International Women’s Day is a global day that has been observed since the early 1900’s to not only celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, but actively campaign for change – so, is it actually still relevant for today?
Sadly, the answer has to be ‘yes’. Why? Well, the World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity, but in 2015 that estimate had slipped to 2133! Not very encouraging!
In recognition of this equality slowdown, this year’s International Women’s Day has a specific focus on gender partiy (#pledgeforparity) and is supported by the United Nations in its ‘Step it up for Gender Equality’ campaign.
The aim of International Women’s Day this year is to bring the action up-close and personal, encouraging individuals (men and women) to pledge a move from talk to purposeful action, to help find practical ways to achieve gender parity and actively increase productivity, performance and prosperity on local, national and international scales.
So how can Shropshire businesses contribute?
Here are some suggestions, but please feel free to share your ideas in the space below:
- Work at developing a culture of equality within your organisation, where dignity and respect are actively encouraged.
- Carry out gender pay research within your company and proactively address any gaps that are discovered.
- Implement a mentoring programme to encourage more female staff to develop their leadership skills within your business.
- Make career opportunities within your business more visible and attractive to women.
- Actively promote and encourage more flexible work patterns and family-friendly policies.
- Audit your recruitment processes to eliminate unconscious gender bias.
- Make working towards gender equality a priority for men and women within your business.
These approaches are all about inclusion in the workplace, where people are valued for who they are and are given fair and equal access to opportunities and resources. Let me know if you would like some help in implementing any of these ideas.
“Diversity is counting heads; inclusion is making heads count.” Nichole Barnes Marshall, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Aon plc
For more about the gender pay gap, you may also like to read: Why is there still a Gender Pay Gap?