Everything has changed – but gender equality remains as important as ever

Around the world people are still trying to work out what the result of the US election will mean for them, their family and their country.

From a gender equality perspective, many had hoped to hear the sound of the most enduring of glass ceilings being shattered. It wasn’t to be. But that should not distract responsive leaders, in so many countries, who are adapting their public policies and their businesses to make them fairer and more profitable.

Gender has been a big issue over the past weeks and has taken a central role in public debate, often for the wrong reasons. But that should only serve to redouble our commitment to a transparent and accountable system in which businesses strive to achieve equal pay, equitable career flows and continuing investment in all employees, regardless of gender.
We urgently need to dispel any talk about gender equality in the workplace being just a “nice to have”, as not being fundamental to an organization’s core purpose. Gender equality cannot be a luxury item that gets time, attention and resources in good times, but is neglected and abandoned when the going gets tough.

Corporate change is hard, and if there is an excuse to avoid it, it will likely be used. If that happens, the world will hear a message that gender equality in the workplace doesn’t really matter. It is our duty to keep working towards inclusion and ensure that gender equality remains a desirable, measurable strategic objective.

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