Now the fuss has died down, I’ll declare my hand and state that I’m not a huge fan of International Women’s Day (IWD).
With 50% of the global population being women, frankly…we deserve more than being celebrated on a single day! Especially now, since women’s lives have declined through the pandemic. Pre-pandemic, the gender gap was anticipated to close in 99 years. It is now extended by a whole generation to 140 years and growing.
So with all the talk during IWD of Sustainable Development Goal 5, focused on Gender Equality and the looming deadline of 2030, what can be done by businesses to improve the situation?
Recognise the problem, and how to treat all equally
Flexible working hours: to accommodate those with young children and elderly relatives
Paid childcare facilities: to accommodate those with pre-school children
Parental leave: New Mums AND Dads need time to adjust properly
Recognise issue of gender-related violence
Declare zero tolerance
Introduce policies to reflect this attitude and support victims
Recruit more female talent
Have 50/50 gender candidate lists
Interview panel to be 50/50 gender split
Deploy the same interview criteria for all applicants
Remove all gender-specific information from CVs/Resumes under consideration
Promote female talent
Provide mentorship and sponsorship programmes for support
Upskill and reskill programmes related to technical skills to leave no-one behind
Develop and support women in leadership positions - it’s good for business
Provide equal pay for equal roles, experience and outcomes - currently, for every $1 earned by men, women receive $0.77
In the words of Melinda Gates: