Inclusion Resources Special – International Women’s Day 2021

A happy International Women’s Day from MM Creative Solutions!

This year’s theme is “Choose to Challenge” and to ask the question “How will you help forge a gender equal world?”. There is still progress that must be made to reach real gender equality; this has been made harder, and in many cases, reversed by the effects of Covid-19.

Importantly, we also need to ensure we provide opportunities and to amplify the voices of women in typically underrepresented groups; in particular Black women, LGBTQ+ women and women with disabilities.

We hope these resources below are useful, help to stimulate conversation and action, and inspire you to play your part in forging a fairer, more equal world.

International Women’s Day 2021: History, marches and celebrations, by BBC News: “The idea to make the day international came from a woman called Clara Zetkin. She suggested the idea in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There were 100 women there, from 17 countries, and they agreed on her suggestion unanimously. It was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The centenary was celebrated in 2011, so this year we’re technically celebrating the 110th International Women’s Day.”

The pandemic is reversing gender equality progress in the workplace, PwC says, by CNBC: “PwC applied OECD forecasts of the unemployment rate and labor force size for 2019, which was latest data available, to its Women in Work index results in order to gauge the potential impact on these countries in 2020-22. It found that the gender equality index is expected to fall 2 points between 2019 and 2021, below the overall average score of 62 points in 2017.”

Timeline: milestones in the EU’s fight for women’s rights (video), by The European Parliament: “The Covid pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, who account for the majority of workers in essential services, including healthcare, personal care and sales… Gender equality is a fundamental EU value but there are still many challenges and the European Parliament has called for action to address them, particularly as inequalities have been exacerbated by the pandemic.”

Gender equality: Why pay equity isn’t enough, by the World Economic Forum:“According to a World Economic Forum Report on the Future of Jobs, the top 20 job roles in increasing and decreasing demand across industries are very gendered. The report does not have anything unexpected in terms of growing occupations: cyber, data science, robotics engineering. The job roles in decreasing demand include clerks, accounting, customer service and human resources specialists. Largely due to digital advancements and COVID, these jobs are likely to change significantly by 2025.”

Solving The Workplace Gender Equality Problem Post-Pandemic, by Forbes: “Making flexibility a key benefit of the organization for all, not just parents, will also make this change last. Plenty of nonparents want flexible working arrangements and are frustrated at being expected to work harder just because they don’t have children.”

Biden’s Cabinet of many women shows other world leaders that US takes gender equality seriously, by The Conversation: “Getting more women into government leadership has merits beyond the obvious value of gender equality. Countries with more women’s political representation tend to experience less civil conflict, international war and gender-based violence. It’s not yet clear whether women’s representation causes these phenomena or is merely correlated with them; political scientists continue to study this question.”