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International Women’s Day: What is it and Why is it Important?
19 March 2018
Why do we celebrate on the 8th March?
IWD has been celebrated each year on the 8th of March since 1917, although there are documented events relating to women's rights on this date since 1909. The significance of this date came about due to a city-wide demonstration by female textile workers in Petrograd, the then-capital of the Russian empire. This event marked the beginning of the Russian Revolution, and the first instance of women being granted the right to vote. From then on, International Women’s Day was marked by celebrations all over the world, leading to the United Nations officially recognising the date in 1975.
We’ve come a long way… but there’s still more we can do
Feminism’s increasing prevalence has given women a platform to challenge the rights and role of women in society, and the changes that have been brought about by this movement have been tremendous - many women all over the world can now vote, have an education and achieve things they never thought possible a century ago.
However, despite the momentum with which the feminist movement has accelerated in the last 120 years, there is still more to be done. It’s now more important than ever that we address the financial, social and cultural divide between men and women, and close the gender gap for good.
Don’t we already have gender equality?
In short, no. On average globally, a woman will earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, and, according to the World Economic Forum, we are still 217 years away from achieving full gender equality.
But it’s not just about empowering women, it’s about engaging men to use their platform for good too, through education and creating awareness - 28% of men are currently unaware of women’s difficulties to reach the top, and it’s up to us to change that.
Why is it relevant for us?
There are many benefits of having a gender-balanced workforce. Not only is there a connection between diversity and staff engagement, there is also a proven link between diversity and profitability across the economy. In demonstrating our support for gender diversity, we can further drive our productivity and our revenues.
What are we doing about it as a company?
Our global Women in Finance Initiative (WFI) is one of the ways that we are supporting the cause, for which we have three key goals:
- Increase the number of female staff (with a focus on increasing the number of female applicants to Ebury)
- Ensure female staff are upskilled to support them in the acceleration of their careers
- Contribute to closing the gender gap by increasing awareness of its presence in our sector
By working towards these goals, we aspire to become a champion in our industry for equality and diversity, ensuring a great working environment for all.
If you have any ideas for our initiative, or want to get involved, you can contact our Initiative Team at: firstname.lastname@example.org