Today is International Women's Day. On March 8 every year, International Women's Day is celebrated to felicitate women and their achievements. Women have come a long way in their struggle for equality, but there is still a long distance to cover. Research issued by the World Economic Forum found that it will take 170 years to close the gender pay gap around the world. In the UK it is estimated to take 60 years to close the pay gap at the current rate of progress and 42 years in the US. I find these statistics absolutely staggering and deeply disturbing that my (newborn) daughter may not experience pay parity in her early working career, or indeed ever at the current pace and unpredictability of the change!
The UK government's attempt to make the pay gap reporting mandatory for all companies with more than 250 employees had been met with a lot of resistance. The fact that the government has to legislate under the Gender Pay Gap Reporting requirements, to force change is a sad reality that there is still a huge reluctance for corporates to address the issue.
Some organisations have made monumental leaps ahead for equal pay and gender balance, addressing not only the policies that impact women but tacking the rights that men have have access to, such as better paternity entitlement equalising the balance for both genders. Google is a great example of where huge progress has been made, they say they have closed the pay gap. CEO Marc Benioff also made sure they would not be a gender pay gap in his company. After conducting intensive research within his company he paid out US$3M (£2.4M / AU$4.1M) to address inequalities in pay. However these examples of corporates voluntarily doing the right thing and ensuring pay parity are few and far between.
The that fact that in 2017 there continues to be gender inequality, with extreme inequality at its highest in single parenthood families, is a huge a social issue and will ultimately impact future economic growth. In the UK alone PWC estimate that pay parity would boost female earnings by around £85bn per year.
Ladies, it has become so important for us to work together to remove barriers preventing pay parity and create better opportunities for women. Together we can forge a better working world - a more gender inclusive world. Empower yourself, vocalise your self-worth, be less subservient, support your fellows and #BeBoldForChange.