8 March is International Women’s Day, and the theme for 2018 is Press for Progress. The campaign aims to highlight the gender gap to encourage everyone to think, act and be gender inclusive.
According to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, the global gender gap is widening, and they estimate it will take 217 years to close it. The report looks at the gender gap between men and women in health (life expectancy), education (literacy and level of education), economy (labour force participation and wage equality) and politics (seats in parliament and heads of state). In the global rankings of the gender gap score, Australia is ranked 35th out of 144 countries.
The report also looked at data from LinkedIn and found that women represented fewer than 50% of leaders across twelve industries. Some industries like energy were particularly low with women holding fewer than 20% of leadership positions. There were only three industries where female corporate leadership exceeded 40%; these were education, healthcare and the not-for-profit sector.
The data also suggested that women in leadership roles hire more women, which isn’t too surprising as studies indicate that people are more likely to hire other people who are like them. Additionally, if there is a female in a leadership role, other women may perceive that organisation as having more opportunities for career advancement.
The researchers concluded that increasing female representation at a leadership level could help to improve gender equality in the workplace. Of course, for the gap to truly close, both men and women need to be inclusive and promote diversity.
International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, and together we can all play a part to accelerate change and press for progress.
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