How can gender equality be the answer to creating value for future generations? How can gender equality be the answer to creating value for future generations?

By Amanda Gethin

EY Global Consulting Talent Leader

People leader. Building the business of tomorrow, today, through the talent agenda. Big believer in ‘being human.’

3 minute read 7 Mar 2020

In a world that is increasingly accelerated by technology, inequality is on the rise and society is becoming more and more fragmented.

In January, the discussions at the World Economic Forum focused on a range of topics, but almost all touched on the inequality we see today – income inequality, gender inequality, racial inequality, education inequality, among others.

The differences between us are getting wider and may in the end threaten our collective success. We need therefore to find a new dynamic that will ensure that as a global society we truly are the sum of all of our parts: a dynamic which is founded on inclusion. And we need to start now. What kind of equality can we expect tomorrow if we don’t inspire action today?

The issue of inequality is not unknown to us. We read about it daily in our newsfeeds. We encounter it in our daily lives; for some of us it will feel very real and very personal. If I stop for a moment to think about the size of the problem, and how it will only be exacerbated in the future, I can often feel overwhelmed. The problem seems so great and so complex that I don’t think that anything I do will make a difference.

In moments like this, I have to remind myself that this simply isn’t true. As Edmund Burke once said: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” Each of us every day can take actions that start to close the inequality gaps and when we do, we become the change agents.

At EY, our purpose is to build a better working world. We try to do this through who we are, what we stand for and most importantly, through how we act. Our purpose encourages us all to be those change agents and to do our bit, however small, to make a difference.

Each of us every day can take actions that start to close the inequality gaps and when we do, we become the change agents. 

We define a better working world as one where economic growth and social inclusion combine to create more equal opportunities and outcomes for all. As a business, we are committed to inclusive growth, to enabling the next generation and to maximizing the potential we have as a global organization to focus on some of society’s biggest challenges to drive impactful change.

Gender equality is one such challenge and for very good reason; it is not only an issue of fairness but a matter of business performance. It is also often the first step in closing other inequality gaps.

For my (small) part, I co-sponsor the global Women in Technology program (WiT). Aligned to Women. Fast forward, our Women in Tech movement is focused on closing the gender gap in technology and creating an environment where girls and women are encouraged to enter, remain and thrive in the tech industry and beyond.

We do this through:

  • Education: investing in educational programs and platforms that drive awareness and participation, encouraging girls and women to enter and remain in STEM fields of study and careers
  • Incubation: initiatives that nurture, inspire and motivate women leaders, at all levels, within technology-related roles at EY and beyond
  • Innovation: supporting technological innovations that encourage collaboration and empower women in technology around the world, as well as women innovators and entrepreneurs, to engage equally with the world of work

According to Robin Dance (author): “Some of us will make tiny ripples and others will send waves crashing, but each of us will change the surface of the water.” When we celebrate International Women’s day we are really choosing to celebrate the beginning – of actions and of change.

In the words of a young woman who is right now trying to change the whole world, “You are never too small to make a difference.” I may not be able to change the whole world, but I can certainly do my best to change my world. What will you do to make sure #SheBelongs?

Through Women. Fast forward, we are proud to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, by promoting the advancement of women in the workforce. Together, let’s make sure she is the answer. Let’s make sure #SheBelongs. Discover more: ey.com/womenfastforward

Summary

Our world is rapidly changing due to technology – enabling the change or causing it. We see the inequality caused by these changes everywhere. By focusing on gender equality, we can start to address the other inequalities and challenges facing our world. Women need to harness technology and we can help them to do so. Our Women in Technology program focuses on women inside and outside EY to gain skills and knowledge needed today and tomorrow.

About this article

By Amanda Gethin

EY Global Consulting Talent Leader

People leader. Building the business of tomorrow, today, through the talent agenda. Big believer in ‘being human.’