Women Earn Around 23% Less Than Men Globally, Gender Equality is Long Overdue
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global event that’s been taking place for over a century, celebrating women around the world for their social, economic, cultural and political achievements. It happens every year on March 8 and involves performances, talks, marches, networking events and much more.
It’s not directly associated with any one group, country or organisation. The fight for gender equality requires the collective effort of everyone who cares about human rights. To mark International Women’s Day and this year’s theme #EachforEqual, we’re celebrating the women in our organisation, here’s everything you need to know about IWD and how to get involved.
What’s the History?
International Women’s Day was started in the early 1900’s by Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women’s Office for Germany’s Social Democratic Party, first proposing the idea in 1910 at the International Conference of Working Women.
International Women’s Day was honoured for the first time, 19 March 1911, by four European countries campaigning for women’s right to work and an end to discrimination. In 1913, the date was changed to 8 March and has remained that date since, expanding to more countries each year.
It was adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 1975, which started using an annual theme in 1996; Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future.
The International Women’s Day digital presence was launched in 2001 and is today used by millions to learn and share information. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and Catalyst are International Women’s Day Charities of Choice. The website adopts an annual theme, recent ones include #BalanceforBetter, #PledgeforParity and #TheGenderAgenda.
2011 marked the 100-year centenary of International Women’s Day, President Barack Obama dedicated March 2011 to the accomplishments of women calling it Women’s History Month.
To this day, true equality has not yet been achieved and the campaign continues, supported and celebrated globally. It’s not just about one day, every day is about building an equal world.
Billion women don't have the same job opportunities as men.
This is the current UK gender pay gap.
The number of days women work for free in the UK because of the pay gap.
Of women around the world have experienced violence.
What Values Inform IWD?
International Women’s Day is a powerful platform for change, with values rooted in maintaining its high action and resolute ethos. It holds similar principles to that of the Suffragette movement, justice, dignity and hope, showing tenacity in fighting for the same rights and opportunities as men.
Working collaboratively continues to be vital to IWD and striving for an equal world, equality is at the core of everything the day stands for. It’s a time to show appreciation and respect for yourself and for women around the world.
It requires everyone to display empathy in understanding different perspectives, encouraging the education of women and their history. A level of forgiveness is required to be able to move forward in the pursuit of better.
What is the Theme for 2020?
The IWD campaign theme for 2020 is #EachforEqual. Gender equality is described as a necessity for both economies and communities. The theme follows the idea that as individuals, everything we do, our behaviour, mindset and actions all influence wider society. It encourages a collaborative effort to challenge stereotypes, change perceptions, celebrate and support women to create a healthier, wealthier and happier gender-equal world. The campaign doesn’t just start and end on International Women’s Day, it runs throughout the year continuing to make change happen.
The UN’s theme this year is I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights encouraging action to achieve gender equality and human rights for women and girls worldwide. The #GenerationEquality campaign is bringing everyone whatever their gender, age, ethnicity together for a gender-equal world, ending gender-based violence, promoting economic justice and feminist leadership.
This year is the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of women. As well as, the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
Parliamentary seats held by women.
Of 750 million illiterate adults are women.
Of primary-school-aged girls are not in school.
Years until the global gender pay gap will close.
Interview with Melanie Yeardley, BGB Operations Director
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re putting the spotlight on the outstanding women in our organisation, their careers, their view on gender equality and how they believe the industry can do more. We’re speaking with Melanie Yeardley, our Operations Director, who has exceptional knowledge and expertise in providing perimeter security systems.
How did you start in the security industry and what was your first job like?
I moved from a large car industry Service Department to managing a small Service Department in the security Industry. The same rules applied regarding basic structure and procedures but it was a steep learning kerb with regards to product and compliance in the beginning and it took a while to gain the engineers respect, because whilst it was not directly said, I felt it was a case of what do you know about this industry so I had to learn the products and the jobs very quickly.
What advice would you give to any woman wanting to start in this industry?
In the security industry, whilst women are becoming more and more the norm, when doing surveys some sites still seem initially a bit shocked when a female shows up in a hi-vis jacket to do a survey. It’s about confidence and gaining trust which comes from showing that you know your products inside out and your competitors so you can be confident when you are giving advice and pricing your jobs.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
If you don’t reach your goal but you know you have tried your absolute hardest its fine, brush yourself off and start again. If you fail and you know you could have tried harder, then you only have yourself to blame.
What does the International Women’s Day 2020 theme #EachforEqual mean to you?
Equal for Equal for me just means that everyone regardless of sex, gender, race or disability should be given the same opportunities in life and the same pay structures, which should be based and awarded on skillset and ability to do the job.
Which woman inspires you the most and why?
I would say my Grandma, she brought 3 girls up on her own after the war in poverty working two jobs a day to survive. Her dream was to be always to be a nurse and therefore when the girls were older, she did a degree at 40 years old in nursing, became ward sister of HDU in Warrington by 46, worked abroad in Saudi Arabia nursing in her early fifties and didn’t retire until the age of 76. She is testament that you can achieve do anything you want to with hard work and dedication.
What do you think the greatest challenge will be for the younger generation of women?
Probably the pay gap, although it’s getting better there is still significant pay gaps in men and women doing the same jobs, unfortunately.
What assumptions about women do you want to see change?
The assumption that women cannot perform a technical role as well as a man because it’s old fashioned and simply not true.
What does gender equality mean to you?
Equal opportunities for women and men, equal rights and equal pay.
Why is diversity crucial in the workplace?
Diversity gives the opportunity for different experiences in life to be shared to create a better environment, bringing together different skill sets and therefore improving opportunities, everyone is unique.
What recommendations would you give to businesses to create a fairer and unprejudiced industry?
Promote Diversity, Take on more female apprentices in the engineering roles especially, Close the gender pay gaps.
Established in 2007 Boundary Gate and Barrier Contracts dedicated team of skilled and experienced individuals have quickly established an impressive national customer base and an enviable reputation for knowledge and expertise in the application of Perimeter Security systems. Our mission is to provide you with a reliable, honest, cost-effective service and we are dedicated to giving you, our customers, the highest level of service and support at all times.