Thursday, 8 March 2012

International Women's Day 2012

As much as I looove Glee, I'm giving my 'One for the Gleeks' posts a miss this week to make way for something special - International Women's day 2012!

Every year on 8th March, International Women's Day (IWD) is held to highlight the achievements of women all around the world, from the ground-breaking Suffragette Movement over 100 years ago to today's high-flying, globally successful females. Thousands of events are held with the aim to celebrate, inspire and - possibly most importantly - raise awareness of the work that still needs to be done to ensure there is complete equality between men and women.

Surely, now we are 2012 and equality laws have been in place for YEARS, this shouldn't be a problem? Well in some instances, it is. According to April's Cosmopolitan, on average, women's pay is 14.9% less than that of a male who does the same job - same tasks, same hours, same experience and qualifications, surely same pay? The magazine have brought this to the forefront of people's minds and have made it one of their key objectives for their 'I Use the F Word' campaign, so much so they have launched an online petition for an equal pay audit scheme to be in place, bridging the gap that around 45,000 women are currently fighting.

Sign the petition here.

Despite the Equal Pay Act being passed 42 years ago, there are significant differences in some workplaces, such as the busy financial and business sector where there is a discrepancy of around 55%. There really shouldn't be, especially if the people involved have the similar experiences, do the same tasks and work the same hours; women are just as capable and determined as men - they do a job because they want to do it and because they can, they just need the opportunity and a fair chance.

Back in February, I interviewed a female Managing Director of a gasket engineering firm in Hull for Commerce and Industry magazine; it's not very often you hear of women in high positions within this industry! I learned that she started working at the company 20 years ago as a bookkeeper and her hard work and loyalty lead her through several roles until she finally became MD. Not only does she like dressing up, sorting her hair and make-up and drinking champagne, as well as raising a family, but she gets involved with EVERY aspect of her business, even the manufacturing of the gaskets and working, hands-on, in the factory! Now the company has big expansion plans for this year and is well on their way to achieving them.
 
For me, this is a prime example of what women can achieve - reaching new levels of success, doing what they love whilst still being, well, girly... or not, if you don't want to be! I personally think that feminism means working hard, doing your absolute best, achieving what you can whilst being completely yourself - whatever it is you want to do with your life - and nobody should stand in your way! This is why I signed Cosmopolitan's e-petition and proudly showcase the 'I Use the F Word' badge (somewhere on your right...).

So, Happy International Women's Day to all my female readers - let's show them what we can do!


P.S All of the statistics stated in this post were sourced from April's issue of Cosmopolitan magazine (UK).


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