When will we stop seeing gender equality as the issue and make it the answer?

By

Julie Linn Teigland

EY EMEIA Area Managing Partner and EY Global Leader – Women. Fast forward

Passionate about the transformational power of digitalization and innovation and its potential to deliver sustainable, inclusive growth for clients. Prominent voice of the Women20 global agenda.

2 minute read 5 Mar 2020

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Leading organizations know that gender equality leads to better performance – better return on equity, profitability and better risk management.

Gender equality is well recognized as a social or human rights goal, and it is well understood by many leaders as a key way to improve the macro-economic environment. Removing barriers that prevent women from equal opportunity in the workplace and society takes commitment, focus and action, however, the benefit brings long-term value to us all. #SheBelongs is more than a hashtag – it’s a reminder that today, more than ever, we need gender equality to address the challenges we face today and will see tomorrow.

Change is difficult and requires a long-term commitment. Despite evidence from the World Economic Forum, United Nations, OECD and our own research with boards and CEOs the gender gap continues to grow, not close. We must rely on leaders at all levels of organizations and society to hold themselves accountable to achieving gender equality. It is not enough to proclaim support or make a pledge or a promise. It is time to act.

We call for action. We are the answer.

Organizations

  • Institute metrics for senior leaders to improve inclusiveness and gender equality
  • Institute policies that support women’s careers through increased flexibility and care services
  • Create programs that focus on life-long learning for women and girls, particularly in STEM and related fields

Leaders at all levels of an organization

  • Ensure equal pay for equal value of work
  • Look at the culture of your organization or team and reduce micro-behaviors that limit women’s employment and careers
  • Hire equal numbers of men and women at the entry level and maintain that equality throughout promotions to senior levels

We must also hold ourselves accountable. Gender equality will not be achieved by policies and procedures alone. Each of us can take action.

Individuals

  • Help women on your team gain opportunities to learn and gain new skills
  • Speak up when you observe gender biased comments or thinking
  • Become aware of how you might unconsciously be limiting women around you and stop those behaviors.

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

Removing barriers that prevent women from equal opportunity in the workplace and society takes commitment, focus and action; however, the benefit brings long-term value to us all.

About this article

By

Julie Linn Teigland

EY EMEIA Area Managing Partner and EY Global Leader – Women. Fast forward

Passionate about the transformational power of digitalization and innovation and its potential to deliver sustainable, inclusive growth for clients. Prominent voice of the Women20 global agenda.