Last Sunday was International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
Let’s Reset is a business founded and run by strong women, and we are ceaselessly proud of them.
International Women’s Day encouraged us to reflect on how far women have come in business, politics and wider culture. But there is still work to be done.
Our society is deeply, historically patriarchal. The patriarchy is the systemic belief that men are inherently superior to women...
Adam came first, and Eve was fashioned out of one of his ribs. Eve caused the fall of mankind. Men are born leaders. Fathers are the head of the household. Kings are heads of countries. Women are the heads of nothing. Women are their bodies. Women are not required to have brains at all. Women are unwelcome in the workplace. Feminists are man-haters. Successful business women are difficult, bitchy, and impossible...
...These patriarchal thoughts and sayings are firmly rooted in our history, religion, language and culture. Feminists aim to dig out these roots, one by one.
We still need feminism. Sexism is still given a platform. The blindingly obvious example: Trump. Donald Trump- a misogynistic, wealthy, racist, middle-aged, white (orange) male- is the president of the United States. He is allowed to say things like "If Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?" He has capitalised on the deep-rooted misogyny in Western culture, and benefits from keeping down women and other minorities. And this type of mentality is not specific to the USA- it is on everyone’s doorsteps and in everyone's psyche. There is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality.
Here is a reminder of why women still need to fight for their rights:
1. It is estimated that it will take another 108 years to close the gender gap, according to the World Economic Forum’s most recent Global Gender Gap report.
2. Women are less likely to apply for jobs than men: women only apply if they meet 100% of the criteria, men will apply when they only meet 60%. Women feel they constantly have to prove their worth in the business world- they have to earn the right to be there. Men have been there since the inception of the office. Women thus lack confidence that they could do a job well.
3. Fortune 500's list of Women CEO's in 2019 shows that only 6.6% of CEO's were female. 6.6%! Women need the opportunity to occupy more leadership positions.
4. Women comprised only 20% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 100 grossing films in 2019. The 2020 Oscars were undeniably male-heavy. Female film characters often still lack agency, diversity and complexity. Women on-screen are repeatedly sexualized and objectified.
5. While women start 30% of businesses, men account for the remaining 70%. This is more than a 2 to 1 ratio. When women do start a business, they are typically smaller than the ones founded by men, and the difference persists over time.
6. Women still experience insecurity surrounding maternity leave. In 2018, MMB Magazine carried out a survey of more than 1,000 women (72% of whom worked at management level or above) and less than a fifth (18%) felt happy and confident about returning to work. More than a third felt so unsupported and isolated on their return they considered handing in their notice.
7. 1 in 6 of the world’s workers are employed in the fashion industry, and around 80% of those workers are female. Women in these positions are consistently mistreated, underpaid and unprotected. They have little to no human rights. Women are kept in low economic positions and are silenced by male business-owners. The fast-fashion industry needs a complete feminist "make-over."
8. Female Genital Mutilation is still practised in 29 countries. More than 120 countries don’t have laws against marital rape, and still allow child brides- some as young as 6 years old.
9. While a majority of women live in countries where they can exercise their right to abortion, 41 percent of women live under restrictive laws. The inability to access safe and legal abortion care impacts 700 million women of reproductive age. According to the World Health Organisation, 23,000 women die of unsafe abortion each year and tens of thousands more experience significant health complications.
These are just a few of the many ongoing issues that we all need to address to create an equal, enabled world.
Aren't women amazing? Despite all that is stacked against us, we are making strides towards gender equality every day. The news recently reported that the Tampon tax is set to be abolished in the 2020 Budget of the UK government. Female protesters, like Greta Thunberg, are standing up for female rights, workers rights, and environmental rights, daily. Change is all around us, and it is so inspiring to see women acting as forces of good in the world.
Let's Reset advocates gender equality as an essential component of a healthy workplace culture. This female-led business will not stop until people feel able to be completely, 100% who they are at work, without difficulties or insecurities. Focusing on wellbeing and loving yourself is an act of resistance! The patriarchy wants women to feel insecure, men to feel inadequate and non-binary people to be completely alienated. We will not let it. Let's Reset gender expectations in the workplace.