BALANCE FOR BETTER
Updated: May 2, 2020
Going on 60 or so years since the feminist revolution, I feel that a second round of liberation is in play.
The women of today are strong, knowledgeable, and empowered, voicing their freedom of choice and opinion.
In many developed nations; education, employment, abortion, and leadership standards are beginning to raise.
The societal improvements we are seeing today must be attributed to the women that came before us. Those of which, fought to unlock a door in society that had previously been enforced closed by outdated constructs and ethics that were obsolete.
Efforts in developing nations is becoming a primary focus for many modern day organisations. The work in these countries is taking a revolutionary stance against violence towards women, unequal education opportunities, forced marriage, rape, sex trafficking, bias employment standards, and expectations on the role of women in society.
This year, International Women’s Day (IWD) is being celebrated internationally through the campaign theme #BalanceforBetter. It focuses on the fact that the world needs to see the change towards a gender-balanced community. No advancements can be made with simply one side dominating, men and women in every aspect should be equal.
The current movement of powerful women in the work industry inspired my focus point for this years IWD. Women of today are climbing career ladders, running businesses, becoming entrepreneurs, entering all industry fields, and best yet… they’re doing it for themselves. Women are becoming each others support network with many all female companies, workspaces, and communities developing as a result of this present-day empowerment.
Taboo topics are being spoken of and the traditional male/female hierarchy is being rattled.
All is in place for a gender-balanced world, but unfortunately discrepancies are still being seen. The celebration of women this IWD is the perfect time to remind ourselves of some alarming statistics that still exist in the workplace. (*Please note: these are 2019 Australian statistics)
It is statistics like these that put into perspective some of the real world inequalities still present within the workplace today. It is easy for information like this to go unnoticed when certain issues are not discussed, which is why on this IWD I encourage you to join all the other men and women talking about their own workplace experiences, so that awareness for this taboo topic can be made!
To start our own discussion, I reached out to some of the beautiful By Lani followers from around the world to hear a bit about their experiences in the workplace.
Respondents answered everywhere from The US to Barcelona, and regardless of age – they all felt that gender-inequality is still present in society today.
Regarding workplace inequality, one of the major areas of concern that was chosen by over 30% of participants was communication and treatment in the workplace. Stories of mistreatment and inappropriate language was told with one story sticking out most.
A different Lani from Australia told us of some stories from her previous workplace. Her male boss had privately told one of her co-workers that her sports leggings were “too distracting” for him, and that she could not wear them anymore. This conversation was not formally discussed with the team about appropriate uniform, subsequently making her co-worker feel incredibly uncomfortable. This particular boss also proceeded to to engage in inappropriate conversation with another male co-worker about one of the younger girls working there.
Unfortunately, stories like these are too common – particularly for the adolescent and young adult working demographic.
Other stories disclosed by female workers regarded unfair pay, whereby in one case a male that was recruited for an exact same CEO role received a hefty 100k more than his female predecessor.
From the By Lani survey, other areas in the workplace that participants felt there to still be gender inequality regarded chances for higher positions in the company and support / encouragement within their company.
It is when you hear stories like these, that you are reminded of the work that still needs to be done to create a gender balanced world.
With the next generation of strong willed women coming through, there will be no room for inequalities in the workplace or general society. Men will learn to redefine themselves to make room for this change, and women will learn to expect equality as it is due. Gender balance will mean the scales are even, not slightly tipped one way or the other. Women supporting women, women supporting men, men supporting men, and men supporting women. Only when we are all working together will we see the change, so use this years International Women’s Day Campaign to spread the word of #BalanceforBetter.
IWD may be over for 2019, but the campaign and its message runs all year long. Your contribution can be as simple as starting the conversation of gender balance and imbalances with a friend, co-worker, or family member.
So go hang with some of your besties and start your own conversation today - expect balance and see the global change.
Image of; Women's Strike Day, 1970. https://www.britannica.com/topic/womens-movement/media/647122/136825
Women's rights movement. https://www.britannica.com/topic/womens-movement
International Women's Day. https://www.internationalwomensday.com/
Australia's Gender Pay Gap Statistics. https://www.wgea.gov.au/data/fact-sheets/australias-gender-pay-gap-statistics