Our world is slowly changing. While women have been the source of life, their role was often in the background. Leadership often confined to motherhood, the role as caregiver often seen as the highest role that women could play (outside of royalty). The demarcation of roles between women and men often limited women in most areas of their life. While we often think of the limitation in being able to stand for public office or have a position in the boardroom, we can overlook the fundamental rights of being able to vote, have access to education or being able to have a job.
We have come a long way in the western world in the last 100 years as women stood up for their rights as equals and attitudes began to slowly change. However, as a planet we have ultimately failed women. As a global society, we continue to struggle to find the balance to create equality between the genders. There is progress in many industries, including ours.
The digital/tech industry was a male domain and has slowly attracted more and more women as the focus on STEM subjects being encouraged for women. The industry and Luminary haven’t always got it right, however both are committed to and are leaders in change. The notion that we even have to have an International Women’s Day to focus on finding the balance is proof that we are yet to find it.
I believe balance comes through opportunity. Globally, opportunity is created through education (I could talk for hours on this subject and the benefits of educating women). Education and opportunity provide both men and women with a chance to be themselves and achieve their aims. Society is far better off when people are able to participate, rather than being held back by their gender.
Western societies have improved access to paid parental leave for both genders, providing space to focus on the child and allowing both parents to be the primary caregiver. In a workplace, opportunity is created through access to interviews, equal pay and affirmative action (and a range of other policies). We achieve balance through family friendly policies for men and women, equal pay based upon experience rather than gender and the promotion of leadership opportunities for women. We may not always get it right and we can likely always do more. We must always focus on creating balance.
Equality is about removing obstacles that prevent people from being able to access the workforce.
‘A balanced world is a better world’
Here’s to women in your company, in your life and in our societies. May they be celebrated for who they are as individuals and may we provide opportunities that provide them with a life they want.
We are not aware of our biases and this video provides access to a common bias many of us have about women and girls. I encourage you to watch it:
Want more? Here are some other blog posts you might be interested in.