International Women’s Day provokes important conversations about global gender inequality, it brings this important dialogue into the mainstream and invites people of all backgrounds, ages and genders to consider what they can do to make the world a more equal place for everyone.
Data released by UN Women suggests that the pandemic could put gender equality back by 25 years, as a result of women doing significantly more domestic chores and family care. In 2019, the proportion of women in senior management roles globally grew to 29%. Although this is the highest number ever recorded, the percentage remained the same in 2020, showing that there is still a long way to go until 50% representation is achieved.
The official theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge’, recognising the need to call out gender bias and inequality and challenge the status quo.
Clockwise is led by our COO, Alexandra Brunner, a female leader passionate about providing environments for people from all backgrounds to flourish – a value that extends to the whole Clockwise team. We spoke to her to find out what International Women’s Day means to her and how we can work together to forge an equal world for all.
“I grew up in East Germany and as it is a socialist country, mothers were strongly encouraged and empowered to work full time. Women were granted the constitutional right to work and receive equal pay back in 1949. I grew up with women being equal to men, girls and boys shared similar dreams. It was only later I started to experience the biases and inequalities first-hand that we are still trying to address now.
In Germany International Women’s Day is a celebration of strong female leaders. Now I realise this day is an opportunity to not only celebrate but also shine a spotlight on inequalities, raise awareness of hardship and, most importantly, drive meaningful change.
I believe gender equality must start earlier, we develop our values and an understanding of what’s right and wrong during our childhood. Our early experiences at home, affects us in later life so we should lead by example to educate our children from a young age. If we give men the opportunity to play an equal role in this guidance, then we are raising a generation of boys and girls who do not see a difference.
In later life and as we progress in the workplace, I believe more women should have the confidence to push for senior leadership roles and board representation. I think girls today have a wider social network of inspiring female leaders they can identify with and it’s these young women that are the leaders of the future.
The statistics are moving in the right direction but we all, regardless of gender, must continue to call out gender bias in everyday conversations and lobby for change, everyone must be a spokesperson for equality. ”
To find out more and learn how we can all make a difference visit the IWD website.