So yes we have our own day. A day to celebrate woman rights. But we shouldn’t have to have a day.
Gender equality and inclusion should be a given, not something we need to fight for. As some of you already know, as well as being a mother and blogger, I work full time as an accountant. The issue of gender equality is a hot topic around boardroom tables. I have seen a marked improvement in efforts made by corporates to close the gender gap, however I am under no illusion……. there is still a long way and in some case a very very long way to go.
There have been lots of studies conducted in this area. One very recent one was by Content marketing agency Axonn Media who surveyed 108 parents on their working life and found that being a mum still presents greater professional challenges than being a Dad, even in 2017.
Research from its Gender in Marketing 2017 report reveals that 62% of Mums said that parenthood hampered their career, compared to just to 24% of Dads.
However, despite the obstacles working mums face, parents on both sides of the gender divide have challenges to overcome.
The top 3 complicating work factors for working parents are traveling and meetings (55%), working hours (48%) and lack of flexibility (34%) from their employer. I can see the lack of flexibility issues as being a key topic for discussion these days. With significant technology advances working from home is so much easier, logging on from home, dialing into calls, emails at your fingertips. Your precise working location is being much less significant. In fact I know of some companies who actually promote a day a week at home due to office space constraints.
It does seem however that companies are failing to capitalise on flexibility despite parents valuing it more than ever before when it comes to approaching their work. For me in any work contract negotiations it would be one of the items top of the agenda.
Another interesting finding of the study is the differences between men and women when asked “Which aspects of working life are the most important”. What I thought interesting was the breakdown of why men and women said they work! Salary topped the list for men while doing something they love topped the list for women. See top 5 opposite. For me personally id agree with findings, for me enjoying what I do is key, getting paid well is a bonus. Lets face it if you leave your kids behind for 8-9 hours a day you want to me doing something you love. I’d find it very hard to leave them all week and hate the job also.
So as we celebrate International Womans Day I am grateful for the advances made in closing the gender gap, I am optimistic for the future that this will continue albeit slowly.
I am humbled and proud of the hundreds of thousands of women who marched in Dublin today to #strike4repeal.
As Eleanor Roosevelt so eloquently said: “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”.