In the run up to International Women’s Day the discussion of gender equality in the workplace has resurfaced. I think it’s fair to say, a big section of the population are sick of hearing about sexism, believing it is only a small problem society now face. Despite the progress that has been made in the last 20 years, this sadly isn’t true. For example, the World Economic forum recently revealed that the UK was only the
18th most gender equal nation
(based on political participation, economic equality and gender rights) behind the Philippines, Latvia and Nicaragua showing there is still plenty of work to do.
However, what I find more worrying is not the lack of women on FTSE 100 boards, but the stigma associated with sexism, especially in the workplace. Coming forward to discuss the issue, or highlight a personal experience is almost seen as a weakness and being silent a strength. This is true for both female business leaders and young women starting out in business. This is far from healthy and makes for an ineffective workforce.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom.
by Accentrue has revealed roughly three out of four professionals believe the number of women as CEOs and on boards will increase by 2020. Plus, nearly half say their companies are preparing women for more senior management roles.
That’s not to say problems do not remain -about four in ten working parents would prepare to work, than stay at home if they could afford it.
Although change is definitely in the air, discussion has to continue to make gender equality a reality.