International Women’s Day 2024 - Nurturing an Inclusive Future

International Women’s Day 2024 – Nurturing an Inclusive Future

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Today marks International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme, “Inspire Inclusion,” aims to underscore the significance of diversity and empowerment across all facets of society.

The message extends beyond the flurry of posters and events on the 8th of March, emphasising the need for sustained efforts throughout the year.

However, as we reflect on the theme, it’s crucial to acknowledge that substantial work remains. Several statistics paint a vivid picture of the current state of gender equality:

  • Globally, women hold a mere 28% of senior leadership positions.
  • Women are under-represented at all decision-making levels in leadership and government worldwide.
  • Despite women dominating up to 80% of global food production, they own less than 10% of the land.
  • The gender pay gap is projected to persist until 2051, according to ACAS.
  • Shockingly, for every £1 of venture capital investment, only 1p is allocated to women-led businesses, as reported by Seedrs.

Clearly, there is a pressing need for concerted efforts to bridge these gaps and foster true inclusivity.

Inspiring Inclusion: A Call to Action

Women in Climate Change

A particularly pressing issue is the disproportionate impact of climate change on women, with the UN estimating that 80% of those displaced by climate changeare women.

The Paris Agreement recognises this reality and explicitly highlights the global imperative to empower women in climate decision-making.

Notably, women have taken proactive steps to be part of the solution. In 2019, Time Magazine showcased 15 women leading the fight against climate change. These women contribute to mitigating climate change through various avenues:

  • Shaping national and international policy
  • Engaging in diplomatic negotiations and governance
  • Facilitating community collaboration
  • Driving activism and education
  • Advancing scientific research
  • Influencing business and finance

This momentum persists, as evidenced by the UN Global Climate Action Awards: Women for Results, which acknowledges and celebrates women’s initiatives yielding tangible results in combatting climate change.

Women in Business

The evidence overwhelmingly supports the notion that women entrepreneurs consistently outperform their male counterparts. They excel in generating higher revenue, creating more jobs, improving company performance, proving effective in senior roles, and driving overall success and growth.

The pivotal question arises: are businesses making the most of their female employees? Ignoring or undervaluing the unique skill set women bring to the table is a missed opportunity that no organisation can afford.

Women worldwide have demonstrated their substantial contributions to the business landscape. The invitation is clear: encourage women to pull up a chair and actively contribute to the collective success of businesses.

As Gloria Steinem reportedly once explained:

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us remember that true progress requires collective action, inclusivity, and a commitment to empowering women across all spheres of life.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn on 8th March 2024.