Today at Eskenzi HQ there was cake- we had our own ‘International Women’s Day’ celebration, and joined millions of others around the world recognising the need for gender parity. First implemented in 1975, International Women’s Day is a global celebration identifying the achievements of women; 2018 has already seen huge campaigns like the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements dominate headlines, challenging issues such as sexual harassment, equal pay, education and femicide (to name but a few), and the conversation is far from over (Hooray!).
Looking beyond just Eskenzi, PR is renowned for being inclusive of women- in fact, according the Holmes Report, women make up 70% of PR staff. However, when it comes to looking to the top, women only hold 30% of management positions in the sector- a figure which drops to 25% when looking solely at 20 of the largest PR companies. Of course it doesn’t stop there- the gender pay gap is all too apparent the industry, with PR Week reporting earlier this year that it can reach a huge £75,000 difference between men and women, at senior corporate levels. Unreal, right!?
Now, looking at the industry we work closely with, gender diversity in the tech has long been a talking point. Research shows that, despite industry growth, over the last 10 years’ female representation in the industry has stagnated- only 17% of those working in the industry are female and when looking higher up the ladder, things aren’t that much better – only 1 in 10 are IT leaders. With only 7% of students taking Computer Science at A-Level being female, there is a clear need for action to encourage young women to pursue a career in the field of technology.
It has been 100 years since women in the UK gained the right to vote, yet The World Economic Forum estimates it will take another 170 years to reach gender equality (shocked faces all round). Equality should know no bounds, yet we have reached 2018 and women of all ages, across every industry and in every country, are still having to fight twice as hard to be heard and to achieve.
As Hilary Clinton said- ‘“I believe the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st Century.” The time for change is now- together we can break every glass ceiling.
By Michelle Marriott