International Women’s Day 2023

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Posted 08.03.23

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International Women’s Day (IWD) is an annual event that celebrates women’s achievements and how women continue to influence the world. As well as celebrating amazing women, it’s also a day to highlight issues that women have and still face today.

Women in History

Throughout history, women have been denied the right to vote, to work, own property whilst married or go shopping without a man to escort them. The FA even banned women’s football on any of their grounds, deeming it ‘quite unsuitable for females’, until the end of the 1960s! And in fact the equal pay act was passed in 1970 – considered a landmark moment – but 53 years later women are still paid around 19% less than their male counterparts in 2022

Considering they make up around 47% of the world’s population, thankfully women now have a lot more say in the world around us. The good news is that a number of things have very definitely improved in some areas. In fact in the last 3 years, we have especially seen this change in female leadership:

  • Kamala Harris became the first female, first black and first Asian-American US vice-president in 2021.
  • Tanzania swore in its first female president
  • Estonia, Sweden, Samoa and Tunisia get female prime ministers for the first time in history.
  • The impact of the #MeToo conversation, speaking out against experiences of harassment and sexual assault

International Women in 2023

But there are still many issues that women continue to face and fight for today. Along with the good, we have also seen significant steps back in other areas of women’s rights recently:

  • According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022, the global gender gap has increased to 132 years.
  • Few women make up the technical workforce; Engineering UK reported that Women make up only 16.5% of all Engineers (03/22)
  • A UN study showed that 48% of women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some form of violence during the pandemic.
  • In the UK, the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer reignited debates around women’s safety.
  • In the US there have been major policy changes mandating that women no longer have rights over their own bodies.

Women In Todays Workplace

Women make up around 33% of the worlds senior leadership in both public and private sectors worldwide. which is improving slowly year on year. A number of organizations are putting policies, support and processes in place to allow women to thrive, especially when getting back into work after children for example. Here at Energi People we are very proud to have a 50/50 split in gender and everyone has the same opportunities for promotion and leadership, with transparent and achievable goals.

However despite plenty of progress in recent decades, gender bias is still present in the workplace. A recent poll from Samsung UK of employees from around the UK uncovered some disturbing behaviour:

  • Respondents cited being called “love” by clients and “girl” by their boss.
  • Some reported being called “a woman of [your] age” and a “typical blonde woman.”
  • 40% of respondents reported gender biased language in meetings and 30% during interviews
  • Women were three times as likely to be asked to make tea/coffee than men.
  • Women were twice as likely to be assigned menial or admin-based tasks than men.
  • Women were three times as likely to be the target of sexist jokes than men.

Interestingly, men who experienced gender bias reported the exact same feeling. In other words, everyone in the workplace experiences the same negative effects, yet it is disproportionately targeted towards women.

Today, not one country can claim to have achieved gender equality, with obstacles remaining unchanged in both law as well as culture.

International Women’s Day 2023 Theme

This year International Women’s Day 2023 theme is ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality‘. The focus is on how technology and education in the digital age can help the empowerment of women and girls across the world. It also explores how to protect the rights of women and girls in digital spaces, including online gender-based violence. Experts from the fields of technology and innovation, as well as gender equality experts, will come together to discuss how to improve access to digital tools and bridge the digital skills divide.

This will help to make sure that all people have equal access to digital technology and the opportunities it provides. Contact the IWD Community to find out more

Let’s #EmbraceEquity – together!

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