Today marks International Women’s Day, an annual event that celebrates women’s accomplishments and promotes global gender equality.
This year’s theme is ‘make it happen’ and aims to encourage effective action for advancing and recognising women. It focuses on women in different professional sectors; the arts, female-owned businesses, in senior leadership roles, and all aspects of working environments where gender parity has still not been achieved.
In the UK, the gender pay gap still stands at a significant 17.5 per cent, while the Equalities and Human Rights Commission estimates it will take 70 years to see an equal number of female and male directors of FTSE 100 companies.
Unfortunately, gender discrimination does not stop there, with mothers facing an even greater challenge when they try to return to the work place after their maternity leave. A study in August 2014 found one in ten of those in low paid work were demoted to a more junior role when they returned to work.
Google has celebrated International Women’s Day with a doodle presenting women in high achieving roles as astronauts, scientists, athletes, teachers, musicians, chefs and writers – roles that were once reserved solely for men. It links out to a series of stories highlighting why such an event is still so crucial over a century after it was first launched. The doodle’s caption reads: “Happy International Women’s Day!’
Google will also be working with The Drum to acknowledge the most prominent women working in the search marketing sector with a poll opening on 8 March.
The first International Women's Day was held in 1911 and is celebrated annually on 8 March with thousands of events across the world.
It was honoured for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March, where more than one million men and women attended rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and treated equally to their male peers.
The United Nations has its own gender equality related theme each year. This year it is ‘empowering women – empowering humanity – picture it!’. It imagines a world where girls and women can have equal rights, exercise their own choices, earn at the same rate as men and live free of gender-based violence and sexual abuse.
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