I believe in women and want to arm them with a strong personal image and a recognizable personal brand that will give them more visibility and better opportunities. A big part of my job is to help building confidence, saying you can do it and allowing people to see themselves as a capable and talented professional and not just someone who happened to pass by at the right moment. The right personal style comes only after a strong self-image has been defined and implemented. Education, motivation and confidence are huge factors but what else can be done to gain gender equality? I went to study some data.
World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report measures gender equality by bench marking 144 countries regarding their progress on gender parity. It concentrates on four main themes: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition the 2017 edition shows also “data around the dynamics of gender gaps across industry talent pools and occupations“. I found this part particularly interesting and hope that will be included in the future. However reading the report didn’t make me particularly happy because despite the small victories the overall findings were disappointing.
Despite the efforts to close the gender gap for good, I read that the gap is actually widening and that the progress is going backwards. It was estimated that with the current rate of progress it will take 170 years to close the gap but the 2017 report from November 2017 found that it will take 217 years to close the gap. It means that the current measures taken are not strong enough and a lot of work still needs to be done. Women are still missing out on opportunities and overlooked during promotion discussions. To me it feels like waste of valuable resources and talent.
The findings tell that the key to closing the gender gap in the workforce is to hire more women. When women participate and go after leadership roles in the workforce all women profit: More women are then hired at all levels throughout the organizations and fields of speciality. That is why it is important to support a steady increase of the proportion of women in leadership. Is your organization doing enough on this front? Are you doing enough to promote women? What else could you or your organization do to put more women in leadership positions and accelerate positive change?
I am a one woman shop but in my work I see a lot of women. They come in many shapes, sizes, nationalities. They are unique, talented, ambitious, self-aware, curious. On March 8th the world is celebrating International Women’s Day and I am joining in celebrating all the women in the world, but there is a special place in my heart reserved for my wonderful female clients. Here at I on Image I am celebrating milestones both big and small. I love when my clients are reaching the stars and living their dreams.
This year’s International Women’s Day’s theme is Press for Progress and encouraged by the inspiring theme I wanted to take a pledge to live by. Mine is closely related to my work and resonates strongly with my business values:
I will forge positive visibility of women
I made that card on International Women’s Day’s website. Join the movement and make your own here. Take a pledge and share it with me. I would love to see the variety and how everyone’s pledges tie to their values and their work. You can mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me in social media.
Happy International Women’s Day 2018!
Let’s make together a positive difference for women!
Your image consultant with an eye for detail