International Women’s Day, celebrated today, March 8, aims to focus global attention on the state of women when it comes to gender equality, bias, stereotypes and discrimination. Its goal is to make the world more diverse, equitable and inclusive for them. A global holiday, celebrated annually, it also commemorates the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women.
In honor of this holiday, I recommend that senior management review their own gender equality statistics. Here at Northeast Delta Dental we take pride in a 42-member tristate board which will be 50:50 women and men, effective with the April Annual Meetings. In-house, 53% of our mangers, directors and vice presidents combined are women and 47% are men. However, there is still work to do. At the highest level — vice president — the percentage is lower — at 15% — despite the fact that our workforce is 68% women. We are working towards ensuring that our senior management reflects this percentage.
Start from Within
The most efficient and equitable approach to leveling the playing field is to hire from within. Identify women leaders and reward them with the promotions and pay they deserve. For example, three quarters of our directors are women so this is where we will be looking first to even out our vice president numbers moving forward.
Gender Equality Equals a Stronger Economy
Gender parity is not just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense. According to an article in The Stanford Social Innovation Review, if women were to participate in the economy identically to men, they could add as much as $28 trillion or 26 percent to annual global GDP in 2025.
On this important holiday, take a moment to recognize your amazing fellow women colleagues. And let’s work on acknowledging them as the leaders of today instead of tomorrow.