Why International Women’s Day Matters: She’s “bossy,” “aggressive,” “selfish,” or is she a great leader?
Like many working moms, it was a typical day – incredibly busy, intense multi-tasking and time for a quick call to my child’s teacher about a girl that had been bullying her. In the teacher’s words – “That other little girl is bossy, and we say ‘take the saucy out of bossy.’ You can rest assured we are working on that issue with her parents.” Saucy out of Bossy? I have no idea what that means – I fought every ounce of my desire to immediately lecture this teacher –jump up on my pedestal citing the many reports that I read on a daily basis about these gender stereotypes – especially damaging for young girls. I can tell this is going to be a long school year, but I’m committed to doing what I can to help turn the tide with respect to these stereotypes.
These gender stereotypes are powerfully illustrated in this Pantene commercial that went viral. Stereotypes start young. We grow up with them, and they are hindering us to become strong leaders, innovative organizations and a force for positive change in the world. Throughout March, we are delighted to share global perspectives from SAP’s Business Women’s Network (BWN) chapters around the world. There will be a rolling thunder blog series in which each BWN will post a blog every day of March, highlighting a powerful story from a local BWN champion or highlighting a local program or event around women that’s driving impact.
Please watch the Sustainability area of SAP’s Community Network and read our daily BWN blogs throughout March!
Please get involved and share your experience and insights on the gender diversity and gender intelligence front.
Nicole McCabe, Lead for Gender Intelligence on the Global Diversity & Inclusion Team
Also – please enjoy some fun and eye opening fast facts as we kick-off 2014 International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month:
1) The United Nations began observing International Women’s Day, March 8, in 1975
2) The World Economic Forum just reported that companies with the most females officers have returns 34% greater than those that do not have gender diverse leadership.
3) In 1910 the first international women’s conference was held in Copenhagen
4) LinkedIn’s WhatwomenWant@Work study, found 65% of women want flexible work arrangements – only 28% of employers offer them, 51% of women have no clear career path.
5) Mary Queen of Scots has been attributed to creating the world’s first golf course
6) Researchers have claimed that women speak about 20,000 words a day on average. It’s just 7,000 for men.
7) Women make up nearly two thirds of the worlds 759 million illiterate adults
8) On average, across 121 countries with available data, women account for 29 percent of researchers, and only 15% of countries have achieved gender parity.
9) In 2012, female full-time workers made only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 23 percent (IWPR).
10) Women make up half of the world’s population and yet represent a staggering 70% of the world’s poor.