Pledge for Parity – this year’s IWD theme

The International Women’s Day (IWD) theme for 2016 is Pledge for Parity. Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. But progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.

Pledge for Parity

pledge for parity

Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias.

Commit to take action to accelerate gender parity

[no title] 1985-90 Guerrilla Girls null Purchased 2003

Globally, with individuals pledging to move from talk to purposeful action – and with men and women joining forces – we can collectively help women advance equal to their numbers and realise the limitless potential they offer economies the world over.

Why is gender parity important?


Gender parity is linked to economic prosperity. It’s an economic imperative. Women’s advancement and leadership are central to business performance and economic prosperity. Profitability, ROI and innovation all increase when women are counted among senior leadership.

Women in leadership

Numerous global studies on the impact of women in leadership reveal the following findings:
– Women are the largest emerging market in the world
– More equality > higher GDP
– More equality > more productivity
– Better gender balance on boards > better share price and financial performance
– More gender-balanced leadership > better all-around performance
– More women political leaders > more prosperity

What makes a difference?

The report, Women. Fast Forward: The time for gender parity is now, offers some ideas on how to accelerate the 117-year projection. It features results from a survey of men and women leaders in 400 companies around the world to identify the biggest barriers and accelerators to women’s career advancement. Key findings include:
– Men and women alike agree that more female leadership leads to stronger companies
– 64% of high-performing companies reported that men and women have equal influence on strategy in their organisations, compared with only 43% of the lower-performing companies
– Men seem to be aware of the unconscious bias in the workplace that holds women back, which means we now can spend more time identifying and eradicating it

What accelerates women’s advancement?


There are three accelerators, working independently and together, that can change the trajectory of women’s advancement:
– Illuminate the path to leadership by making career opportunities more visible to women
– Speed up culture change with corporate policy, such as paternity leave and flexible working
– Build supportive environments and work to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias

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