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?

Here are 5 practical suggestions mentioned by @AnitaBhatia at #Expo2020 #SDG5Summit:

  1. Recognise the problem, and how to treat all equally

  2. Flexible working hours: to accommodate those with young children and elderly relatives

  3. Paid childcare facilities: to accommodate those with pre-school children

  4. Parental leave: New Mums AND Dads need time to adjust properly

  5. Recognise issue of gender-related violence

  6. Declare zero tolerance

  7. Introduce policies to reflect this attitude and support victims

  8. Recruit more female talent

  9. Have 50/50 gender candidate lists

  10. Interview panel to be 50/50 gender split

  11. Deploy the same interview criteria for all applicants

  12. Remove all gender-specific information from CVs/Resumes under consideration

  13. Promote female talent

  14. Provide mentorship and sponsorship programmes for support

  15. Upskill and reskill programmes related to technical skills to leave no-one behind

  16. Develop and support women in leadership positions - it’s good for business

  17. 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:

We’ve been trying to tackle the world’s hardest problems with only 50% of our collective brainpower. It’s time for that to change. By bringing more women into positions of power and influence, we can finally use the full measure of humanity’s talents and ambitions. We need all the best ideas, and the most courageous leaders, to conquer the challenges ahead.

This is not a quick fix and solutions require collaboration between Business, Government and Education. There is no place for complacency. Let’s ensure that by next IWD we’ve made progress.

So, what are you planning to do differently this year?


#DiversityEquityAndInclusion #Leadership #ActForEqual #BreakTheBias #SDG5