Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Women's Day: #PledgeForParity

So today is International Women's Day and well, I am one. That felt like grounds enough for a post, okay? I don't often touch on this kind of stuff but I am very much a feminist in my everyday life. I also feel like women are totally owning this blogging thing at the moment and kind of just the internet in general. We've found a place where (Twitter trolls and bigots aside) we can be our true selves without being interrupted or told 'you can't do that'.

I also feel like the days of 'sorry but women can't do XXXX' are very much over. From the inspiring 'This Girl Can' campaign taking hold to Emma Watson's amazing UN speech, to Google's #OneDayIWill doodle that appeared this morning, and with girls everywhere being inspired to get into more male dominated careers and sports, I feel we're making a lot of progress.

But International Women's Day exists because, admittedly, there's still a long way to go. Women are still being underrepresented and excluded from governments and boardrooms everywhere. There are still parts of the world where girls are told they cannot go to school. There are still millions of rape victims out there unable to speak out for fear of being blamed. There are still cultures that practice brutal FGM on young girls.

Each year IWD has a theme, and this year with the gender pay gap a hot topic for discussion, it's all about the #PledgeForParity. It's estimated that at the current rate this gap won't close until 2033, with total gender parity (equal pay, gender-balanced leadership etc) not on the horizon until 2095. I'll probably be dead by then, and it's just not good enough.

So this year IWD are asking men and women everywhere to make a pledge towards gender parity - whether you're a leader in the workplace who can foster an equal culture, or you're an employee who can speak out and challenge what is unfortunately the norm. Why should anyone end up worse off in life because of their gender?

I know full-well that there are men out there doing my exact job, possibly even doing a worse job of it, who were probably offered much more money than me from the get-go. That's not okay. It shouldn't be this way, but it is. So my #PledgForParity is to challenge this. To strive every day to prove my worth and encourage a more balanced approach to pay.

How will you make your pledge this International Women's Day?


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