March 8, 2021, International Women’s Day! Part of the 87 international days recognized or initiated by the UN. Celebrated in many countries around the world, this day is an opportunity to take an overview of the situation of women at all levels (political, economic, cultural, etc.) in the world, to honor their actions and finally to prepare the Future of future generations. For this new edition, the theme chosen by the UN will be Women’s Leadership: For an Equal Future in the World of COVID-19. This topic pays tribute to the exceptional action of women and girls around the world to shape a more equitable future and to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A few figures:
– Women’s salaries are 23% lower than men’s worldwide.
– Women occupy only 24% of parliamentary seats in the world (Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union – data as of January 1, 2020 – Report of the Secretary General of the United Nations E/CN 6/2020/3).
– 1/3 Women in the world are subjected to physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives.
Equality between men and women, a long term work:
Salary disparities that persist between men and women: Even if they have been decreasing for 40 years, the salary gap in the private sector is estimated at 16.8% for a full-time position according to a study published in June 2020 by INSEE. The latest World Economic Forum report (World Economic Forum in its Global Gender Gap Report 2020) puts the finger on flagrant gender inequalities. As a reminder the “Global Gender Gap Index” has been measuring gender inequalities since 2006 based on several criteria: place in the world of work, education, health and political power. Despite inequalities, the World Economic Forum notes progress in all areas… except the world of work.
It indicates that it will take 99.5 years to achieve full parity between women and men in politics, the economy, health and education.
The IT sector is still a long way from parity:
In a report published by Le Syntec Numérique and Social Builder “Femmes Reconversion Numérique” we learn that only 27.9% of women work in the IT sector and only 16% of “technical” jobs. The digital sector faces a lack of gender diversity. Thus, our sector is currently struggling to recruit women and there is a deficit of women in the IT sector.
According to the same study, the presence of women is however strategic both in economic terms and in terms of business competitiveness and innovation. An increase in the presence of women in the digital sector would allow the European Union to increase its GDP by 9 billion annually.
Women facing the Covid-19 pandemic:
Women are suffering the full impact of the Covid-19 crisis. Indeed, the pandemic has increased inequalities between men and women.
A major IPSOS survey conducted among 3,500 citizens of the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States) shows that the pandemic has affected women more than men in the professional, personal and family spheres.
As the first victims of the crisis in the context of their profession (healthcare staff, saleswomen, etc.), the risk of falling into precariousness is increasing due to the fact that they work in many sectors that have been significantly impacted (hotels, sales, etc.) by the crisis.
Increase of tasks to manage, stress, burn-out… Women are much more affected by the Covid-19 crisis than men. Mothers have been forced to carry out their professional life by teleworking, while managing their family life, taking care of their children’s school education during the school closure and finally carrying out logistical tasks.
With the pandemic, domestic violence has also exploded with an increase of more than 30% according to the UN Women (UNO Women) in several countries such as France, Cyprus, etc..
Women as assets for growth:
The Women Equity program is the first initiative in Europe focused on financial and operational support for growth SMEs headed by women, committed to promoting their models of success, in order to contribute to a better balance of economic contributions by men and women for more sustainable growth in Europe.
This program enjoys strong institutional recognition and has notably received that of the General Assembly of the Council of Europe (Resolution 55 – March 2011), encouraging support for the initiative led by Women Equity for the best financing of women-led growth companies.
Every year, Women Equity publishes a list of French SMEs and ETIs that are headed or co-headed by women. The 50 prize-winning companies alone account for up to €1.6 billion in cumulative revenues.
The findings of the latest barometer published in January 2021 show that SMEs and ETIs headed by women with an average age of 47.8 years have outperformed their peers, particularly in terms of profitability, at 8.4% on average compared with 6.4% for their counterparts, a difference of 40% in their favor.
How can gender equality be accelerated?
Several avenues should be explored to reduce gender inequalities:
– Training companies and teaching staff in equality,
– Erasing textbook stereotypes
– Carry out awareness campaigns against clichés
– Extend and make it mandatory to take paternity leave to allow for better task sharing
– Increasing the presence of women in politics as well as in economic life to help break down stereotypes of leadership.
What is the situation within the RGI Group?
The RGI Group, an Insurance Software Provider highly committed to accelerate diversity, parity and inclusion. In just a few years, we have observed that women are gaining in visibility with, in particular, a strengthened representation on our Management Committee with the arrival of 3 women: Gioia Ghezzi, Chairman RGI Group, Cécile André Leruste, RGI Group Chief Executive Officer and Margherita Mapelli, Finance & Compliance Vice President. Women are also more involved in the Group’s Middle Management.
The health crisis has enabled the group to rethink its way of working and to accelerate teleworking in all its subsidiaries. Today, beyond the health crisis, teleworking has become an internal means of promoting work-life balance.
Finally, our Group firmly believes that education is the most powerful source of change and a fundamental need. We have therefore decided to join forces with the Terre des Hommes Association, which we know well since we have been supporting their activities for almost 6 years now to promote access to education, protection against violence and exploitation of children.