Building on the momentum in 2018 for women’s rights from #metoo and gender inequality to political power, the movement shows no signs of slowing down and continues to pick up speed a few months into 2019. This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. This month, designated as Women’s History Month, has been highly publicized with last Friday’s International Women’s Day helping to bring awareness to the month and spotlighting gender inequality across the globe.
The continued focus on gender equality is being seen through many industries including those in investment management. Last week, CCM sponsored and attended Confluence Philanthropy’s 9th Annual Practitioners Gathering where there were multiple sessions on gender inequality, and even more conversations on this topic at each breakout discussion. In addition, the keynote speaker was Joan C. Williams, a distinguished law professor at the University of California sharing information on gender issues in the workplace.
Williams has played a central role in re-shaping the conversation about work, gender, and class over the past quarter century. During her presentation, she provided the audience insights into the inequality that persists in most corporations. Williams stated that women in management has flat-lined at 14% over the past decade due to implicit biases. She explored these gender biases, giving suggestions to help remove these stigmas and create modern workplace flexibility policies. She mentioned new companies employing these tactics which has led to more diverse and better-performing workplaces.
While we still have a way to go to achieve gender equality - it is clear that the conversation and actions continue to grow each year. And the recent attention around gender issues seems to have Beyonce’s famous phrase, “Who runs the world? Girls” becoming more in the realm of possibilities than ever before.