Updated: Jan 16
Because I love a good statistic, I learned this morning that 83.5% of my role models are women. As my therapists have said over the years when they try to understand, this is probably because I idolised my mother and losing her young created a void... classic therapists. It could also be because most young gay boys develop a resolute solace in female energy and gravitate towards female profiles for support and guidance, almost by default. Definitely more plausible.
I cannot confirm or deny whether these theories are true because I am not a scientist. In my opinion, though, my role models are who they are because of what they do, not because of what they are. And largely speaking, when you come up through adversity, even if awarded some privileges along the way, you try harder, work smarter and behave better.... even if you don't get the credit due.
Throughout history, the central role of women in society has ensured the stability, progress and long-term development of nations. Women are the primary caretakers of children and elders in every country. International studies demonstrate that when the economy and political organisation of a society change, women take the lead in helping the family adjust to new realities and challenges.
Despite this, globally, over 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men. Of 189 economies assessed in 2018, 104 economies still have laws preventing women from working in specific jobs, 59 economies have no laws on sexual harassment in the workplace, and in 18 economies, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.
Originating in the early 1900s and celebrated each year on March 8, International Women's Day brings together governments, women's organisations, corporations and charities through talks, rallies, networking events, conferences and marches.
The theme for International Women's Day this year is #ChosetoChallenge - which looks to celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness against bias and act for equality.
The commitment to the original aim - to achieve full gender equality for women around the world has made positive gains, but the world is still far from unequal. Therefore, celebrating the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing global attention on areas requiring further action on International Women's Day could not be more important.
Last year, I launched an interview series called #TheLionsShare. The Lions Share is a platform for leaders who have demonstrated clear resilience to get where they are to share their stories with the leaders of tomorrow.
The Lions Share has found a new home in Clu but still carries the same purpose. We are also very happy to partner with a suite of amazing impact-centric youth enablement organisations to help get the programme's impact even further this year and onwards.
To honour this year's IWD theme of #ChosetoChallenge, we are publishing nine interviews (past and present) over the next three weeks that profile, honour and prove the equal space and opportunity women deserve in our society. With every story we share, we intend to add another data point to the resolute social and business case for gender parity.
Our first interview is with the incredible Kia Christian, one of Google's Senior HR Leaders and one of the most amazing souls I've ever met. Throughout her impressive career, Kia has supported some of the world's leading organisations and carved out a sterling reputation in her ability to align people and business strategies.
In addition to her vast professional experience, Kia is passionate about giving back to people and communities in need. Whether she's serving in a leadership position on non-profit Boards, donating to Children's Hospitals or providing camp scholarships for kids from underserved communities, she is constantly seeking opportunities to support and uplift those who are experiencing difficulties in life, many of which mirror circumstances Kia has personally overcome.
Make sure to follow our company page to not miss out on this interview that'll be published later today and all of the amazing stories we'll be publishing over the coming weeks.
We hope this series can further illuminate the incredible work of brilliant women leaders and inspire some of you wonderful people along the way.
At Clu, we're reinventing how you find jobs and are set up for success when you're in them. Clu is the most efficient and simple way to search for jobs at purpose-led companies. Find your next role by registering today.