Happy International Women’s Day (IWD). Today, March 8, people around the world are celebrating women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements. But the day is also being used as a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
A long wait for pay parity
In 2014, the World Economic Forum released a report that predicted it would be another 81 years before women achieved economic equality in the workplace. But in their updated findings released last autumn the picture was grimmer still – it will now take an estimated 117 years to achieve parity. With so many serious challenges facing the world, it’s astounding that something as seemingly simple as valuing people based on their contribution and not their gender remains so elusive.
Women are good for business
For anyone unmoved purely on the moral argument, there is no shortage of evidence that women are good for business and good for the economy. Research from the Peterson Institute concludes that an organization with 30 percent female leaders could add up to 6 percentage points to its net margin. The No Ceilings Report found that if women were paid the same rate as men in the US, GDP would climb by 5 percent. In Egypt, parity would raise the country’s GDP by 34 percent.
The first step towards any change is awareness which is why International Women’s Day is asking people to pledge to take a step to help achieve gender parity more quickly. That step could take any number of forms – it could be as simple as helping women and girls achieve an ambition or taking action within the workplace to create a more inclusive and diverse culture.
International Women’s Day coincides with Women’s History Month, so at CSC we’re marking the occasion with a series of events throughout March that raise the issue of gender parity. Organized by our Women in Leadership Employee Resource Group, events will be taking place in the UK, Nordics, India and Australia throughout the month and we’ll also be supporting the #PledgeForParity campaign.
While the global community may still be wrestling with how to achieve gender parity we do have the ability to communicate and share ideas like never before. So let’s spread the word and help ensure that we don’t have to wait until 2133 for women and men to stand on equal footing.