HR | Atlantic - Positive Change at Work

A shout out to our women colleagues, clients and role models

Mar 08, 2012

Today is the 101st International Women’s Day .  This is a cause for everyone to celebrate, because it is about acknowledging the full potential of the entire human community to contribute and participate fully in the lives of our families, our communities and our world.

The opportunities and acceptance of women in full and equal participation in society has evolved in those 1o1 years.  Even the short time from my mother’s generation to now illustrates the changing attitudes: she was required to resign from her teaching position because she became pregnant (and then had to work as her own replacement because there weren’t any substitutes available); I had the benefit of a statutory maternity leave.

The valuing of women has evolved not only with respect to having options with respect to domestic roles and responsibilities, but also with respect to our ability to contribute to leadership in business and in politics.  As indicated by research conducted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women, the advances made around the world are amazing and inspiring .  For example, the number of women leaders of government and heads of state has doubled since 2005, to 17.

The research also indicates that there is still lots of room for improvement:

  • Less than 20% of  parliamentarians in the world today are women, and yet, in some countries women are well represented in the ranks of representatives.
  • Less than 17% of parliamentary ministers in the world are women
  • Seven countries on the rankings list have no female representation in parliament
  • The advancement of women in political representation does not necessarily fall along the economic lines of the country.  For example, in Rwanda, 45 of the 80 seats in the lower house

The top ten countries for women representation in government, according to the Interparliamentary Union are:

  1. Rwanda
  2. Andorra
  3. Cuba
  4. Sweden
  5. Seychelles
  6. Finland
  7. South Africa
  8. Netherlands
  9. Nicaragua
  10. Iceland

Where does Canada rank?  At #40

And what about women leaders in business?  It seems that our representation in business leadership roles is similar to the political leadership numbers.  According to a study by Grant Thornton International,  only 20% of leadership roles in large private companies are held by women in 2011 (down 24% from 2010).  While women are well represented in the workforce in general, our representation thins significantly on the move up the corporate ladder.

As a female-dominated firm, and with a woman being the managing partner, HRA knows the value women contribute to the dynamics of their families, communities,  and organizations.  Indeed, we value the contributions of all our people and celebrate the fulfillment of their potential.  Thanks to our colleagues, our clients and readers for appreciating HRA based on the value we deliver and the values we live and work by.

Sources:

LACK OF POLITICAL WILL AND MISSED OPPORTUNITIES IN 2011 RESULT IN TOO FEW WOMEN IN POLITICS YET AGAIN, SAYS IPU, http://www.ipu.org/press-e/gen361.htm

Proportion of women in senior management falls to 2004 levels http://www.internationalbusinessreport.com/Press-room/2011/women_in-senior_management.asp

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