Today on International Women’s Day
the world celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In a growing number of countries such as Russia, China and Vietnam today is even a national holiday.
Here in the UK, we can acknowledge the huge steps that have been taken since this social movement began in America over 100 years ago. We have obtained the right to vote, the equal rights of women have certainly progressed with improving legislation as well as a growing number of women in our boardrooms. But there is a lot more work to be done.
Supply Management asked some high-achieving women within procurement their thoughts on the success of women within the profession
and all came back with a similar view. There are encouraging signs but for true equality, particularly at the top, we are very much in the early stages.
This can be echoed throughout the business world. There are still discrepancies over equal pay. Research published this week by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit showed female graduates are likely to earn on average £8,000 less than their male counterparts, despite attending the same university
and studying the same subject. A similar study by the OECD
found women tend to earn 18 per cent less than men, even though they work two hours more on average.
On a more fundamental level, it is women who tend to suffer more in an economic downturn. It is the part-time and casual jobs that are the first to go, which are mainly done by women. And it is women who tend to skip meals when household budgets get tight.
So, yes, let’s celebrate the great achievements that have been made by women, for women but also recognise there remains a lot to do.