International Women's Day 2016 - Step It Up for Gender Equality

International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women... to a celebration for women's economic, political, and social achievements. Alot has been achieved in recent years and there is much to celebrate, but progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places. Hence why the International Woman’s Day theme for 2016 is focusing on "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality" and organising events around a #PledgeForParity hashtag.

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. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.

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.

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

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 progressive corporate policy, such as paternity leave and flexible working
 - Build supportive environments and work to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias

Make a pledge now - http://www.internationalwomensday.com/Pledge