Today is International Women’s Day and this year the focus is on gender equality. In the UK we have made great progress but still have a way to go to achieve gender parity.
The World Economic Forum has ranked us 18th out of 145 countries in terms of the gender gap, which is an improvement on last year when we were 26th.
Looking back to when I was in my twenties I can see a big difference in the opportunities and expectations that women have now compared to then.
However there is much we can learn from those countries that are performing at the top of the World Economic Forum table.
Countries like Iceland, Finland and Norway have focused on supporting women in the workplace, education and retraining of women as well as recognising and rewarding those that show good practice in working to balance the gender gap.
With the majority of students now being women there is a great opportunity to ensure they have an equal chance at a career by offering flexible working, role models and keeping the issue of gender equality alive.
By passing on the message to our children that their goals are achievable whatever their sex, we all have the chance to reduce the timescale to when we achieve gender parity which is currently estimated at 117 years.