It’s that time of year again –

Happy #IWD2021

 

This year’s theme highlights how we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions (something you might be aware of that I talk about a lot) and is about calling out gender bias and inequality. So today, I #ChoosetoChallenge the ongoing gender bias and inequality we are still facing as women.

I’ve posted on social media before about the countless reviews and research that’s been done about how we are still significantly under-represented in the workplace at every level with less of us in management and leadership positions, not to mention the pay disparity and the lack of business start-up funding we get compared to our male counterparts.

What’s even more disheartening since we’ve been hit with this global pandemic is the growing body of evidence suggesting that it has exacerbated the gender gap when it comes to women’s mental and economic health.

Yes, I know that everyone has pretty much been adversely affected by COVID but it seems that women have borne the brunt of job losses while taking on more responsibility for home schooling and caring for children and other family members with the added worry, overwhelm and stress that brings.

They’re losing their jobs, financial security, confidence, struggling with more mental health issues and suffering more domestic violence.

For those of us dedicated to helping women, this is a major setback.

I’ve also mentioned before, (and this is backed up by the research too) that we hold ourselves back in a big way too because of our own fears and self-doubts! Perfectionism, fear of failure, fear of judgement, socially conditioned people pleasing and chronic comparisonitis to name but a few!

That gremlin Imposter Syndrome affects up to 75% of women and is a major barrier to professional growth and career progression.

Not only that, research suggests that 1 in 5 would be entrepreneurs hold themselves back from business opportunities and taking their business to the next level because they lack faith in their own abilities and feel they don’t deserve to succeed. Add that to our intense discomfort and social conditioning about promoting ourselves, the “visibility factor” – which is now so crucial for promotion and advancement, then there is still so much work to be done.

“Ending all discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, it’s crucial for a sustainable future; it’s proven that empowering women and girls helps economic growth and development” UNDP.

So, I will do everything I can to continue my mission of empowering women to overcome their fears and self-doubt and help them step into their power, where they’re taking charge and are back in control of their life, having the self-belief, confidence and complete faith in themselves that they can handle anything life throws at them and even thrive in challenging times.

That’s my public #ChoosetoChallenge pledge today to make a positive difference for women and help them celebrate who they are and their own achievements.

What are you doing today to #ChoosetoChallenge?