whole thing here, its picture book-like imagery celebrates the many women of the past whose sacrifices helped lay the foundation for today’s gains (and the many battles that remain), through the wraparound story of a little girl whose grandmother tells her a bedtime story about her favorite historical heroines, including Mexican painter and activist Frida Kahlo…

American astronaut (and the first American woman in space) Sally Ride…

And English mathematician, writer, and world’s first computer programmer Ada Lovelace (far left, joined by Indian dancer Rukmini Devi; Cecilia Grierson, the first woman in Argentina to receive a medical degree; Korea’s first female lawyer and judge, Lee Tai-young; and French tennis champion Suzanne Lenglen).

Citing research from the World Economic Forum that discovered only 16 percent of all female students graduate from postsecondary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs (versus 30 per cent of all male students), Microsoft Corp. released a video challenging girls to remain in STEM so they can be empowered to solve the problems they care about most, whether it’s solving climate change or curing cancer.

The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant also collaborated with one of its newest, most high-profile divisions, professional network LinkedIn, to build the Career Explorer tool, which invites women and girls to select two of nine interests to help them learn about the myriad fields in which STEM skills are in demand.

Selecting “animals” and “arts,” for example, produces the following:

Courtesy Microsoft and LinkedIn

Twitter Inc., naturally enough, marked the occasion with a hashtag – #IWD2017 – along with a custom emoji triggered by the hashtag #SheInspiresMe.

Finally, ITBusiness.ca parent company ITWC produced its own series of International Women’s Day features, including a slideshow featuring advice from 23 women in tech and related industries, and the below video, featuring interviews with six female professionals, including three ITWC employees.

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