International Women's Day: A time to reflect

This past weekend, the world celebrated International Women's Day

International Women's Day: A time to reflect

This past weekend, the world celebrated International Women’s Day – a time to reflect on the social, economic, and cultural achievements of women everywhere.

What started as a movement in New York City, quickly became a global phenomenon, garnering support from celebrities, politicians, and thought leaders alike.

Despite this outpouring of public support, gender inequality in the workplace is still prevalent.

According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, women earn up to 28% less than their male colleagues – with female executives occupying just 10% of director-level positions.

And this bias is seemingly seeping into the recruitment stage.

A recent report from Development Dimensions International (DDI) found that female candidates comprised only 25% of executive candidates and 19% of C-level candidates. What’s more, over half of organizations didn’t bother to interview one, single female candidate when recruiting for their next CEO.

“The lack of diversity revealed in the Executive Leadership Outlook 2020 presents missed opportunities to identify and develop talent from new backgrounds and areas,” added Stephanie Neal, director of DDI’s Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research (CABER).

“Organizations that want to unleash new capabilities and future talent need to seek out leaders who think and operate differently. They’re going to need stronger, more inclusive pipelines to find this fresh perspective and wisdom.”

And things only seem to become more convoluted for women of colour, as a recent report from Ultimate Software uncovered a shocking hidden bias.

“Women in leadership are hard to find, and women of colour in leadership are even rarer,” the report noted. “With so few women being promoted, it begs the question: do women in leadership have a significant impact on a company and, if so, do people notice?”

Ultimate’s report, “Data on Gender Diversity,” found that women are routinely passed over for promotions – with 22% of female candidates less likely to reach manager level than their male peers.

Yet, amongst the doom and gloom, one continent is emerging as a beacon of hope.

According to a survey from Instant Offices, Africa is leading the way in successful female entrepreneurship, with Uganda (38.2%), Ghana (37.9%), and Botswana (36%) having the highest percentage of female business owners in the world.

To hear more on how to promote gender equality in your workplace, listen to Ultimate’s recent webcast - “Building a Gender-Equal World.

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