International Women’s Day 2021: Choose to Challenge

It’s just 40 days until International Women’s Day 2021 (8 March). There’s still time for you and your colleagues to take a moment and think about how you can make a difference at this pivotal moment.

Virtual meeting with people making pledge
Relocate Global has celebrated and supported the goals of International Women’s Day for the past four years, building a growing community of men and women committed to taking action against gender bias and towards greater inclusion. 
Join us for the 2021 Think Women Online Community event on 8 March
While this year the pandemic means we can’t meet in person at the Institute of Directors as has become the custom, we can choose to collaborate, challenge and call out gender inequity in our Think Women virtual events on 8 March 2021 on International Women's Day.

Why Think Women?

The #MeToo movement, gender pay reporting and growing pressure from society at large to move the dial on equal pay have propelled gender equality up the business agenda.In boardrooms around the world, business leaders are tuning in to the reality of the business case around inclusive practices making not only business sense, but also being the right thing to do.Everyone benefits from a more gender-equal world. Women in full employment leads to better inclusion and diversity of thought and the gains – economic and social – that come from that. 

Why now?

Yet despite the progress in conscious raising, increasing representation at senior levels and decreasing pay gaps, there is still far to go.The coronavirus pandemic also risks putting the gains made in recent years into reverse. As Relocate Global's Managing Editor, Fiona Murchie, wrote in the autumn issue of Think Global People, this is critical time for embedding the progress made so far on gender equality. The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, COVID-19 and Gender Equality: Countering the regressive effects, published in July 2020, makes the case for bold action now. The strong message from the MGI research is that the faster policy makers and business leaders act to push for greater gender equality, even as the Covid-19 crisis continues, the bigger the benefits – not just for gender equality, but also for economic growth. Taking action now could increase 2030 GDP by $13 trillion relative to the do-nothing scenario.

The impact of the pandemic on women

Campaigning membership organisation the Fawcett Society highlights how existing gender inequality means the challenges of the pandemic are affecting men and women differently.
  • With schools and nurseries partially open, it is women who are taking on most of the unpaid care work, reducing their hours or giving up paid work, turning the clock back on gender equality.
  • Many women are on the frontline, delivering essential services, usually the lowest paid or in insecure work.
  • It's women who are also more likely to care for older or disabled relatives and neighbours.
This year’s Davos Summit is focusing on these issues. It also notes that women, especially those from ethnic minorities and developing nations, are being disproportionately hit by the coronavirus pandemic. “The pandemic has created a ‘double-double shift’ of at least 20 hours per week of additional work for women at home and is potentially exacerbating existing gender gaps.” 

Will you Choose to Challenge?

It is in this context that the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge.“A challenged world is an alert world,” says the organisers of the International Women’s Day global collective movement. “Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequity. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.”This IWD all of us are being asked to “raise our hands” and “call out aspects that are unhelpful to women.” This could be in any area of life, from access to education and choices for girls and young women in the UK and around world, to gender stereotyping in toys, and access to flexible working across every level of a business.

Join us on 8 March 2021

Year on year, Relocate Global’s Think Women IWD celebrations have grown, showing the relevance and joy that can come with challenging the status quo, sharing experiences and taking practical steps for progress together.This year will be no different. Our virtual event is open to everyone around the world who is committed to finding out more and thinking about how they can be a force for making sure the hard-won gains for females’ life chances aren’t lost.Leadership comes in many guises and we will introduce some inspirational role models to stimulate conversation and tease out your aspirations. We are at a pivotal point to build a collaborative and supportive network round the world that is inclusive and helps women to maximise their talent and ambitions whatever their stage of life. 

Think Women is here to support women to flourish and help shape inclusive workplaces. To register for a place please email or call +44 (0)1892 891334.

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