International Women’s Day

March 8 is always an important day in my calendar – not only is it my best friend’s birthday – it’s also International Women’s Day – a day which is sorely needed in our society.

Each year, there is a theme, and this year’s is #BreakTheBias.

  • Imagine a gender equal world.
  • A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
  • A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
  • A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
  • Together we can forge women’s equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

This week I know when I mention this on my social media, I’ll get comments such as ‘what about the men?’ what about ‘International Men’s Day’ and I don’t engage.

In general most men are not in a minority position, they are not disempowered by gender or working in a sector which is female dominated. And there is an International Men’s Day too – I believe it’s in November. So if this does bother you then celebrate then!

Why do I think this day is important?

Here are eight reasons:

  1. Women are still under-represented in senior roles in senior companies across the world. In 2019, the number of women in senior management roles globally grew to 29 per cent, which is the highest number ever recorded. However, in 2020 that number remained the same.
  1. Most small businesses and micro businesses across the world are run by women yet they are not taken seriously by many, mostly men and that needs to change. Generally, women have a more cooperative, participatory leadership style to that of men, who tend to follow the more ‘command and control’ style. Women are generally more able to be flexible and responsive to both environment and people.
  1. 85 per cent of all buying decisions are made by women – yet women are not taken as seriously as men which makes no sense. Surely, for a company to thrive and make good sales, women need to be part of the senior management team, making decisions about products or services.
  1. The pandemic has disproportionately affected women in business and women in professional roles compared to men. This is due to several reasons:
  • little government support as they run smaller businesses
  • they have had to give up their job to home school children
  • they have had to take on caring responsibilities of children or elderly relatives
  • job loss –redundancies.

The pandemic has set women back.

  1. Some sectors are woefully poor when it comes to female input eg. Construction and property industries, only 15 per cent; and only around 11 cent of women work in the engineering sector. The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe.
  1. Often women are their own worst enemy, apologising for being female, for having babies etc, etc, and they can have a ‘go’ at each other based on their own ‘bias’.
  1. In the media, most experts are male and most victims are female. There are moves afoot to change this but women themselves have to support the media around that. The media can’t magically find women who want to be heard, women have to stand up and be counted.
  1. Women who are part of the LGTBQ+ community are also under-represented and can find themselves out in the cold and treated badly by men and women. More women like this need to stand out. They are starting to do it on TikTok but not very much elsewhere.