Stop Working For Change: 23 organisations, 20 countries and more than 2,000 pro bono hours to fight for gender equality

22 March 2024, By Deborah Gray, Founder and CEO

8th March is International Women’s Day and at Canela we wanted to use the day to reinforce our commitment to gender equality both in the communication sector and in society. We did so, for the second consecutive year, through “Stop Working For Change” a campaign which seeks to generate a real impact on society.


20 countries across 5 continents in one campaign to to advocate for the role of women

This year we decided to go one step further and turned our initiative into a global campaign. During IWD, 23 organizations from 20 countries – Belize, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay – stopped entirely or partially their work. And they pledged, between them, to donate 2,028 pro bono hours to 23 women’s empowerment NGOs during 2024.

At Canela, together with the other organisations that are part of this action, we want to use our knowledge, our experience and our time to make a difference. That is why this campaign is not a one-day movement. Instead it is an ongoing commitment to equality to change a reality that, almost 50 years after the first International Women’s Day, is still alarming as the data show: 6% of companies have female CEOs, and the wage gap between men and women is 15.7% in Spain and worse in Portugal. Moreover, only 20% of the experts quoted in the media globally are women.



Two phases for real change

This campaign consists of two parts. On 8th March, participating agencies and organisations closed their doors completely or partially to join a global strike for equality. All the workers configured an OOO (Out Of Office) message explaining the reasons for the action. The aim of this gesture was to generate a visible impact and raise awareness of the need for urgent change.

The second part, which is the one that starts now, consists of earmarking the hours donated by agencies and companies to organisations working for women’s empowerment. In Canela, we will give 8 hours per team member, a total of 240 in Spain and 56 in Portugal. In this way, we will turn the action into tangible for long-term support. 


Thank you for being part of the change, we look forward to seeing you in 2025.

We would like to thank About PR, APECOM, COMMSX, Dimitrakis, Ellephant Comunicação, Enterie, Felicidad Collective, Hope & Glory, Liberty., LikeBrands, Mum Abroad, NEI, Oink My God, Omertà PR & Influence, Phenix, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Red Ribbon Communications, Sherlock Communications, Sing Comunicação, TrainTracks, Unicorn and With,  for  their participation in Stop Working For Change.

Between us all, we have managed to raise more than 2. 000 hours that we will donate throughout 2024 to 4Voices, 18Twenty8, Asia-Japan Women’s Resource Centre, Associação de Mulheres contra a Violência, Casa de Santo António, Cicla, Crucesxrosas, FemTechLab, Fundación Madrina, I Can Be, Inspiring Girls, Lar Mei Mei, Mulheres à Obra, Rodzice dla Klimatu, SIG España, SOMA Surf, Suprarecicla, Tara For Women, TechGirlz, TPM – Todas Para o Mar,  Women in PR, Young Women’s Trust and Zemliachky.

If you want to know more follow @stopworkingforchange and Canela’s networks. 

Let’s keep working together to go even further in 2025.



Deborah Gray is Fundadora and CEO


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