In case you’ve missed it, today is International Women’s Day.
To quote www.internationalwomensaday.com it is:
“A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.”
As you peruse Twitter and LinkedIn, there will be many companies attempting to showcase their hard work to eliminate gender pay gaps, create more diversity in their workforces and support various women-led organisations and charities.
Could we be in danger of reinforcing the very stereotypes that we are trying to eradicate? Unless you spend all your time residing under a large rock with no electricity, the people who should know about these issues, know. It is on days like this that I am left wondering: what are we ALL doing to encourage and create change? As the IWD website puts it “Make everyday International Women's Day.” So why haven’t we?
I recently watched this amazing video from Mullen Lowe again. I would urge everyone to take a couple of minutes and listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv8VZVP5csA&app=desktop
The roots of the problem stem from the gender stereotypes that are created around the age of 5/6 years. Our children need to have role models from an early age that are not gender specific. How can girls look forward to a future that is bright, equal, safe and rewarding when, just by default, International Women’s Day is just one out of 365 days in the year? Unless the adults who influence our children (the parents, the teachers, the media, the Government), commit to treating all children equally, the negative stereotypes are simply reinforced and so the wheel keeps turning.
Today, women in more than 50 countries will go on strike. Thousands and possibly, millions, will take to the streets to march and here in Britain, women will be urged to refrain from labour. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all of these inspirational, successful women were encouraged to go into schools and inspire the next generation, both boys and girls? Please do not misunderstand me, I support IWD along with the whole of LHi and the world, but I do have to wonder, for a real change to occur, are all of us (men and women) putting our focus in the wrong places?
Making sure boys and girls know and understand that they can do any job regardless of their gender and any pre-conceived ideals is the key. Raising awareness at a young age will create the future that we want and aspire to create.