International Women’s Day Episode 21 Notes

International Women’s Day

Theme: Pledge For Parity

Definition: noun

  1. the state or condition of being equal, especially regarding status or pay.

 

#PledgeForParity

 

Links

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme

***All the information has come from the International Women’s Day website.  I have consolidated it for the purpose of my notes on the podcast.  Chris Hanna and Myself felt that it would be a benefit to everyone to have all the links in one place along with the flow.  Please check out the links below and listen to our podcast here.

What is International Women’s Day About

 

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. International Women’s Day is all about celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for over a century – and is growing annually from strength to strength.

 

2016 and Beyond

 

The world has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation may feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so each year the world inspires women and celebrates their achievements. IWD is an official holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more. Many global corporations actively support IWD by running their own events and campaigns. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google often changes its Google Doodle on its global search pages to honor IWD. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status.

 

Why it is Needed Still In 2016

 

Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. And we have much to celebrate today. But progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places. The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.

 

So make a difference, think globally and act locally!

Make everyday International Women’s Day.

Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

 

So how do we want to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016? We say by Pledging For Parity!

 

Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.

 

Globally, with individuals pledging to move from talk to purposeful action – and with men and women joining forces – we can collectively help women advance equal to their numbers and realize the limitless potential they offer economies the world over. We have urgent work to do. Are you ready to accelerate gender parity?

 

———

 

Take The Pledge

 

  1. Help women and girls achieve their ambitions.

 

The most important determinant of a country’s competitiveness is it’s human talent via the skills and productivity of its workforce.

Organizations must illuminate the path to leadership, showing women the career and advancement opportunities that match their skills and professional objectives and provide the experiences necessary to fulfil their potential.

Individuals can commit to advocating for themselves, and when appropriate, becoming effective role models and sponsors of women to help them achieve their goals.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

EY’s Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer, Karyn Twaronite, interviews Deborah Gillis, CEO of Catalyst on accelerating the pace of women’s advancement in the workplace

EY report: Mentoring and sponsorship is an overview of mentoring and sponsorship at EY and why they’re critical to reaching gender parity

Forbes article Beyond The Olympic Flame: How Mentoring Guides Former Athletes discusses the importance of a mentoring program for athletes and how a background in sport can help accelerate a woman’s leadership

 

  1. Challenge conscious and unconscious bias.

 

Studies show that gender-balanced organizations and teams deliver stronger results, and that inclusive societies are more progressive, but ingrained bias slows the progress of equality.

Organizations must build cultures where all people feel valued and included and can contribute fully according to their capabilities.

Individuals can commit to learning about their own biases, adjusting their behaviour as needed and welcoming different experiences and points of view.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

UnderstandingPrejudice.org is a website is for students, teachers and others interested in causes and consequences of prejudice

Projectimplicit.net is a nonprofit organization and international collaboration between researchers interested in implicit social cognition (thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control)

 

  1.  Call for gender-balanced leadership.

 

Companies with women board members outperform in return on equity, net income growth and price-to-book value as well as a host of non-financial measures.

Organizations must ensure women are exposed to strategic operations and functions to gain the experience needed for senior positions and set measurable targets for appointing women to leadership.

Individuals can show potential or current employers that they value and expect gender-balanced leadership. They should seek out leadership, sponsorship and mentoring programs, exposure to strategic and financial roles and integrated networks designed to help women advance.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

EY’s The power of many is a global survey on the correlation between teaming, diversity and corporate performance and how critical strong leadership is for high performing teams

EY report: Diversity drives diversity looks at US diversity in boardrooms and C-suite

EY’s Chair, Global Accounts Committee & Global Vice Chair, Markets, Uschi Schreiber, explores methods for increasing female leadership

 

  1.  Value women and men’s contributions equally.

 

Raising the female labour force participation rate to match that of men will have a positive impact on GDP in both developed and developing economies.

Organizations must ensure all their talent processes are equitable, fair and that they further their gender parity and diversity objectives.

Individuals can seek out perspectives different from their own, prioritize building diverse teams and engage in mixed networks that build trusted relationships.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

Forbes report Fostering innovation through a diverse workforce highlights how diversity is a key driver of innovation and critical for success

EY’s short video Differences matter reveals the importance of diversity in organizations

 

  1. Create inclusive, flexible cultures.

 

After competitive pay and benefits, workers in eight countries rank working flexibly and still being on track for promotion as what they value most in a potential job.

Organizations should recognize that lines between career and personal lives are becoming more fluid. They should create progressive policies like flexible working that allow everyone – regardless of age, gender, rank or geography – to manage their personal and professional lives and realize their ambitions.

Individuals can create trusting, team-oriented work environments by encouraging flexible working supporting choice about the times, places and ways work gets done.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

EY’s brochure Inclusive leadership – Accelerating progress in gender equity from the inside out explains how EY is working to lead the way on gender parity

Building inclusion is research by Diversity Council of Australia into an evidence-based model of inclusive leadership

 

Further Resources for Gender Equality

 

EY’s The time for gender parity is now survey documents the economic imperative of gender parity and outlines three accelerators to help achieve it

EY’s Women. Fast forward on ey.com is a digital hub with resources and guidance for women in the workforce, women in leadership, women entrepreneurs and women athletes

McKinsey & Company report Unlocking the full potential of women at work features 60 companies that show how women have fuelled the US economy and its largest corporations

McKinsey & Company study, in partnership with LeanIn Women in the workplace discusses the state of women in America

EY’s Women in the public sector report reveals women are woefully under-represented in the public sector but a significant part of the workforce

EY study: Global generations is a survey of workers in eight countries about what they want from their jobs

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