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Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world

International Women’s Day is a day when all women are recognised for their achievements, to build support for women’s rights and their full participation in the economy, politics, community and in everyday life. First held in Australia in 1928, it is a day to celebrate women’s achievements and both highlight and work to address barriers that continue to perpetuate gender inequality.

At Renewal SA we are celebrating some of our incredible female role models, particularly those who are thriving every day in male-dominated industries; by profiling one of these women every day between 8 March and 12 March. Keep a lookout on our LinkedIn page to learn about their experiences working in their industries.

The 2021 theme

The 2021 theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future.

Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and are making critical contributions to address the outbreak every day.

Women leaders and women’s organisations have demonstrated their skills, knowledge and networks to effectively lead in COVID-19s response and recovery efforts. Many of the countries that have been effective in stemming the tide of this virus and responding to its health and socio-economic impacts, are headed by women. Heads of Government in New Zealand, Denmark, Germany and Iceland have been widely recognised for the rapidity, decisiveness and effectiveness of their national response to this crisis.

But we've still got plenty of work to do

And yet:

  • women are only Heads of State and Government in 20 countries
  • women are significantly under-represented in parliaments, holding only -one-quarter of parliamentary seats worldwide. In Australia, we are only slightly better, but still fall short of the 50/50 goal, with only 30.46% of MPs female
  • in Australian companies, women represent just 17.1% of CEO and 14.1% of board chairs
  • just one of the 25 CEOS appointed to lead ASX 200 organisations in the past year has been female
  • while women comprise around 47% of all employees in Australia, they take home on average $253.60 less than man every week (full-time earnings), making the national gender pay gap 14% — a figure that has remained similar the past 20 years.

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress, to call for change and to celebrate the courage and determination of the women who changed history and those who will advance gender equality into the future.

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