Gender Equality is a movement given wings by International Women’s Day (IWD) for over 100 years. But, why are we still fighting for what seems to be common sense? Irrespective of gender, pay should be a direct result of the work required and then of course performed. A girl can dream! Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Why Is International Women's Day Important?
The current disparity between what is earned by women and men for comparable work is so tremendous and offensive. The statistics are so out of balance, they are actually hard to believe! And as disappointing as they are in the US, they are so much worse in many other countries!
As a business owner and a woman, I feel fortunate to have a bit more control over my outcome and am blessed to be in a position to not only get paid accordingly but to also hire and pay on the basis of merit alone! We employ more women than men. This is by no means on purpose, but simply the result of hiring the best candidate for the job. What if every employer did the same? Statistically this is not the case. Very few male owned businesses can boast a higher percentage of female employees. Sadly, there are way too few of us women business owners to make the difference in closing this pay gap nationwide. In fact, women owned businesses are funded or invested in at a tiny fraction of those owned by men. It’s a vicious circle isn’t it?
The good news? There are nearly 15 million women owned businesses in the U.S. employing an estimated 10 million people and generating almost $2 billion in revenue. Employment by women owned businesses as a percentage has increased dramatically over male owned businesses. Although women owned businesses tend to grow a bit slower, they are also more focused on building employee and client relationships resulting in better retention of both! So working for (and with) women has its advantages.
With the theme for this year’s IWD being #BalanceForBetter we get to spotlight the equality which should have already been firmly in place 100 years ago! We are seeing more women in the boardroom, Congress, and the media in a way that can’t be denied—women are equal. Humans (irrespective of differences) should be weighed and measured by the color of their character and the shape of their ethics. Integrity and reliability should determine the worth of a person, nothing else!
So, I will do my part by celebrating women on IWD through my company (which mainly caters to women) so that we can all ban together if only for one day to say “we are here and doing a damn good job!” It’s a shame that IWD is not an international holiday observed by all (and perhaps more than just once a year). Too many people don’t know about this and too many of these disappointing statistics of the professional inequality between men and women are not widely known. In order to change it at a faster pace than what is currently happening, we must support this cause. Call attention to the lack of social justice in the workplace. Men can be an effective catalyst for this change. This isn’t just a woman’s issue. You men have daughters, wives, and professional connections who deserve to be treated equally. Not because they are women, but because they are worthy!
Leave a comment and tell us how you are planning to empower women in 2019!