Call for gender equality this International Women’s Day

Women are still having to work harder to survive and thrive professionally in the workplace. The Gender Pay Gap is a symbol of how inequality persists in 2017, according to women and gender historians Dr Maureen Wright and Dr Barbara Thompson. International Women’s Day, 8 March 2017, is an opportunity to truly recognise these issues.

Dr Thompson, management and leadership book author and lecturer at University of Chichester, said: “The struggles and challenges faced by the suffragettes are echoed in the contemporary struggles of women in the 21st century workplace.”

Dr Wright, fellow University of Chichester colleague and Associate Lecturer in Women’s and Gender History, said: “Many commentators claim young women believe equality has already been won, but the fact that these struggles remain show that there is still more to go.”

She added: “Inequality is not an issue of the past. In 2017, it is still alive and well and living in communities all over the world. This International Women’s Day and beyond, there is an opportunity to recognise that such inequalities need to be better understood and steps to progress identified by all. This is not just a women’s issue.”

“The gains that have been made for women in the workplace are under threat,” said Dr Thompson, Principal Lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of Chichester and author of ‘Gender Management and Leadership in Initial Teacher Education’. She referred to the gender pay gaps highlighted by a number of the professional institutes and unions.

The Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) is concerned about the disparity between men’s and women’s salaries in academia. The pay gap between the genders in management and leadership has been highlighted by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). The ongoing differences in gender pay in the workplace has been reported on by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).

Read Dr Wright’s more extensive article on the International Women’s Day call for gender equality for sustainable development and the ongoing gender pay gap.

Regional showcase

The InternationalWomensDay-portrait-web2017 campaign for International Women’s Day (IWD) is #BeBoldForChange and it calls on everyone to take action to drive towards equality for women. There are events being held across the CMI Southern region. Here are a selection involving the universities in our area. Did your workplace mark IWD? Have you been inspired to take the message from this year’s CMI Women campaign into your workplace? Could you be agents of change? Contact us with your examples.

Bournemouth University (BU) is holding a series of events to mark International Women’s Day 2017 including talks by women senior leaders on their experiences in roles traditionally held by men and a panel discussion on developing women leaders. The panel discussion, featuring industry guest speakers, will consider some of the gender challenges within the workplace and provide tips for women hoping to undertake future leadership roles. These BU events are part of the extensive work being done by gender historians, management and  leadership academics at the university – booking details.

Portsmouth University is offering a free lecture on 8 March 2017 by a Reader in International Studies and collaborating with Portsmouth Film Society for a special screening for IWD.

Dave Small, equality and diversity manager at Portsmouth University, said: “The university is pleased once again to be supporting events in recognition of International Women’s Day, acknowledging the struggles experienced by women across the world, not only in history but even today, but also celebrating the great leaps forward in gender equality.

“Examples of the university’s practical commitment to gender equality are demonstrated in its support for the Aurora and Springboard, development programmes specifically to support women and the Athena SWAN charter, a programme dedicated to delivering gender equality across all areas of university activity for staff and students, for which the university holds a bronze organisation award as well as ten departments awards.”

Southampton women speak out for International Women’s Day 2017 (Daily Echo). Women managers from across the city comment on International Women’s Day – people featured include Southampton city council’s community leader and Hampshire County Council’s Director of Public Health.

On 11 March 2017, Southampton University and Southampton Solent University are part of the West Quay and Fringe events on the theme of ‘Being Bold’. The events will promote and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, both locally and worldwide. The festival is organised by Hampshire Constabulary in collaboration with local community groups, partnerships, Universities, local authority and charities. The events and activities will run on stalls throughout the day at West Quay, with live performances by Nuffield Theatre, fashion showcases from students at Winchester School of Art, and music from The Lounge Kittens.

University of Winchester has pledged its commitment behind the #BeBoldForChange campaign for this IWD 2017 and created a week-long programme of activities from Monday 6 to Saturday 11 March, with events ranging from political debates to an evening of music, poetry and spoken word, written and performed by women of all ages. The programme also includes an exhibition at the Link Gallery at West Downs, a panel discussion about women in politics and a public lecture about the implications of triggering Article 50 on the national gender equality framework in the UK, as the country prepares to leave the EU.

Professor Joy Carter DL, said: “International Women’s Day is an important opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of women while at the same time seek greater justice and opportunity where inequality too often still exists.”

More details of the 11 March 2017 public lecture, The Gendered Impact of Triggering Article 50, by Professor Roberta Guerrina, University of Surrey. The event is part of the Centre for Gender Studies at Winchester.

The Otter Gallery at the University of Chichester is running an exhibition on ‘Women artists – the power and presence’ until 9 April 2017.