Today across the world people are celebrating International Women’s Day, an event first put forward to advance Women’s suffrage over a century ago.
One hundred years on we celebrate women’s contribution across the world, and look ahead, with this year’s theme centred around the United Nations “Planet 50-50 by 2030”, seeking to achieve empowerment and equality across the world over the next 15 years.
As it stands, the numbers are surprising; today women only hold a fifth of parliamentary seats in the UK, make up only 19 out of 196 heads of state, and are estimated to earn over £300,000 less than men over their working lives.
The UN’s goal is clear; “to achieve the empowerment of women and girls as a core means of tackling economic under performance, global overpopulation, and poverty worldwide” whilst celebrating the achievements of women through history”.
Across businesses in the UK, there is great work being done to redress the imbalance in gender equality within the workplace, yet more can still be done.
This is even more surprising when you take a further look at studies on the impact of women in business, with research indicating that is there were as many women-led businesses as that of men, our economy would be boosted by as much as £7.6bn, whilst a report by Grant Thornton and Goldman Sachs found that “companies with the highest representation of women in management delivered 34% greater returns”
By 2020, 865 million women are predicted to enter the workforce, it is crucial that as businesses and business leaders, we celebrate culture, diversity, and gender at all levels, driving creativity, innovation, and results.
Whilst International Women’s Day allows us to recognise how far we have come, it also serves as a reminder that more can, and must be done, and as thriving companies proud of the women within our workplace, we are all responsible for that.
Happy International Women’s Day.