On International Women’s Day, we recognize the astounding triumphs and challenges of women everywhere. Today and in the month of March you will be able to see the celebration of women’s achievements in your everyday life, whether it be through social media, radio or television. This makes for a month of relevant discussions and programs which explore the significance of womanhood in today’s society.
These complex conversations have worked to further the discussion of equality for all through the female lens, but have you ever wondered why the narrative of female empowerment fuels the overall movement of equality in every space, especially professional ones?
The gender equality timeline may be surprising in the fact that these gender equality movements and concepts are fairly recent and more so, are ongoing. Celebrating women this month is necessary, but is it possible to honor and celebrate the women in your community without understanding the scope of gender inequality?
The short answer is no, celebration and uplifting women first requires recognition and reflection.
Understanding the ways in which intersectionality and feminism are at play in your workspace and community helps you understand your role in the matter. Yes, no matter who you are, you have an important role to play in gender equality and feminism.
The key to reflection is acknowledging that in the fight for equality there are no small or insignificant roles. This means that you, yes you, can put in the work to inspire change and celebrate women every day.
When it comes to empowering women in the workplace, the elephant in the room is the gender pay gap. This may seem like a simple issue, just pay women the same as men right? Yes, this is the goal, but there are many factors that contribute to the inequity in compensation and if you do not take those factors into consideration you risk missing the point.
Source: Equal Pay Today, Closing the Gender Wage Gap
Equal Pay Today breaks down some of the factors that contribute to the economic discrepancies that women experience in the workplace. Their solution to this gendered discrimination lies in its comprehensive approach.
While just paying women more sounds like a great solution, it’s only the starting point. Employment discrimination, inaccessible healthcare and inequitable education opportunities widens the gap and disproportionately impacts women, specifically working women of color.
So the age old question, how can you help? Whether you are a veteran employee of a large company, the CEO of a small business or a rising professional eager to enter the workforce, you can create change by understanding the facts and speaking up.
Now that we’ve covered some of the factors that contribute to gender inequality, let’s talk about action.
By definition reaction is an action performed in response to events. There cannot be effective change without knowing and understanding the global challenges and triumphs of global womanhood.
In your daily life have you considered if the women in your organization are being internationally empowered and paid equal to that of their male counterparts? Have you encouraged your employer to be transparent about equal pay? Have you questioned your team’s active dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion?
If not yet, that’s okay. The majority of people don’t, but now that you’ve recognized and reflected, begin to react. What matters is what you do from here on out.
The Harbinger Group team is celebrating Women’s History Month with purposeful action, but in order to commit to actions which will empower women we had to sit still with the information before moving, just as we do with all of our projects. We urge employers and leaders everywhere to sit with the history of womanhood and digest the significance of gender equality before moving.
This ensures your action is meaningful and deliberate, which is the only way to celebrate and empower women. Happy Celebrating!
Don’t stop learning about the everyday fight for equality now. Check out the resources that we have listed below and spend time researching and sharing what you find on your journey to learn. These organizations are dedicated to creating a world without bias and inequality by uplifting women.
International Women’s Day: #BreakTheBias
Some gender disparities widened in the U.S. workforce during the pandemic