As we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, we believe it is imperative that we continue to advocate for gender equality while protecting our most important resource: the planet. In fact, studies have shown that gender equality would pave the way for progress in several areas, notably in the achievement of sustainable development goals. Find out why the world should have a vested interest in this matter.
Why is it necessary to talk about gender equality?
Like you, we would like this fight to be resolved. But if it is, still, pertinent today, that means we have a long way to go before we can reach the parity that is desperately needed within our society. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, women ages 25 to 54 represented 57.4% of the labor market1, but only 42% held management positions. What’s worse is that women earn, on an annual basis, only 71% of what men make. 2
The United States is one of only seven countries in the world – and the only nation of the OECD – that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave.3 And the decision of banning abortions in a dozen states reminds us that no progress can be taken for granted.
| Women’s right to vote |
|Do you know why the United States celebrates Women’s Equality Day on August 26? It is an opportunity to commemorate the 1920 ratification of the 19th amendment that granted white women the right to vote. Black women, on the other hand, had to wait until the Voting Rights Act in 1965 before they could cast their ballot. |
The Benefits of Gender Equality
More and more studies are confirming that companies, the environment, and society would have much to gain from gender equality. It’s really not just a girl thing. Here are six reasons why you should believe in its benefits:
Women and men have different viewpoints that stem from their distinct life experiences. Gender diversity, therefore, will allow the company to accumulate a richer body of knowledge that can be used to its benefit. Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review have shown that when women sit on the management committee or the board of directors, the performance of the company is always higher than those businesses conducted exclusively by men4. The Center for Creative Leadership administered its own research that showed the more women within a company, the more likely the staff are to be satisfied and engaged. More so, burnouts are less frequent.5.
Through its partnership with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the Gender and Environment Organization were able to prove that female empowerment is intrinsically linked to achieving sustainable development goals.6 In fact, gender equality leads to outcomes that are more successful, efficient, and equitable, in terms of nature conservation. A study from the University of Colorado Boulder involving 440 forestry operators from Peru, Tanzania, and Indonesia asserts that when more women are involved in the decision-making process related to the management of land, the environment and company are better preserved7. Conversely, gender inequalities associated with the right to own land or access to electricity, water and sanitation have a negative impact on the health of humans, the environment, and sustainable development.8.
| The carnage of the environmental crisis on women |
|Have you ever thought about the triple impact environmental problems have on women? Here are a few things to ponder. |
- Extreme weather events can lead to an increase in violence against women.
- The loss of biodiversity puts an additional burden on the shoulders of female land managers who, themselves, are often already victims of discrimination.
- Pollution and pesticides particularly affect the female endocrine and reproductive systems.9.
The benefits of gender equality are not limited to the scopes of business and environmental protection. They’re also felt in our daily lives. The Gender Policy Report shows that people residing in countries that promote gender equality are generally happier. You may think that increased female satisfaction distorts the results but it’s not the case: the benefits also have a positive effect on men. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander10!
Celebrating female leadership
At ATTITUDE, we firmly believe that gender equality is an asset in our pursuit of sustainable development goals and business objectives. What’s great is our management team is 64% female! At the factory, our team is comprised of 66 women, in which six have roles as team leaders or managers. In total, they make up 58% of the plant’s workforce, surmounting the 28% average for the Canadian manufacturing sector.11 Learn more about how we celebrate our female leaders here.