As we celebrate Women History Month throughout the month of March, this is the ideal time to talk about how we can empower women globally so we can make a global impact on our society. Study shows that when women succeed in business they are twice as likely to give back to positive causes creating a wider impact on our society.
Since centuries ago, women have always had it tougher, from inequalities in our society to gender biases at work and in the workplace. Much work has been done to change equality for women but there are still struggles that women face.
But girls and women continue to face significant challenges all around the world. Women are typically underrepresented in power and decision-making roles. They receive unequal pay for equal work, and they often face legal and other barriers that affect their opportunities at work.
If we truly want to achieve equality, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, and it needs to start with every one of us.
Gender discrimination is encoded into law in countries across the globe. These are just a few of the shocking examples still prevalent today:
- 113 countries do not have laws to ensure equal pay for equal work among men and women
- 104 countries make certain jobs off-limits for women.
- 39 countries have laws that mean a daughter cannot inherit the same proportion of assets as a son.
- 36 countries limit what wives can inherit from their husbands;
- 29 countries restrict the hours women can work;
- 18 countries allow men to prohibit their wives from working;
- 17 countries limit when and how women can travel outside the home.
It is these antiquated laws that are holding women back from empowerment. On average, women around the world spend more than twice as many hours as men doing unpaid work and bearing the majority of the grunt of childcare.
During the pandemic, Women in particular have been negatively impacted. Women—especially women of color—are more likely to have been laid off or furloughed during the COVID-19 crisis, stalling their careers and jeopardizing their financial security. The pandemic has intensified challenges that women already faced. Working mothers have always worked a “double shift”—a full day of work, followed by hours spent caring for children and doing household labor. McKinsey
So what can we do to empower more women and move towards a more equitable society for all?
Empower Women to Succeed by Supporting Women-led businesses
During the pandemic, businesses have big hard hit, but women-led businesses have been impacted even more. As the schools shut down globally, and women had to bear the grunt of homeschooling and taking on the majority of the domestic work at home, women businesses have had to take a back seat. As much as women role has arisen in society, the reality is, women are still bearing the majority of home responsibilities. This means less time being spent on our careers and building our businesses, further setting us back financially.
Empower Women by Giving Her the Platform to Speak
Over centuries women have been told to keep quiet, to play small, to not be loud etc. Truth is, women are as ambitious, smart and valuable assets to any room, particularly in business. Women bring grace, exceptional emotional intelligence and a new perspective to any business conversation. The key is to have more women and diversity in the rooms, being part of those conversations where business deals are being made or opportunities shared. Invite women and particularly women of colour into those rooms.
Empower women by Being Allies
The old paradigm of women not being supportive of each other has long been dismantled, and as we move into the 21st century, I believe that women more than ever before are supportive of each other.
I have built my own business through the power of collaborations, by creating a safe and nurturing environment for women to come together and thrive.
By setting an example and leading my community with those values, of ‘Collaboration Over Competition’ I have been able to foster a truly dynamic, supportive and safe place for women to come together. As a result of our community and events, women now have powerful allies, cheerleaders and are able to grow and succeed in business.
Inspired by this article? Read ‘10 Female Leaders Disrupting Their Industries in 2021”
“Empowered Women, Empower Women”
In summary, we can all do our part in women empowerment, and the more women we see taking power positions, succeeding in life and thriving, the more positive social impact we will see in the world.
Want to hear inspirational women stories and empower women in business?
Join us for a global impact event in March (20-31) called Women Thrive Summit, featuring 40+ international speakers, business owners and thought leaders from all walks of life. We will be talking about women empowerment, diversity, inclusion and how we can succeed and thrive in business.