A week ago today, the world marked International Women’s Day 2017: a day for celebration of the economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally. But with gender equality a long way off, the focus on women’s rights and representations demands more than one day.
Although the past few years have seen many recent wins for women’s rights, including the Liberia election of Africa’s first female President, women receiving the right to vote in Saudi Arabia and the celebration of all that has been achieved in the 100 years marking the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement, gender equality in the workplace is still staggering far behind:
- The gender pay gap currently stands at 19.2% in the UK, where the annual pay for women only now equals the amount men were earning ten years ago – Iceland is the best country in the world to be female, but the country still has an average gender pay gap of 14-18%
- There are only 7 female CEOs of all FTSE 100 companies, and there are more CEOs named David than female CEOs full stop
- In Europe, exclusion from employment throughout working life costs each woman between €1.2 million and €2 million
- At current rates, it will take 100 years to achieve gender equality at work.
With March 2017 also commemorating Women’s History Month, the plethora of available data and the globalisation of our societies provide an ideal opportunity to examine and address the workplace inequalities experienced by women in every country. All UK organisations with over 250 employees will now be legally required to publish their gender pay data in an effort to accelerate the closure of the gender pay gap.
Last week saw the launch of the HERoes Champions of Women in Business initiative set up by our Founder and CEO in Audeliss, a power list dedicated to celebrating the leaders who have helped drive the female talent pipeline, elevating others during their rise through the ranks. The recognition of female role models across industries will help to give young women the visibility of what true success looks like, with the tools that will empower them to create their own opportunities.
We take gender diversity in business incredibly seriously and this is about creating a level playing field for minorities so they too get the chance to secure the top jobs in business.
To quote activist and youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, ‘We cannot succeed when half of us are held back’. With men and women across the world working together to stand up for human rights for all, we are already on the way to making our world a better and more inclusive place for everyone.