No Change on Gender Disparity

When I saw the headline of this article in The Guardian recently I confess my heart sank.

The average working-age woman in the UK earned 40% less than her male counterpart in 2019 because ..
  • 8 fewer hours of paid work per week than men
  • 19% less pay per hour on average
  • £13.20 hourly rate compared with £16.30 for men
            • 83.5% are in paid work compared with 93% of men
            • 1.8 hours more unpaid work each day than men

I breathe another deep sigh and turn over the page, grumbling that things don’t seem to change, after spending over 30 years working with organisations, individuals and teams, working on diversity and inclusion, leadership and female entrepreneurs, what’s the point if nothing is making any difference???  There is a weariness I feel which I fear could melt into apathy.   Is the task just too big to tackle?  What can be changed to make a difference?  Surely better brains than mine have been working on this?

What should my response be – turn the page and read on, leave the problem up to  others to tackle?  What was the saying, ‘light a candle or swear at the darkness’ ?
Well I may feel weary but I am spending most of my time working to make progress on the SDG 5:

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.”
Whilst I work with female founders, organisations and startups to support economic parity and opportunity, I fear the changes that will really make a difference need to be made at much earlier stages and gender stereotypes need challenging right from early years.   As a grandmother of a bright and confident 4 year old girl who is very keen on watching a number of animated programmes on Netflix and Prime, I am still amazed at the amount of stereotyping that comes on the screen – sadly mostly from American cartoon series…needless to say that there are a few ‘banned’ programmes at grandma’s house!
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