I haven’t blogged in a LONG time, but I wrote this on International Women’s Day 2023 because I want change and not tokens.
Read it, or don’t. I wrote it so I wanted to publish it somewhere.
Don’t wish me a ‘happy’ International Women’s Day. FUCK International Women’s Day. Why would I be happy? I’m furious. I’m sad. And most of all I’m tired.
Fuck your themes, your breakfasts and your cupcakes – show me your board, your C suite, your pay gap (accompanied by the actionable plans to close it) and your parental leave policy (men are parents too, and when you don’t give them time off with their newborn, guess who picks up the pieces alone?).
Pay women the same as the blokes doing the same job.
Don’t wait for a woman to be exceptional before you promote her – we all know at least one man that is at best, average at their job.
In the workplace, women are likely to have:
- Lower pay than male peers
- Less superannuation
- Less board/senior leadership representation
- A dress code that specifically covers their wearing of underwear and/or shoes
- Organised the fucking breakfast!
Seriously, if you’d like to show your respect for women, who just loudly have NOT reached gender equality (see list) then I suggest you go and make some organisational changes.
Come back with an event when you’ve got something to celebrate.
An actual advancement – because as much as I like breakfast, I’d prefer not to be considered lesser.
In case you forgot I’m addressing brands and businesses here – and not getting in a very long line to tell women what to do: I’m not saying attending or speaking at an International Women’s Day event is wrong, it’s not. Talking about issues is how we make progress. If your workplace celebrates you on this day, good. If it’s a token so they can feel like they’ve done something meaningful, they can, and should do better.
The fact that we’re out here not being equal even though we’re 50% of the population (hardly a minority) is a joke. And don’t think I don’t know I have privilege in my socio-economic grouping, skin colour and sexual identity. I know it’s harder to negotiate the gender gap for underprivileged women, BIWOC, and the LGBTIA+ communities.
I have kept this post about the gender equality issues women face in the workplace (it’s to businesses, remember) this does not diminish the issues women face at home, but no-one’s having a cupcake party in their honour in the loungeroom today, are they?
So honestly, I’m glad as a business you’re thinking about women today. But we need you to stop thinking of men as the default human every day. That’s what will bring us to parity.
The last year we feel the need to remember that women exist with a special day and special breakfast cannot come soon enough.
PS – to the businesses who nailed today, good job! I see you.