Sunday 8th March is International Women's Day- the annual event focusing on the achievements of women within the UK and across the globe. With a key focus on gender equality, this year's campaign theme is #EachforEqual; meaning that we are all part of communities and that we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes and bias in order to promote a gender equality world.
When it comes to business, it's fair to say that there has been a gradual change in how women are represented, with organisations taking an active role to recruit successful female professionals and entrepreneurs. Despite women making up almost half of the population, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, they still remain underrepresented in leadership roles.
Gender Equality will not be attained for 99.5 years
According to the report, gender equality will not be attained for 99.5 years. Whilst it is believed that women will only make up half of the world's leaders by 2124. The reality is that this is far too long and, if it is true, we need to collectively take an active approach to promote gender equality in our communities- including the workplace.
Unfortunately, we're in a world where things don't change over night. We can, however, be proactive in our approach to how we perceive people within business and the wider community.
Firstly, addressing the gender pay gap. According to the Office for National Statistics in 2019, the gender pay gap stands at 8.9%, and whilst it has slightly declined (0.6%) since 2012, the disparity still remains. As a forward-thinking and dynamic business, you should consider publishing an action plan as to how your company can move towards equal pay for both men and women in the same roles.
Consider your recruitment process and how your company can attract talented and female professionals to your organisation. Your organisation could be missing out on vital experience and talent, which could help to elevate your business to the next level. Remember, it is your responsibility to best represent a modern and dynamic workforce, and if you are unable to attract female professionals to your company, you should consider why this is.
This leads onto the work environment. Perhaps your organisation maintains the type of work environment which was considered successful in the 80s. 2020 is a very different place nowadays, and an element of flexibility is considered the norm. You could consider adopting a more inclusive and welcoming workplace environment; it may have a positive impact on your current workforce but it will also help attract more professionals to your company in the long term.
These are just some of the ideas that your business should consider adopting (if it doesn't already). This isn't an exhaustive list, nor anything revolutionary, but hopefully they can be the catalyst for change, particularly in a world where it will be almost 100 years until gender equality is achieved.