International Women's Day - #BeBoldForChange

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. 

Be Bold, Be Brave

This week has been an exciting week, stepping out into the world as a new Mummy.  Completely out of my comfort zone, and still fumbling around with unfathomable buttons on the buggy, it has been great to venture out to meet some of the other local Mummies.  

It would have been very easy to stay indoors with our little Chloe in the warmth, and the comfortable surroundings of our home, safe in the knowledge that nothing would be too complicated to deal with. There are lots of reasons to stay in your comfort zone including reduced stress and less anxiety, however there are unlimited benefits to stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Everyone's comfort zone is different, and what may expand your horizons may paralyze someone else.  There are so many ways to stretch your personal boundaries.  Trying news things or putting yourself in a new environment is a good way to start.  You could take a different route home or try a different local restaurant.  In a small way you are increasing your view of the world.  These are easy transitions and after making these first small steps, you may feel like you can be bolder and braver.  

Saying yes more often, even when you think you are not ready is a great way to open yourself up to new opportunities.  Say yes to new projects, new assignments and new roles, even if you haven't done it before.  As Richard Branson said "if someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you're not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later".  

We are all creatures of habit.  We build our lives on patterns of thought, emotions and behaviours, but your success depends on your getting out of your comfort zone.  Magical things in life happen when you get out of your comfort zone. You are far more productive when you are working on something that you are not familiar with, which leads to much higher output.  You will achieve goals that you may not have thought possible before and you are certainly more creative.  

If you want to live a great life, have an amazing business, and unimaginable success you have to leave your comfort zone and put yourself out there.  Be bold, be brave and get comfortable with the uncomfortable.