Happy International Women’s Day!
International Women’s Day is officially March 8, and is observed in countries all over the world. This year, the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, released a report that detailed, among other things, the stubbornness of the gender wage gap on a global level, as well as other issues facing women and work.
According to the ILO report:
- About 50% of all women are working globally, compared to 77% of men
- Women own and manage over 30% of all businesses
- Women sit on 19% of board seats globally
- Women make up 5% or less of the CEOs of the world’s largest corporations
- Women earn on average 77% of what men earn, with the gap widening for higher-earning women
- Women suffer a “motherhood gap” in earning, increasing with the number of children
Regarding the global gender wage gap, at the current rate of narrowing, the ILO determined it will be at least 71 years before men and women reach pay equity on a global basis.
“Are working women better off today than they were 20 years ago?” asked ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in the report. “The answer is a qualified yes. Has this progress met our expectations? The answer is decidedly no. We need to be innovative, to reframe the debate and to intensify the focus on ensuring the rights of women at work, and promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.”
Women’s economic empowerment is improving, but we’re not there yet. Financial education is an important first step to empowerment. Let’s take it.