The Long Road to Full Gender Parity

By Rina Goldenberg Lynch

I’m sure you’re aware that Friday 8 March, was International Women’s Day (IWD).  This week, we dedicate this newsletter to those working towards gender parity, the modern-day purpose of celebrating IWD.

Although, since women make up about 50% of the world’s population, one might wonder why we need to celebrate it at all. Alas, if we didn’t need to address Inclusion, Voice At The Table wouldn’t need to exist.  And perversely, we wish we didn’t have to be here.  But given that  it will take another 130 or so years before we reach gender parity, our future as an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) consultancy looks rather safe.

Closing the Gap
And yet, the writing on the wall is clear. An article in the Guardian just last week reiterated that ‘No country in the world affords women the same opportunities as men in the workforce, according to a new report from the World Bank, which found the global gender gap was far wider than previously thought. Closing the gap could raise global gross domestic product by more than 20%, said the report.’

And the World Economic Forum also observes that,

‘Gender equality continues to be one of the greatest human rights challenges, despite evidence outlining how it will improve the economy, society and protect the future of the planet.’

For these reasons and many more, this newsletter is dedicated to all women and men who are doing their part in fighting not just for justice and parity, but also for everyone to finally realise that holding back half the population doesn’t ultimately benefit anyone.

Women to Watch
The World Economic Forum celebrates IWD by featuring 10 female trailblazers who are working to improve our world.  Today, I’d like to introduce you to three of those remarkable women who are forging a better future for all.

Arancha González Laya
Arancha is a former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Spain and the current Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs.  As one of the founders of SheTrades, Arancha empowers women to engage in global trade and investment.  Established in 2015 with the International Trade Commission, SheTrades provides access to key knowledge, resources and networks, amongst many other things.

Xiye Bastida
At the age of 21, Xiye uses her voice to fight for climate change.  She founded Re-Earth and, as a member of the Otomi-Toltec Indigenous community, speaks eloquently about learning from previous generations to tackle the challenges of the future.  In this short TED talk, Xiye explains her stance.

Reshma Saujani
Reshma founded Girls Who Code and Moms First, and in late 2023 she launched, a chatbot that helps New Yorkers apply for state aid to support them taking leave to care for their new baby or if compassionate leave is required.  By making it easier for people to apply and receive the benefits they are entitled to and that help them put food on the table in times of need, helps close the poverty gap, especially for women.

Read more about gender equality and the various challenges and successful initiatives around the world that aim to address them here.  And as you read, I invite you to think about one small way you could act – in your office, your local community, indeed even at home – to level the playing field for women.

Suggested Reading

5 Ways to Drive Diversity Beyond Gender

Taking Diversity Beyond Gender: The Necessary Mindset Shift