There is accelerated change in the equality agenda
The Women in technology
Technology is revolutionising the world we live in today. It’s impacting lives and the future seems to be filled with technology related advancements. However, only 17 % of the 8 million ICT specialists in the European Union are women. The problem here is male dominated teams in technology restrict themselves to a male only perspective thereby being able to solve only male-related problems. But this is changing and change is taking place rapidly. Experts believe that the latest Apple iPhone SE is designed for women who generally tend to have smaller hands. The Apple watch also features an emergency alert button to help women be safer while walking in dangerous situations. All of these developments indicate that technology will be increasingly designed for the betterment of both the genders thus creating a fully inclusive society.
What about the pay gap?
The World Economic Forum predicts that the gender pay gap will cease to exist only in 2255. Yes! You read that right, longer than a two centuries from today . However, with the increasing scrutiny and availability of information, this is changing faster than predicted. Companies will soon be required to publish their pay gap information and such transparency will force companies to close the gender pay gap. Besides, closing the gender pay gap has tremendous economic advantage. According to PWC, if the same proportion of women worked in Britain as in Sweden, it would add £170bn to the UK economy and boost GDP by 9%
Sometimes we are biased, but it is so inherently deep-rooted that we don’t realise it. For instance, job adverts may contain the words “exceptional”, “dynamic” etc. but replacing it “extraordinary” means that you are opting for a gender neutral recruitment process. Differences such as these are so minute yet so important, but we fail to recognise our bias. Companies are constantly working on eliminating these unknown biases. But it is far easier when the workplace is diverse. The future will be occupied by those who remove these biases.
It’s been 25 years since the fourth Beijing Conference for women concluded in September 1995. It was at this very conference where nations pledged to take necessary steps to “remove all obstacles to gender equality and the advancement and empowerment of women”. But we are still very far from a gender bias free world. Women are still being looked at as a weaker section of the society rather than an equal in major parts of the world. Girls are still being denied education and are subject to child marriage, they are also often abused. If change needs to happen it has to start from the grassroots. Society and its mindset will play a crucial role if we want to see a gender neutral world. But let’s not discount the conscious efforts that have been made to eradicate gender inequality, it’s these efforts that will also alleviate poverty and increase the per capita income. Let’s all come together, eliminate the bias from our minds and welcome a more gender neutral world this decade.